To some, bringing up the topic of debts conjures feelings of shame, denial, and a sense of intrusion into one’s personal space or even resentment. To others it may be a neutral topic. One that is well received without reservation or apprehension. Why do we respond differently to the same question? I have no idea. I am not a psychologists, but the stark difference in how topics surrounding money are dealt with in relationships, especially debt, has to make you wonder. What are we really afraid off?
So maybe the question is not that simple. Maybe this is an impregnated question. Would you date someone with debt? What type of debt is acceptable and what type of debt is not? How much debt is too much debt?
Is student loan debt and mortgage debt acceptable, but not credit card or line of credit debt? What if the person is house poor, or creeping up to six figures in student loan debt? Is someone that has a large credit card balance seen differently than someone that owes a whack load in student loans? Is this a good debt versus bad debt conversation, and if so, at what point does the distinction not make a difference.
I think the response to these questions are as unique as the people that ask and answer them. Let me share with you my perspective.
For those of you that read the About page of my blog, you know that I have not always been the smartest person with money. I will be the first to admit, but I have also learned a lot as well. Every relationship starts differently, and this may also impact how you view each others finances. For example, both my husband and I met while we were in university so we were both broke students, accumulating debt while trying to increase our future incomes through education. We both graduated with a substantial amount of student loan debt ($64,000 and $46, 0000 respectively). We both had to accept our accomplishments and our shortfalls in the way we manage our money up to this point.
So would I date someone with debt? Yes, I would. I have. I got married when I was deeply in debt and it has made no major difference in our relationship and the way we treat each other. Here’s why:
- We have no problem talking about our finances openly to each other. Even as broke college students living separately while dating each other, we were an open book about our money situation. This behaviour has continued even till today. We have been together 9 years.
- When we decided to get rid of the $120,000 debt in 2.5 years it was a collective agreement and effort. When we got married, so did our money. I know everyone has differing views on this, but this is what worked for us. I no longer had $64,000 in student debt, but now inherited $120,000 of student debt, and vice versa.
- We both had a common goal. Which was getting out of student loan debt as quickly as possible. Without this common goal, not even the best of intentions could have made it happen.
- Money is not the end all and be all of our relationship. Do we have disagreements about money, yes, but does it control our lives, no. For the major topics that surround money we are generally on the same page, but managing money well especially as a couple is not something that needs to be rushed. We are taking our time and learning along the way.
So, I ask, would you date someone with debt? What type of debt is acceptable and what type of debt is not? How much debt is too much debt?
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