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Dating a Man Who Is Not Financially Stable: Should You Worry? 

February 8, 2024

Dating is generally associated with fun, spontaneous, happy, and carefree moments. In the early stages of dating things like financial problems, whether or not your potential partner has a good credit score, and how they spend their money aren’t usually top-of-mind. However, sooner or later you’ll learn the importance of financial stability in a relationship.

According to divorce statistics, 41% of divorces are because of a lack of compatibility in the financial arena. 

It might be true that money doesn’t buy happiness, but financial stability definitely helps reduce stress and tension between partners and allows you to focus on other important aspects of your relationship.

Dating a man who is not financially stable comes with several warning signs. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that dating a financially unstable man can affect your life and your future in many ways.

This article discusses 13 signs you’re dating a man who is not financially stable, the risks involved, as well as measures you can take to protect yourself and your future from the effects of being involved with someone who is financially unstable. 

13 Signs You’re Dating a Man Who Is Not Financially Stable

1. He always expects you to pick up the bill

This one is a huge red flag… either your man is financially strapped or he’s stingy. If he expects you to pick up the bill every time you go out, you might want to reassess your situation. 

Call me old-fashioned but it’s still nice to be taken out and spoiled by your partner from time to time. I’m not saying your partner needs to pick up the bill every time, but the occasional treat does make you feel special. If he never offers to pay, it could be a sign that he doesn’t value you enough, doesn’t have any money, or uses you for your money.

2. He always suggests doing free activities

While there are ample, amazing free activities that make for fun, memorable dates with your partner - like taking a hike, walks on the beach or chilling in a park - if your man is only ever suggesting these sorts of outings, it may be a sign that he is struggling financially

The positive side of this scenario is that your partner is still making an effort to see you, regardless of his financial situation.

3. He has bills piling up

he has bills piling up

If your man has heaps of bills piling up, debt collectors ringing his phone, or a stack of credit cards, you can be sure that he’s in financial trouble. 

For some people, poor money management might be a deal-breaker. If you’ve been dating for a while and feel comfortable doing so, start by having an open and honest discussion with your partner about their plan of action moving forward. 

Encourage them to make payment arrangements as and when they can so they can start paying off their debt.

4. He might be very secretive about his finances

If you’ve been dating for a long time and you find your man is still very secretive about his finances, it may be worth investigating further. If he isn’t open and honest about his sources of income, savings, debt, or financial goals, you might want to have an honest conversation with him. 

If financial problems aren’t nipped in the bud, they could lead to serious relationship issues, even divorce, later down the road. According to research, money is one of the most common things partners fight about. It’s also one of the main reasons couples file for divorce.

5. They don’t invite you over to their place

If you’ve been seeing each other for some time and he’s never invited you over to his place, it could be a sign that he’s hiding something from you or is embarrassed about his living situation.

The best thing to do in a situation like this is to ask him why he never wants to hang out at his place. Perhaps it just hasn’t crossed his mind, or, perhaps, he lives in a hole-in-the-wall. Either way, you’ll want to find out sooner rather than later where your partner lives and if his living standards match yours.

6. They display signs of addictive behavior

Unfortunately, addiction often goes hand-in-hand with financial instability. Because addictions like drugs, alcohol, or gambling all cost hefty amounts of money, people with these addictions often lose their fortunes. Addiction also leads to poor work ethic and productivity, resulting in job loss and future unemployment. 

Unfortunately with addicts, funding their addiction will take precedence over other important bills like rent, food, and transport.

Addiction shouldn’t be taken lightly. It can put you, your partner, and your family in a compromised financial position for years/generations to come. If you are worried your partner has an addiction, talking to a professional should be your first port of call! 

7. He’s not interested in committing 

Men will often avoid committing to their partners or entering serious relationships when they’re in financially compromised positions. Commitment in the form of an engagement or marriage costs a lot of money and will take a backseat if your boyfriend has no savings and/or a lot of financial stress. 

If you’re a financially independent woman who has dreams of a fairytale wedding in the near future, dating a broke man might not align with your immediate goals. 

8. He asks to loan money from you regularly

From time to time we might all run into financial issues or cash flow problems, however, if your partner is asking to loan money from you regularly, it’s a sure sign you’re dating a man who is not financially stable.

In this situation, setting financial boundaries is very important for your well-being and for the future of your relationship. Setting these boundaries will also help identify the signs a man is using you for money. 

9. He shies away from discussions around money 

Money matters aren’t always a comfortable topic of conversation - especially in cultures where talking about it is considered poor etiquette - however, for a healthy relationship to develop, there needs to be open communication around financial stability and financial goals. 

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If your partner avoids discussions around money or cringes whenever you bring up the topic, it could be a sign of money issues. 

Discussions around financial responsibility and financial boundaries are important when you begin to get serious with someone as it heavily impacts your future and quality of life. It’s important that there’s a degree of financial compatibility between the two of you and you’re in agreement regarding expenditure, savings, and your financial future. 

If you’re looking for a great guide on how to start talking about money with your partner, this is it.

10. He talks a big talk 

If he talks a big talk but never follows through on his word, it might be due to financial issues. Having big financial dreams and goals is great, as long as he communicates what’s a future goal and what’s a current promise. Without this clarity, his words might be mistaken for lying.

11. He makes poor money decisions

he makes poor money decisions

From shopping addictions to money spent on unnecessary luxuries, if your partner makes poor money decisions on an ongoing basis, it should raise a red flag. 

It’s one thing if your man’s paycheck and lifestyle add up and he’s financially secure enough to blow money on luxuries, but if he works at McDonald’s and spends like he’s Rockefeller, it might indicate money problems now and in the future.

