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Dating In Financial Darkness

by Derek Sisterhen on August 18, 2010

Alright, I’ll admit it: I get some twisted form of guilty pleasure from a few reality shows. Last night I was watching “Dating In The Dark” – ABC’s show about twenty- and thirty-something singles who go on dates in a pitch-black room. At its core this is a social experiment (which is the only way I can attempt to justify watching it – it’s science). The show is trying to answer a timeless question: is love really blind, or does physical attractiveness control everything?

So, naturally my mind wandered into the realm of personal finances.

For those out there who are in engaged to be married, are you dating your spouse-to-be in financial darkness? Do you know how your fiancé behaves with money? If he has debt? If she likes to save money?

What if you’ve been married for awhile? You probably have a very good understanding of your mate’s strengths and weaknesses, but do you know how to handle money together in a productive, intimacy-building way?

When I was doing research for Get Naked: Stripping Down to Money & Marriage, I found a study revealing that 84% of married people cite money as the primary source of tension in their marriages.

There isn’t even a close second.

Whether we are engaged or married, many of the couples in this country are operating in darkness. Either we don’t know about our fiancé’s financial habits, or we don’t know the peace and passion we could be experiencing with our spouse.

The first step is to have a conversation and just talk about what money means to each of you. Prepare for this by reminding yourself to extend grace if you’re learning of habits or financial skeletons you didn’t know about before.

If you’re committed to each other first and foremost, you can work toward a position of unity, which feels as reassuring as finding a light switch in the darkness.

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