The pressure of being in a financially unequal relationship

Being skint is never fun but can be even worse when you are in a relationship with somebody who has a steadier income than yourself. This can make for some seriously awkward situations come Valentines day or when making exciting weekend away plans. Gone are the days when us girls expected to always have our dinner dates paid for. Now we want to be able to foot our side or the bill, should we choose to, and the inability to do so can feel extremely disempowering. If you aren’t careful then this can lead to feelings of guilt and discomfort that can be left to simmer over a long period of time. This can put significant pressure on even the healthiest of relationships. Moreover, the imbalance of power that unequal incomes can create can affect the role in which each person plays within the relationship.

Chatting about money isn’t exactly the most romantic of pillow talk but it is also a vital part of maintaining good, positive communications and can help to stem the buildup of resentment and negative feelings. Regularly set aside a time when you can both have a frank and open discussion about money, where you can both put forward your financial concerns in a mutually understanding environment.  If you live together, then make sure to set up a weekly living budget that you are both comfortable with. If upmarket supermarket products are a little out of your personal price range, then mention this and see if you can both come to a weekly shop agreement.  If you are still in the dreamy eyed dating stages then pick fun places to hang out that don’t pinch at the purse strings. Frugality doesn’t necessarily have to mean staying at home in front of the telly and can give you the chance to be creative. Swap a pricey cinema outing for an evening film club. Try a romantic walk in the country and a picnic rather than your usual Saturday afternoon splurge at the Trafford Centre.    

Most of all remember to not let issues of money get in the way of a happy relationship. Love is so much more important that your bank balance.             

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