It's important you both speak and understand the same money language.
What would an episode of New Girl, Friends, or even Three's Company be without someone getting their signals crossed? Zero fun. Now cut to reality and the mixed signals your honey sends you, and no one's laughing. Add money to the confusing situation and it's even less funny.
These 5 scenarios scream confusion for couples, but there is a simple solution. Read on to see what situatons causes couples the most stress and most importantly, how to avoid stirring the confusion pot.
1. Date Night
You both work hard all week. You've been running in fifty different directions. Her hints are not so subtle any more. She wants a "real" date night. You finally carve out the time, pick a great place, buy a new suit, and … she starts fuming. Why the mixed signals?
He's so thoughtful. You had no idea he was paying such close attention the night you reminisced about your favorite rom-com, Say Anything. But he scours pawnshops, finds a ghetto blaster that would make Lloyd Dobler proud, buys a trench coat and some high tops and serenades you outside your place with "In Your Eyes" cranked as high as it will go; the 25th anniversary DVD wrapped and waiting for you. He is the BEST gift-giver you've ever dated.
So you watch and listen and reciprocate the thoughtfulness with a gadget you saw him eying obsessively online; he thanks you, leaving it in the box, and asks if you think that new sushi place takes reservations. What?
Your spouse agrees to go somewhere new this year. You can't wait. You arrive and realize "somewhere new" is the hotel across the street from last year. She says she wants adventure, but she insists on going the same places year after year.
You used to think it was just coincidence, but now the mixed signals make you want to head for the border. Why say one thing, but really do another?
It's not all fun and games. Planning how to celebrate your sweetie's birthday can age you prematurely. How much of a fuss do you make? Should blowouts only be for the milestones? Surprise or no surprise? Does it have to be Pinterest-worthy? Foodie food, a theme, and friends or a low-key dinner just you two? Planning a party is no party.
So you're thrilled when they tell you, they just want to spend time with you. Great. You're happy to comply. You'll still make it special. So why are you the one who gets the surprise of the night when you find out their feelings are hurt because it really was "just you" and no party? Surprise!
You both believe your kids need as many opportunities as possible to give them the future you never had. So you sign your kids up for club sports, test prep seminars, private music lessons, AP classes, dance, art enrichment, and scouts.
So why is he angry when the credit card bill is through the roof? The mixed signals are frustrating and ruin any chance of a better future — for anyone.
The Simple Solution
All five scenarios involve confusion and pain that can wreck a relationship. Your honey's mixed signals make you crazy, and they may not even realize the disconnect. We often don't fully understand how we approach money and that affects so much more than date night or your vacations. We start down one path, feeling good about the birthday party (or lack of one), and the extra-large activity list, but their primary or secondary money personality trumps their initial intentions, often contradicting the initial idea and sending YOU mixed signals.
Those that do understand the way they approach money often don't realize their significant other — 80% of the time — does not share their view of money, so mixed signals, fights, and ruined relationships result. If you have 6 minutes you can identify your individual money personalities with a free, scientific assessment and unscramble your mixed signals for good!
Then you could know your spouse is a Spender/Risk Taker and you'll know better than to believe their modest, reserved comment about "just time with you" for their birthday. And the only surprise will be on them when they walk through the door to a room filled with celebration and friends.
Leave the confusion to Zooey Deschanel or Ross and Rachel and enjoy more laughter in your relationship!
Scott & Bethany Palmer | The Money Couple | Creators of the 5 Money Personalities
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