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    Lesbian Dating: How to Talk About Money

    By Dr. Frankie Bashan–

    I’m lucky to meet and work with many inspiring, career-driven women. One thing that often comes up as an issue in relationships is money. In an ideal world, money shouldn’t weigh on the connection you’re nurturing with your partner. Yet, even though we allow ourselves to be emotionally and physically intimate with our partner, it’s sometimes hard to be financially intimate. As you continue to date your partner, here are a few ways to incorporate healthy conversations about money in each phase of your relationship.

    Test the Waters

    I’m not necessarily advocating disclosing your net worth on the first date, but there are ways to casually talk about money with your date, aside from who pays. For instance, looking at a beautiful home while on a walk together is an opportunity to talk about saving for a house or dreams about living in a different city in the future. This is a simple way to find out if she too shares your aspiration. Similarly, planning a vacation together is a snapshot of how your partner budgets (or doesn’t). Asking your partner to help you weigh the pros and cons of switching to a new credit card or adding a new line of credit is another way to gauge their spending habits and values around money.

    Come from a Place of Compassion

    As your relationship becomes more serious and you’re making more financial decisions together, it’s important to remember that people come from all sorts of financial backgrounds. As such, money might be a highly emotional subject. For instance, a person with the higher income might feel entitled to dictate financial decisions (“It’s my money; I’m paying for it”), but their partner with the lower income might become resentful if they feel like they don’t have a say in decisions, or are frustrated that they cannot achieve the same income level as their partner. Similarly, someone with a lower income cannot afford to live a lifestyle their partner is used to living, and this can be a cause of tension.

    In such times, it’s important for women to have compassion for their partner. The key to conversations about how one spends her money is establishing a rule up front that no one’s way of handling finances is the only way to handle them. This lays the foundation for productive conversations as you each find common ground. There should be some recognition of underlying insecurities and fears tied to money. Even if you have the same income as your partner, recognize the value of “spender” types and “saver” types. If a partner is deeply in credit card debt, it’s an opportunity to discuss how they got into so much debt and how they’re fixing it. If they don’t have retirement funds, it’s an opportunity to talk about finances in old age. Even though it can be embarrassing, remember that your partner’s finances will ultimately affect your own and vice versa. If both of you want to make a serious commitment, it’s important to go into it with a financial plan.

    Be Honest About Your Feelings

    Big financial decisions, such as marriage or making a down payment on a home, are the moments we get triggered and when our real response to money emerges. Does your heart start to beat when you consider a mortgage? Do you feel scared or excited? Does the idea of a loan bring you a sense of relief or obligation? Defining your feelings in the moment is the first step toward being honest with your partner and is the place that you both can begin to unpack your financial beliefs. This honesty moment is the sweet spot. Stopping, unpacking your response and then working it out with each other allow you both to really begin making short-term and long-term financial goals as a couple.

    Even if you learn discouraging financial details about your partner, the only definite financial deal breaker is whether your partner completely refuses to discuss money and shows no true desire to improve bad financial habits. At the end of the day, your relationship and commitment to each other are what matter most. The earlier you can become comfortable talking about money and having compassion for each other about money, the stronger your relationship will be.

    Dr. Frankie Bashan is a psychologist, matchmaker and relationship guru who has been using her psychology background combined with technology and personalized algorithms to successfully match lesbian couples nationwide. As the founder of Little Gay Book, the only exclusively lesbian/bi matchmaking agency in the U.S., she helps women in every state to find authentic, healthy, righteous, full-blown love and she knows what makes relationships tick. For more info: https://www.littlegaybook.com/