Budgeting

3 Money-Related Mistakes You Must Avoid Making in a New Relationship

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Joanne Poh

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Ah, young love… in the early days of a new relationship, many people are ready to bend over backwards and do things that they wouldn’t normally do just to please their paramour.

On your own, you might always be that guy who disappears like Cinderella at midnight as you rush to catch the last bus. But now you spare no expense in picking your date up from home in a shiny Merc cab.

You might have no idea what to do with the multiple forks and knives at fine dining restaurants, but you watched at least ten YouTube videos on dining etiquette so you could impress your date at that fancy restaurant.

Assuming your relationship doesn’t tank and you two actually go on to have a long-term partnership, be prepared for lots of conflict and unmet expectations if you keep this up.

Here are three things to avoid doing in a new relationship if you want any hope of a peaceful future.

 

Trying to impress your partner with expensive dates

First dates can be nerve wracking, especially if you’re the one who has the hots for the other party. It’s understandable that you want to show yourself in the best light.

But showing yourself in the best light means being the best version of yourself, and not the best version of someone else, that someone being James Bond.

If you’re always lavishing your date with expensive restaurant meals and going to chic bars where a bespoke cocktail costs $30, you’re either going to go broke keeping up this image, or you’ll revert to your former self after a while and your date, having built up certain expectations, will wonder why you no “longer put in effort”.

You will undoubtedly “scare away” some dates if you’re not willing to spend above a certain level. But these are people whose lifestyles aren’t compatible with yours anyway, and it’s better o find out earlier than later.

 

Not being honest about your lifestyle

You certainly don’t need to tell your date anything about how much you earn in the early stages of a romance.

But you do need to be upfront about your lifestyle. If you’re not the sort of person who goes to fine dining restaurants often… okay, at all… okay, the most expensive restaurant you’ve been to is Swensen’s… don’t pretend you do.

Sometimes, just being passive and evasive can mislead people about who you really are, like nodding when your date talks about designer brands you’ve never heard of, or agreeing when he or she complains about how public transport is troublesome and declares Uber is the only decent way to travel.

When you do that, you rob yourself of the chance to be authentic in your relationship, and you always have the feeling you’re withholding some part of your opinions.

That’s definitely not the right foot on which to start a relationship that should be based on open communication.

 

One person becoming financially dependent on the other too soon

I remember once hearing this Singaporean guy in his twenties lament the fact that his girlfriend had decided to quit her job and rely on him financially, and this worried him as he wasn’t earning much and was already spending all his money on her.

I’ve also seen people get their partners of a few months to pay for all their friends at outings, and think nothing of dragging them from expensive venue to expensive venue because they were footing the bill.

You might think your relationship is a done deal because your other half is crazy about you, but that is never an excuse to start to become financially dependent on him or her at this stage in your relationship, well, not unless the other party is willing to support you with eyes wide open.

Couples who’ve moved in together and are essentially running one household might for whatever reason decide that one person will shoulder a greater financial burden than the other. It may not always be the smartest financial decision, but that’s their prerogative and for all you know they might be gaining in intangible ways.

But that’s different from just assuming your partner can support you, or making use of them to live in a way you wouldn’t be able to afford yourself.

If you’re wondering why you seem to be paying for so many aspects of your new partner’s life and it bugs you, stop being a doormat and put a stop to it.

What money-related mistakes have you made in past relationships? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.