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Navigating through the world of dating and serious relationships can be like trying to safely maneuver through a field full of landmines. The problem with us women, though, is we have the tendency to walk right into such explosions, even when the bomb is visible from miles away.
Let's focus on one of the biggest bomb threats: money. Women and men have very different spending habits; women are emotional spenders, which can lead to poor impulse-control and retail therapy spending sprees to brighten a bad day. This is a terribly dangerous shopping M.O., as the money doesn't have to be spent exclusively on themselves. Spending, lending, sharing or promising money to a boyfriend or significant other, mistakenly gives women the illusion that by giving their respective men money and gifts, that they are solidifying the relationship and bonding the man to them.
The truth is, your money is just that: yours! Ladies, you don't hold down a job and monitor your credit score for nothin'. If you want to keep that credit score nice and high, you have to protect yourself from making poor decisions like co-signing for a credit card with someone incapable of qualifying on their own (boyfriend, sibling or good friend—this one is non-boyfriend-exclusive).
Don't buy your partner a cell phone, car, TV, car stereo system—anything that puts a huge dent in your bank account in the hopes that he'll fall for you harder for your generosity. If the only way he can appreciate your relationship is by looking at the spending total on a receipt, you should strongly reconsider your commitment.
Propping up a man financially, or somehow improving his life as a result of lavish gifts will not (I REPEAT: NOT) make him a better person and will not strengthen your relationship. Also beware of men who talk a great game, but don't have anything to back them up. Loaning wannabe entrepreneur money to kick start his dream business will most likely blow up in your face, because the truth is, if a bank won't approve him for the loan, neither should you!
Lastly, when you and your partner start getting more serious and marriage is not such a distant thought; make sure you have your bases covered. You and your partner should share financial information, including credit scores, savings approximations and a list of all assets, in addition to debt, its source and quantity, and how you're working on lowering it. If he absolutely refuses to talk with you about
2. His job
3. His major expenses, then run for your fiscal life!
These are not optional conversations; he should have nothing to hide if you two are really destined to be.
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