Money is a hard thing to talk about. Period. Add in discussing it with a romantic partner and it gets even harder. Then throw in a romantic partner whose financial situation is very different from your own and it’s hard to the power of even harder! But, sometimes personal finance conversations have to happen when you’re dating a millionaire. And while my tips certainly won’t make these talks easy, hopefully these three how-tos will make your conversation a little less hard.
Be honest, but only if you have to be
You should always be honest with your romantic partner and communicate openly, but depending on why you’re talking about finances, you don’t need to be fully transparent. For example, if you aren’t comfortable with your millionaire paying for everything you do together and want to pay for some of your dates, you don’t have to disclose your entire financial portfolio. You can just outline what you can and can’t afford for dates that are your treat. If you two are getting married, however, you should be completely honest with every dollar and piece of debt you have. Also, be honest with your issues, even if they’re embarrassing. For example, through my dating service, I made a happy couple out of a billionaire man and a woman who had a good career as an assistant, but wasn’t a millionaire. He kept taking her to black tie events and after the first two, she had to have a really frank conversation with him about not being able to afford to keep dressing herself for these affairs. She was mortified about bringing this up, but I coached her into being honest and it all went smoothly. He much preferred the awkward honesty to her mysteriously cancelling on all of the parties, which was her initial plan!
Have a goal
Go into the discussion with a clear goal for what you want out of the conversation. Why are you bringing up your personal finances? Is it because you’re doing things together you can’t afford? Do you need advice with investments? Are you two getting married and you want to be completely transparent? Think about it. You’re not disclosing your finances just to disclose your finances. This millionaire isn’t your financial advisor! You need to have a goal—be it a change in spending behavior, help or honesty. When I go into heavy convos like this, I often write out my goal and ideal outcomes. Having it on paper is really helpful.
Establish a system
This point kind of circles back to my last point of having a goal for the conversation. No matter what your main goal is, your second goal should be to hatch a plan during the conversation to avoid future awkwardness about finances. So, that system might be radical honesty and moving forward, you two will discuss money completely openly. Or maybe it’s setting up a joint account where you contribute an amount of money and they contribute an amount each month and you paid for shared expenses out of that. Maybe it’s an allowance or combining finances or setting up monthly check ins. Whatever system works for you two works here. If you both commit to following the financial system, you’ll be able to avoid any future financial awkwardness.
Money talks are hard, but doable. Go in with goals and honesty and leave with a financial system you two both agree on and you’ll be golden…even if you’re not the one in the relationship with all the gold.