Does money matter when it comes to love?

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 09.36.29My friend wants to set me up with his friend. This friend (the one I’m to be set up with) is 37, an artist and musician and works in a coffee shop. It is really really awful that my first thought is that I can’t face going out with a broke Peter Pan? Is that very judgemental, superficial and money-grabbing of me?

My last boyfriend was also an aspiring musician. He was talented and we got on so well in many ways – we could talk for hours, had the same sense of humour and similar morals – but the money thing became a real issue. I hated the fact that I ended up paying for a lot and that he seemed happy to let me.

I hated that I could see no future that didn’t involve sharing a tiny one bedroom flat and lurching from month to month. I took his lack of interest in earning money as a sign that he lacked ambition – which wasn’t the case at all, his ambition just didn’t involve money. He was happy living a very frugal, hand to mouth existence – but it turns out I wasn’t.

I want, one day, to have a car and house. I want to be able to eat out and book flights. It’s not that I want a man to pay for those things – but I want a man who is, at least, an equal contributor. My expectations, when it came down to it, were different to his. But I felt bad about that – I felt bad how money and the material stuff does matter.

I’d like to pretend that it doesn’t – but I think it does.

What do you think? DOES MONEY MATTER?

7 thoughts on “Does money matter when it comes to love?

  1. Sue Ingram

    YES! But let me clarify – it is not the money per say – it is your values. You value a house, being able to travel and an equal partnership with regards to paying for these things, your old boyfriend did not. It is crucial that you share the same values. A friend of mine split with her friend of 30 years, who was now her husband of 7, because of values. She valued home and family he valued no ties and adventure sailing and travelling. And the issues showed for them up over money and how to spend it. She wrote an article in the Daily Mail in January if you want to read more about it. I would say meet this guy. If he is happy living hand to mouth then No. If he is frustrated living hand to mouth and has a plan A, B ,C to change that then worth exploring.

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  2. Nina

    I think that’s a really hard one. I was in a 5 year relationship with a high earner who was a penny pincher. With him I split every bill and constantly felt bad about spending my money because he was a big saver. When he took me to nice places for dinner (on his suggestion) and I expressed concern about the large prices, he would make me feel so bad about the fact that I had assumed he would pay I would spend the evening in tears.

    Similarly, when I got a new job with a big pay rise, he was not happy about it at all. He told me he did not think I’d be able to do the job. It was always about control with him.

    Now, I’m with someone who is not a high earner, and who did not have a job for some time, I supported him. It was hard and quite stressful, but some of that was because of the way other people perceived the situation too. The importance I place on money has changed too and I think that is because of him and his influence, he’s always on the look out for a bargain.

    I’m not the person I was 5 years ago. I don’t really want the latest designer handbag. I don’t care if I love a top from H&M over one from Rag & Bone. I want to be happy. I want to spend time with the people I care about. I want to have a job that pays for a good life but is not my life. I want a home I can afford and to be able to take a holiday every now and again. But I’d rather watch the pennies with someone who is happy to eat cheese and bread with a glass of rough red wine in a freezing cold farm house in France (this is how I spend Christmas!!) who makes me laugh and loves me even when I can’t be bothered to put on make up for days on end, than live it up with someone who makes me choke on a steak at Gaucho while trying not to cry about who is going to pay the bill.

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  3. Rain

    I don’t believe that money matters when it comes to falling in love but then, I am a romantic. When it comes to long term intimate relationships however, then what matters is that you love each other AND share the same or very similar core values, at least in my experience( married for 30 years , still broke and madly in love).

    I think the crux with you is that you have answered your own question in that, money does matter and that’s OK. It’s your choice. You want an equal contributor. It’s important to you.

    I think it’s important though to remember that this man your friend is trying to hook you up with is not your past boyfriend. His motivations, ambitions and values are very different. I’d give him a chance and listen to your heart. Good Luck.

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  4. JohnC

    Marianne,

    Very difficult to answer, if the difference in income is large there’ll always be the niggle in the background that you’re paying for this, that & the other & he hasn’t contributed anything this month, but then again, if you love him you might work your way round it.

    Personally I’d go for it & the best of luck for the future

    JC

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  5. lonestarsky

    Agree with Sue, its more the values that matter, My boyfriend earns less than me but as we want similar things in life (house, car, nice holidays/trips away etc) he saves money and puts it towards the things we want to do together. Very rarely do I ever pay more than half for anything even though I earn more. I’d definitely say meet the guy and just look on it as nothing serious until you’ve sussed out what he wants from life.

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  6. Arthur

    Let’s turn this around.

    Do you grab any reason to bolt from love before it’s even happened?

    I understand the unease about income inequality in a relationship, but Sue, Nina and Rain have offered some briliant perspective.

    Money can be a subject of control and “You don’t love me!” discussions, but if managed together (budget, shared relationship account with equal contributions and separate job income accounts for each) doesn’t have to be explosive and can be decent. It is, pardon the comparison, like sex: you have to talk about it openly, preferably early on. If you can’t do that, it will be one more minefield to navigate.

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