What To Do When All Your Partner Cares About Is Money

Unfortunately, money is one of the most important things in the world. Without money, we can’t pay our bills. If we can’t pay our bills, we might not have a place to live. But, money isn’t everything, and it can actually ruin a relationship. It can get even worse if your partner tries hard to promote a rich lifestyle when they’re just working a standard office job. So, what do you do when money seems to be the key focus in literally every conversation you have?

  1. Have a firm grasp on your checking account. If you’re not married, you shouldn’t be sharing finances. So, make sure not to let your partner tell you otherwise. Yes, it’s okay to lend your partner money on occasion, but if it becomes a habit — and you never get paid back — don’t expect things to change in the future. It’s one thing to overspend your own money, but another to take advantage of your partner and do damage to their accounts as well.
  2. Set up some future financial goals. Maybe there’s a goal your partner wants to reach but doesn’t know how. If you have money sense, maybe it’s time to take matters into your own hand. The more you talk about money with your partner, the less awkward it’ll feel. If your partner happens to clam up or get angry or defensive during what should have been a casual talk, take that as a red flag that something might be amiss.
  3. Figure out if there’s an underlying reason behind it. Did your partner grow up without a lot of money? Did they not know whether or not there’d be food on the table each day? It’s important to sit back and remember that different upbringings can cause trauma later on. Not everyone is well off growing up, so it makes sense as to why they’re money-hungry now that they have more control over the situation. If they’re willing, a counselor or therapist would love to help sort these issues out for them so that they can gain a healthier perspective.
  4. Make sure they’re not using money as a method of control. Is there anything more embarrassing than your partner telling you not to order something on date night since it’s “too expensive”? It’s almost as embarrassing as having your date go overboard with fancy dishes to look successful when you know they’re still working off paying debt at home. If you almost avoid going out to eat with your partner, that’s a huge sign that this relationship is doomed.
  5. See if they have any related traits. It’s one thing to be money-focused but generally well-rounded and mature. It’s another to be money-focused and greedy. If this individual literally puts money before all else, it doesn’t seem like a well-balanced relationship. Do they normally ask how your day has been? Or, do they only ask you about work when your paycheck arrives?
  6. Glance at what their parents are like. Sometimes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. If their parents also seem obsessed with money, your partner probably learned by example. If you get along with their parents and they seem to have the issue under control, it’s possible your partner will be the same. They aren’t a clone of their parents,. But, oftentimes, getting at the root of an issue can help you understand it better.
  7. Figure out of you can be compatible with them. Thinking about money is important, but there comes a time when it can be debilitating. If your significant other starts to forbid you to go out due to the cost of gas or deems your hobbies “too expensive” despite not paying for it themselves, it’s very likely that this infatuation can slowly suck the fun out of your life. Money is great, but it’s important to use it for things that enrich your life. It is okay to break up over this if you keep feeling like every purchase or financial decision is being judged.
  8. Remind them that salary doesn’t equal success. It can be a pain if your partner laments about their job since they don’t make a lot of money. It’s a legitimate worry to have. But, it’s your job to remind them that money isn’t everything if they’re genuinely happy with the work they’re doing on a day-to-day basis. If the money issue is significant and they’re not getting the promotion or raises they deserve, you can help by gently helping them look for other jobs that’ll offer a similar emotional payoff.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.