Top financial red flags when dating someone new

Relationships are delightful most of the time but sometimes, can disappoint. Therefore, making sure that you are compatible emotionally, mentally, physically, and even financially can be tricky.

As psychotherapist and author Tina B Tessina, Ph D, (aka Dr Romance) says, “Money is one of the biggest generators of problems, arguments, and resentment in long-term relationships.”

Therefore, it’s good to be aware of the top financial red flags in relationships and steer clear from partners who exhibit shady behaviour.

Financial red flag No 1: Secretive about money matters

While women don’t expect a guy to show them their bank statements on the first date, it is true that men who are financially smart and secure are quite open in matters concerning their finances in general.

This includes their income, spending and saving habits, as well as their dreams and goals for the future.

Watch out though for any furtiveness or secretiveness when it comes to money.

For example, if he suddenly makes a major purchase such as a new property, and is vague about how he did it, this could be a sign that he is not being completely open with you.

If you find receipts for items he bought that he can’t seem to account for, be wary. So too if you feel like he’s hiding debts, a loan, or a new investment from you.

This can be one of the biggest sources of distrust in a relationship. And once trust is broken, serious trouble, and heartache, often follow.

Financial red flag No 2: No solid handle on finances

This means they are financially irresponsible. This includes living constantly in debt – using their credit card for all expenses and only paying the minimum instead of paying in full.

If they use their credit cards often but pay for everything in full, that’s a different story.

Watch out if your partner is always borrowing money from their parents, relatives, friends or even you. That’s a glaring red flag right there.

Another sign of financial irresponsibility is that they can’t seem to stick to a budget. Or rather, refuse to. They may occasionally feel regretful, set a new budget and try to live within the budget for a period of time, but slip back to their old ways eventually.

They also don’t have any savings.

While this topic won’t come up in the first few dates, you and your partner will eventually start discussing what you want in life, as well as how to achieve it. You’ll soon find out whether his dreams are castles in the air, or if he actually has enough money to finance the future he dreams of.

Financial Red Flag No 3: Dictates how you should spend your money

Women are often taught to be pleasant and kind, and especially when they’re used to following authoritative figures, it can feel easy being the more pliable one in their relationships. Women tend to be the ones to relinquish a little bit of control.

And yes, as the saying goes, a two-headed creature is a monster. In any healthy relationship, partners take turns leading and following. One should not have control over the other or take dominance in every area. Depending on each one’s strengths and skills, each partner gets to lead.

Therefore, when your partner begins to exercise control over your money, get out immediately.

Especially if you’re not even married, and he begins to directly or indirectly tell you what to do with your savings, budget, debt, or any other aspect of your finances, then acts strangely if you refuse.

Eventually it’ll stop being about the money and become indicative of a deeper issue of control.

Relationship psychologist and dating expert Zoe Coetzee says, “Your partner should never use money as a means of power. Controlling your access to finances or information about your joint finances is a danger sign in a relationship.”

Financial Red Flag No 4: Switching jobs or getting fired frequently

While, millennials are said to buck against the norm of traditional career paths, a guy who can’t seem to stick to one job for more than six months may not be the best relationship choice.

If you’re sceptical about the guy you’re seeing because he seems to switch jobs frequently, ask him why.

Some job losses are legitimate – the company he worked for may have been laying off people or maybe the management at the office changed and others were brought in.

If he is full of excuses, this is not a good sign. If he says he’s in-between jobs but hasn’t actually been employed for two years or so, it may be a good time to gracefully bow out, before you get any further into the relationship.

Don’t ever feel you have to settle for anyone who hasn’t got their act together when it comes to money.

This article first appeared in

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