Money: It might be one of the most complex, man-made, things that exists. Having money can cause happiness, while lack of it can cause incredible misery. If you're anything like me, sometimes your money just disappears. Before you even had the chance to call your friend and say, “I got paid, let's go out," it's gone.
Everyone knows how hard it can be to not have money. Apparently, it can also suck having too much of it (or so I've heard). Whatever your circumstances, however, talking about it can be rough. Whether there is too little or too much, money is always an awkward subject.
“How much do you earn?” Don't go there. “How much do you owe her?” Not cool. “Why do you never pay?” Trouble in best friend paradise. It doesn't matter whether you're the one posing the question or on the receiving end of it. It's awkward.
Now, paying for dinner or a movie ticket for your partner or friend should not be a problem. If you know them well enough, then a small amount can always be returned to you and no fuss should come of it. Some people find the perfect balance where they just take turns paying, knowing full and well the small differences balance each other out in the long run.
But actually giving someone a larger sum of money and expecting it back, takes things to a whole other level. A level where perfectly good friendships and relationships are ruined. A level where you start dodging phone calls or cancel on parties because he/she will be there.
Loaning money to anyone is a tricky business, but loaning money to your partner is an absolute no-go. Unfortunately, I know this from experience. Let me tell you what happens:
1. You want to help.
You love your partner and he/she needs some money. Whether it is to pay a bond, a built up mortgage debt or an unexpected broken dishwasher, they need it and you have it. Now, if you're in a healthy relationship you probably trust your SO with your life. Therefore, when it comes up and the question is asked, you feel weird saying no. Why wouldn't you help the person you love? And so you do.
2. First sign of trouble.
Your lover comes home with a new pair of shoes. And at first, it won't bother you. If your partner is happy, then you're happy. But for some reason, after a while, it will start to annoy you. You will catch yourself thinking, "If he was so tight for money, how come he can afford that?” Imagine how you feel when that same person tells you he booked a holiday with his friends.
3. It will come between you.
If you're not dating an absolute moron, your SO will know that this money thing is turning into a problem. And knowing you owe someone money can create quite the tension. The subject will come up at the least convenient moments, and it leads to an incredibly awful atmosphere.
4. Massive imbalance.
Owing someone money also creates a major imbalance in your relationship. You should not owe your partner anything, neither mentally, sexually nor financially. Because when you owe someone, it can feel like a huge weight on your shoulders whenever you are with that person.
5. Your money problems enter the bedroom.
The imbalance is noticeable throughout your general lives, which is tough enough as it is. But the real trouble starts when it reveals itself in the bedroom. You will find that one of the two won't want to have sex as much. The psychological weight of the imbalance pushes through, and your sex life will inevitably take a hit.
If you're really unlucky, the stress of it all might cause your partner to not get sexually aroused at all anymore. Still thinking of loaning your partner money? It can get even worse.,
6. You break up.
For whatever reason, your significant other turned out to not be that significant after all. It happens to the best of us, and usually you deal with it and move on. Except now, because of that loan, you're stuck with that person. You're going to have to stay in touch to sort the situation out.
And because you're no longer wearing those rose-colored glasses, you become less tolerant. Someone's inner business-person is bound to come out and there is no faster way to ruin every fond memory you ever had of each other.
7. Your breakup isn't amicable.
Worst case scenario: You not only broke up with your partner, but you also decided you never want to speak to them again. Unfortunately, you are now in a situation where you might have to hunt them down for repayment. Or maybe your once loving partner turns out to have a mean streak and no longer intends to pay off this debt.
Can't imagine your partner ever doing that to you? That's great. But just to be safe, don't ever test your theory. I am not saying it will always end up a disaster, but it sure as hell can.
I try not to tell people what to do for the simple reason that I'm going through life guessing what's smart and what isn't. But when it comes to this specific subject, I know stuff. And I am telling you, don't do it.