Marriage and Commitment: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
What’s love got to do with it? A lot.
All You Need To Know
Find someone that makes you laugh and generally has your value system. Value system, in part, means they think about money and possessions the same way you do, plus or minus 20%.
The majority of broken relationships end up there because of differences over money. Differences being the lack of it or the mismanagement of it.
If you are getting serious about a relationship, get serious about how the other party handles money. Study them. And quiz yourself about money. Figure out what you want and how you are going to get it before you talk to your future partner because he/she will want to know what your game plan is for the future. But don’t make it an exercise in financial planning. Make it a talk about the future, where you want to go, what you want to do and then see if the other person has a plan that is basically compatible.
This is not a first date topic of discussion. Talk about it but only if you are serious about the other person. Nothing takes the fun out of a conversation faster than talking about money. Talking about the future is fun but leave out FICO scores till you are really serious.
After we have determined the relationship is at least quasi-serious, try to determine if you will really get along in the long run. Is this the person you want to spend the next forty plus years with and why. The correct answer is a resounding “I don’t know.” That is as it should be because nobody knows anything about the next forty plus years.
Compatiblity is like horseshoes and hand grenades-close counts. If you figure that this person is someone you can get along with and spends money pretty much like you do, you are compatible. I could live in a double wide but I do like nice things like quality clothes and cars. My wife likes quality furniture and houses. Our commonality, and thus our compatibility, is based on determining what purchase is important and then getting the best quality product at the best price.
I don’t think there is any need to go further on this, the subject is too broad and complex so make it as simple as possible. Tina is right, love has a lot to do with it, but define love and make it a long-term proposition with mutual respect and mutual goals, plus or minus 20%.
Oh, one last thought. If you think living together will be a test run for marriage and something you will get to ‘eventually’, forget it. The legality and formality of marriage make it harder to quit so your partner will be there when things get tough. Given an out, a lot of people will take it.