Written by: Micaela V. Rosario
Hail to the independent Fuzionista doing her own thing! We can all indeed be glad that so many women today are powerful professionals in the middle of it all, living out their dreams to the fullest. Yet, what happens when professional single ladies link up with men with lots of “potential”?
Let’s consider the Steve Harvey movie Think Like A Man, where Dominic, played by sexy Michael Ealy, is a short order cook that has aspirations of being a master chef who falls for Lauren, played by Taraji Henson, a savvy Chief Operating Officer for a Fortune 500 company. The two have amazing chemistry, inside as well as outside of the bedroom, but their pending issue is financial status. Lauren has plenty of means and is a professional woman calling the shots while Dominic is sincere in his efforts to one day have enough money to afford his own place, car and business. This is a tough situation that many single ladies find themselves facing today – finding a man to be financially compatible with them.
Now, what Lauren didn’t understand is that being financially compatible doesn’t mean one person has to make just as much as the other – not at all! In fact, it is quite the opposite idea. Being financially compatible is having a common understanding of how to grow your money together for common goals. Forbes recommends asking the difficult questions to your partner as soon as the relationship becomes serious such as, “how much debt do you have?”, “are you paying all of your debt on time?”, “do you have money saved for a rainy day?” etc. Finances are among the top reasons couples separate and divorce. “People who are careless with money will eventually be careless with their relationships,” says Philip DeMuth, a financial exert, for Forbes.
In the previous Love Decision Series Are You Ready To Shack Up?!, we discussed motives for wanting to live together and lack of finances being one of them. When two people are not financially in tune, it can cause added pressure on their home life. “He wants to move into a bigger apartment and I can afford it but he can’t. So he basically wants to move up on my dime” Toni, an Account Executive, from Hoboken explains about her boyfriend, “…it’s not fair, but he makes me feel guilty about it!” Clearly this isn’t fair and Toni’s boyfriend is not being forced to carry his own weight financially in the relationship, which will inevitably cause resentment. To avoid this, discuss the pros and cons of relying on one person’s salary to maintain household bills and devise a solid plan for lifestyle advancements – before you take make them!
Another dilemma for professional single women is the decision to have children, regardless of marriage, with men who aren’t in a good place financially. Many women are choosing to place compatibility as less of a priority because they opt to begin parenthood into their late thirties or early forties. The need to “want children now and figure it out later” is a newer issue among professional women. “It is either now or never for me to have kids, but he still doesn’t have himself together financially. I can’t wait forever…” Stephanie, a TV Producer, from Long Island City admits. Consider this, having a child with a man that is not together financially, despite your biological clock ticking away, will become an imminent issue as your child matures. Regardless of how sound your finances seem at the moment, it must be a two-way financial commitment to ensure your child gets what they will need.
Relationships of all kind take work and while sexual and emotional chemistry can fall into place quite easily, know that being financial attuned will never be an instant hole-in-one. It takes honest conversation and a steadfast commitment on both parts to take the ride together.