Money and relationships – does it matter?

Despite being almost 40, I am sometimes the most non adult, adult I know.
There are somethings I just don’t even consider, for example the link between money and relationships.
Until recently I didn’t even realise some people found this important. 

From the beginning of our relationship I’ve known Rory earns more than me, he’s an accountant and I sold kitchens, it was obvious.
It has never really bothered me, though at times it was a little awkward.
Like if we went out for a meal with his friends

“Let’s just split the bill six ways”
I was like
“But you had gold plated caviar and I had naked pasta!”

Despite now being married, I still have no idea how much money Rory earns.

I know to some people this maybe makes me seem a little naive or something.

Maybe I am, but for me it feels like, until I actually start contributing financially to this life then his income is his business.
He pays all the bills, the mortgage, makes sure we’re fed, watered and clothed. The children and I are, at this moment, completely reliant on him and me knowing his wage wouldn’t make this any less so.

Does this make me a rubbish feminist because I’m a kept woman?
NO is the answer, it’s a choice we made together.
It’s just that Rory’s finances have never been of any interest to me.
I’m not interested in anyone’s finances, I prefer to think we’re defined by who we are rather than what we have.

Shepherds Friendly recently teamed up with psychologist Dr Becky Spelman and conducted a survey to determine how much importance people put on money and relationships. It certainly makes an interesting read…

“Money plays an important part in how attractive you find a partner”

As someone who has previously dated a lot of ‘not well off but beautiful’ people I was surprised to see that 36.1% of women and 22.4% of men agreed with this. I was even MORE surprised to see that 48% of women OVER 60 agreed with this. It strikes me as quite a materialistic attitude to have at a time in life when, I imagine, it’s slim pickings on the relationship front. You aren’t as youthful as you once were so maybe you should be less fussy ladies – time is swift passing you by.

“Couples should split the bill on date night”

Here 56.1% of women agreed compared to 28.5% of men. I think this is more indicative of modern values rather than being specifically about money.  Women are increasingly confident and not reliant upon men to ‘look after’ them financially. The men who agree are likely conforming to traditional patriarchal values. Personally, if I have the money I like to at least split the bill if I can’t pay it all.

“How much a partner earns is important in terms of pursuing a relationship”

22.4% of men and 31.4% of women agree with this.
Initially,  naive, idealistic little me was shocked by this.
But, after a little thought, I am kind of starting to get it.
If you aspire to a heated pool, stables and boarding school for the children, someone on £13000 a year isn’t going to be able to help with that. It’s better to start dating people you don’t find attractive and you have nothing in common with just so you can achieve your aspirations.
COME ON PEOPLE, stop being so shallow!

“It is important to save for your future”

89.7% of men and 92.3% of women agree, this is a no brainer really. Saying that, I’m the WORST saver in the world, in fact this is probably where Rory and I differ most. I am more frivolous and live for the now. Rory is more ‘long term’ he likes savings for a rainy day, which granted is a lot more sensible but a lot less fun!  I completely appreciate the importance of saving but I equally don’t understand those people who refuse to decorate their bedroom because they only have a few thousand saved.

All of the results from the survey have been put into an infographic indicating how money impacts relationships, it is an interesting read.

Do you know how much your partner earns?
Do you care?

This post is written in collaboration with Shepherds Friendly. 





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