Despite my privileged dating past, I'd have no problem dating a guy who expected me to pick up the tab more often. It's not like I date men based on their finances. In my current relationship, I pay for pricier outings that are all my idea, like concert and theater tickets. I split travel expenses. Occasionally, I insist on picking up the check. And I'm the girlfriend who sporadically surprises her guy with shoes, books, and other nice presents just because. I always assume if the guy I'm dating needs me to cover more, he'll ask. I assume he or I will bring up money if and when it becomes an issue. 5 Tips to Juggle Love and Money
But here's a curious thing to note: The older I get, the less find myself talking about finances with men I date. My first serious boyfriend in NYC told me his salary—and asked about mine—on our third date. I distinctly remember him saying, "Can you get this? I'm not made of money." I agreed... and continued dating him for almost two years.
As uncouth as it sounds, I wasn't offended by his candor. We were both working our first full-time jobs, so there was a sense of being on a level playing field. But the rest of my adulthood has been in the shadow of a recession. Most people aren't where they thought they'd be career-wise and thus, financially. I've also switched paths a few times—from teaching to marketing to freelance writing. Money's more complicated now. It's new and exciting to discuss when you're 22, but it feels very private and competitive once you're 28.
While it feels invasive to ask someone about his finances, I can't move in with or marry someone with no knowledge of his finances, and I couldn't expect him to do that, either. But when is the right time to have that talk? When we were 22, the third date was OK. Money felt less personal then. But am I waiting too long? Should I be pushing to have this conversation sooner than the point where we discuss moving in together—when excitement about that future step could push a sticky convo about money to the side? 6 Money Matters To Discuss Before Marriage
He (YourTango's Tomfoolery blogger Thomas Miller) says:
We live in a culture where much personal value is placed on material wealth. Whether it's gold bars, heads of cattle or small, green pieces of linen emblazoned with the likeness of a dead politician, you're a better person for having more of them. Unless you're a hippie of some ilk, money is a pretty gosh darn big deal when it comes to dating, mating and procreating. Although I give off a pheromone that screams my career plan is to eventually let a strong gust of adventure to push me a$$ backwards into a pile of money, I still do the "money is no issue" dance at the top of any relationship.
While I've heard of dudes insisting on paying Amsterdam-style on their first date, I'm not sure I've ever met a guy who wasn't willing to pick up the check date number one. After an initial period of ostentation ("no, all of your friends can super size dinner"), the smart choice is to get very honest about finances. But attraction, love, smarts and honesty hang out about as often as feminist slam poetry, NASCAR and the Easter bunny do.