The Financial Factor In A Relationship
Don’t worry, I’m not creating a whole new budget category for this, that would be freaky <deleting category in YNAB>.
Having met someone with whom I want to have a long-term relationship with I am thinking about not only how I can do a better job of building a lasting, healthy relationship but also how my finances and eventually ‘our’ finances will work out.
Dating costs money.
I’d be lying if I said that I don’t care how much I spend on ‘us’, after all, this is a fucking blog about finances. Actually, I don’t know wtf this blog is about, it’s about medicine, about urgent care, about social citizenship, about dating and financial independence. It’s helping me think through shit, that’s what purpose it serves.
I’m reading a book on relationships which is a really insightful work by Pat Love, glad this book fell into my lap. It can only serve as a guide, acting upon the information is what matters.
I will try implementing some of the ideas, fail spectacularly, have to ask for forgiveness and learn from it. The good times apparently will be easy, just gotta show up basically and enjoy them together. The lulls will test both of us, and that’s where skills and hard work come in.
It’s like building a race engine. You got to find the right block first, get it magnafluxed, inspect it to make sure there are no major flaws. Then you gotta commit to it because next you have to build up the various high-end parts which will require a lot of hard work/time to assemble.
Putting the whole thing together is even harder, gotta take your time, put in quality time. Can’t just show up to the shop and slap shit together. I made that mistake once and forgot to put Locktite on the cam shaft retaining bolt, making it come loose, hitting the hydraulic lifters and destroying them.
It’s amazing though that the commitment part is the hardest part. Not just committing to one’s partner but committing to doing what’s right for the relationship, instead of just for myself.
I committed to being a good doctor in medicine. I wasn’t gonna be one of those sleazebags who would date his patients. I wasn’t gonna cut corners just to get the patient out of the door. I wasn’t gonna throw abx and imaging at a patient just to keep my satisfaction scores up. I go to work and fight my good fight and reap the benefits during every single shift. It has become a wonderfully rewarding experience in that sense.
The shitty parts such as the time commitment, the pain in the ass patients and the incompetent fucking staff are part of the big picture… so far I haven’t strayed from my commitment.
So, I do care about the expenses. Spending money eating out with my girl, having drinks together, booking flights to see her, traveling together or eventually shacking up together.
My agenda in trade for our agenda.
I figure like anything new which enters my life I will try to do ‘what’s right’. Spend money in a healthy manner doing things we both derive pleasure and enjoyment from. Not trying to exceed that limit where we cross over into a lavish, self-absorbed lifestyle yet not bordering on being a cheap ass mofo who is thinking about the numbers only.
I’m fortunate that this lady is smart, independent and a good-hearted person. It’s exciting to think that we would be merging our lives together. Doing so requires time, quality time and it requires spending my resources intentionally.
There are certain things that are valuable to each one of us when it comes to money. It’s a pleasure having been able to discuss that with her openly. I get the sense that her outlook on money isn’t to just obtain it in large quantities or hoard it with gluttony. I won’t tell you what our plans are for the future with our resources and our skills but stay tuned, I think it will be something interesting to follow.
I have a clear understanding of what I want in life and what I don’t want. My limits will certainly be narrowed or expanded at various points in our lives together but it helps me understand which direction I want to take with her. It’s easy for someone who has firm boundaries to bracket their lives so strictly that the other person can’t fit in regardless of how hard they try.
What’s clear to me is that I can’t just stick to my strict budget for category X while committing myself to this person and nor do I have to sacrifice my plans and open the petcock on my finances.
I think I’ll strike a happy and successful medium by not worrying too much about the finances in the beginning and letting the two of us find a common ground, meeting each individual’s needs, and helping the relationship grow stronger. Holy shit that sounded cheesy. Well fuck, it’s my blog, go fuck yourself.
So yea, communication is key in a relationship. Which is like saying ‘saving is really important to become financially independent’. It doesn’t mean shit if you don’t know the how and are only stuck on the what.
The how is for me to be able to express to her specifically what is important to me, without being demanding, judgmental or condescending. Not putting my needs above hers yet not ignoring what’s important to me. Apparently you can’t expect your partner to read minds, wtf.
The details count; learning to express it to oneself before being able to express it to another.
The how is also for her to express to me what she would like for me to do differently in order for her to feel better about our finances. This isn’t like painting your living room wall with a thick ass roller brush. It’s more like painting a scene portrait with a tiny, little rigger brush.
I’m curious to see how the details play out. I’m sure I’ll write about it here. It seems exciting doesn’t it?