Keep an eye out for bad money habits like:

  • Shopping addictions
  • Buying on credit cards 
  • Impulse purchases 
  • Getting further into debt 

12. Things just don’t add up

POV: he’s a blue-collar worker but lives and spends like a rockstar. This is a red flag that the person you’re seeing might be financially unstable - unless, of course, he inherited a small fortune from a late relative.

If your partner’s job description and spending habits seem to be vastly different, it may be a sign that he’s spending more money than he earns. This is a terrible habit to get into, one that’s sure to lead to financial issues and debt. 

13. He lies to you about finances

Have you caught him lying about how he’s spending money, his financial position, his credit card debt, or other important financial decisions? Lying can cause mistrust in a relationship, even if the lies begin as little ones. 

You are likely to find that he’s lying about finances because he’s embarrassed or feels awkward about his financial position. 

Even though lying is unacceptable, showing some level of empathy towards his position may encourage him to be honest with you going forward. It may also encourage him to seek sound financial advice and work his way back up to financial freedom. 

I’m not saying you need to stay with him or forgive him for the lies. Not at all. However, you can show empathy and understanding despite what you decide to do moving forward.

When Should You Be Concerned About Dating a Man Who Is Not Financially Stable? 

Risk 1: He might be using you for your money

Unfortunately, if you’re financially stable and you’re dating a man who is not, there’s always the risk that he’s using you for your money. Some obvious tell-tale signs that a man is using you for your money are: 

  • He asks to borrow money from you regularly 
  • He asks you to take out loans on his behalf 
  • He has no financial goals, ambition, or drive. You might even be the sole breadwinner in the relationship 
  • He moves in with you and borrows your assets
  • He wants you to fund his ventures

Risk 2: He has no plans to become more financially stable

he has no plans to become more financially stable

If he isn’t working toward financial freedom and has no plan of action to pay off his debts, this is a red flag. Dating someone without any financial goals/ambition could signal that he might remain financially unstable for the perceivable future. 

It’s one thing for someone to find themselves in a tight spot financially - it happens to the best of us. However, if they have no plans to work their way out of the rut, they may have deeper underlying issues to work through.

This is something you should think seriously about as it’s likely to affect your life and your future majorly. 

If you’re concerned about any of the above-mentioned risks, talking to a professional might be helpful. 

5 Things You Can Do to Have a More Financially Sound Relationship

1. Talk about money 

Even though talking about money and financial issues might be awkward and uncomfortable for some, it’s a very important conversation to have. When a relationship begins to get serious, talk to your partner about money matters. 

Discuss things like debt, savings, how and what you’re spending money on, and your financial goals. Also, take into consideration whether or not you’ll have a joint account or separate accounts. 

2. A prenuptial agreement

If you’re dating a man who is not financially stable and you’re considering getting married, you might want to have a prenup agreement drawn up. Such an agreement may help to protect you from any financial issues or debt your partner has accumulated. 

Seeking advice from a lawyer or financial advisor regarding the above would be your best option. 

3. Consider your bank account options

When things begin to get serious with your partner, there’ll likely be talk about how you share your expenses like rent, food, living costs, travel, entertainment, and day-to-day expenditure. Some couples prefer opting for a joint account wherein they deposit their income and withdraw their expenses, while others prefer to run separate accounts. 

My advice is: if you’re dating someone financially unstable who doesn’t make financially responsible decisions, consider having separate bank accounts. If you put all of your money together, you might wake up one day and see your account has run dry… a sure way to cause a good relationship to fall apart.

If you’re not keen on keeping everything separate, you could also consider having a joint account that’s only for shared expenses, while keeping your savings and investment accounts separate.

4. Draw up a budget 

draw up a budget

If you’re a financially responsible, money-savvy person, help your partner out by drawing up a budget. Encourage him to cut out unnecessary expenses, pay towards debt, put some money aside for savings, and stick to a financial plan

Drawing up a budget may help him become more financially stable and may help fix his money problems.

5. Meet with a financial advisor

Unfortunately, many people have never learned how to make wise money decisions and as such, run into issues. Consulting with a professional when it comes to your financial situation will help you to build financial security. 

Financial planners or financial advisors are able to help you setup a plan for savings, investments, and retirement funds. These professionals have received ample training when it comes to everything finance-related and will help you draw up a roadmap to financial freedom/stability of sorts. 

FAQs

Is financial stability important in a relationship? 

Yes, establishing a degree of financial stability is vitally important in a relationship. Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce due to financial stress and pressure. The truth is, a lack of finances can put a lot of added stress on partners.

Apart from love, you need money to put a roof over your head, pay your bills, and provide for children (if you choose to have them).

Establishing financial stability will allow you to focus on other important aspects of your relationship.

Should a man be financially stable before marriage?

It’s ideal for there to be a degree of financial stability, however, it’s not always possible. If you’re not prepared to wait any longer for your partner to achieve financial stability before getting married, make sure you have boundaries and agreements in place in your marriage to protect you from the effects of financial instability.

Can a relationship be strong without money?

Yes, many relationships are strong despite a lack of financial resources. Relationships don’t need money alone to be healthy. They need good communication, empathy, patience, physical attraction, and a host of other contributing factors to stand the test of time.

There are also many examples of relationships that have failed despite wealth and financial stability. Sometimes, money can even bring out the worst in people and be the root cause of a relationship crumbling. 

Conclusion

Although money doesn’t buy happiness, dating a man who is not financially stable comes with risks. These risks can affect your health, happiness, well-being, and the future of your relationship. 

If you and your partner can find a degree of financial compatibility and work your way up to financial stability and freedom, things might work out between the two of you. If, however, you and your partner are on different pages in terms of your financial goals, you might want to reassess your relationship.

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.

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