Valentine’s Day has passed. Hopefully, you made it through the stress of picking that “perfect gift” that touched your partner’s heart. Or maybe you missed the mark. I understand, choosing that gift can be challenging. Either way, I have a suggestion. Take the opportunity to have a re-do.
The entire month of February (or any month for that matter) can be a time to celebrate the romantic connections we have with our partners. You can carry on this celebration of love by giving each other gifts that cost little but will have an ongoing positive impact on your relationship. These three gifts are emotional closeness, physical health, and financial wellbeing. I would like to share with you what these gifts are, what you can do to add them to your relationships, and how they keep on giving back to you and your partner.
How Using Money Dates Can Improve Your Emotional Closeness
Many of my clients struggle to be on the same page when it comes to their finances, that is why they come to see me, a Financial Therapist. So my suggestion of building emotional closeness around your financial life may create some anxiety for you. Just hold on though, I will explain how this will benefit you.
My advice is to schedule a money date. You may be in a place where you can hardly have a conversation about money without arguing, so why would you schedule a date to have a disagreement? The reason is, when you take the time to talk about money, to not just hear but to listen to your partner, be vulnerable about your feelings, you will find a deeper sense of intimacy and create a mutual sense of financial empathy.
When you can put your emotions and feelings aside and hear your partner’s perspective, you will create financial empathy. That empathy will deepen your relationship and your understanding of your partner. Making this date a time to check-in will keep you from avoiding those difficult conversations. Then as time goes on, your money conversations will evoke less dread and will become more comfortable. You won’t even need to schedule time to have them, you’ll just have them when they’re needed.
How Your Physical Health Improves Your Relationship
By taking the time to improve your physical health, you will in turn improve your emotional and relational health. Being physically healthy is not something you can buy, but it is something you can work towards. Studies have shown that when you are physically healthier and without physical ailments, such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, couples have higher levels of marital satisfaction. By being healthy, the focus you might otherwise put on the physical health concerns can instead be directed to your relationship with your partner.
How to Identify Your Path to Shared Financial Wellbeing
I have discussed Financial Wellbeing, before in previous posts. When we talk about money, and the need for more, the conversations usually go to finding ways to make more money and/or spend less, but with financial wellness, it shifts to being a more balanced discussion about your financial life and that of your partner. It is more about your needs and desires for the immediate and long-term future. There is a test from The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that will give you a good idea of where you are on your path to financial wellbeing. The test was created after vast amounts of research and will be a good starting point for you and your partner as you define what your financial path should be.
It's Time to Nurture Your Relationship by Implementing These Three Gifts
There you have it. A set of three non-material gifts that will impact your relationship in far greater ways than any material gift could. I hope you can see that with an effort by both partners, and continuing to give these gifts to one another, your relationship will deepen and grow. The emotional closeness formed by your vulnerability and empathy will continue to build as you work towards your shared desire for financial wellness. The physical health you achieve will benefit you both as you are healthier and worry less about potential illness, so you can look forward to those dreams for the future with renewed excitement.
If you would like to read more about the topic of love and money, read my recent LinkedIn article, Love and Money Are In The Air: It’s Valentine’s Day.
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