Speed Dating with Money

Get ready.  Two minutes is all we get with each person.  At the sound of this bell, prepare to begin. Hopefully each lucky applicant will reveal a few characteristics or traits that sound appealing, as well as a few that sound not so appealing!  Be sure to think critically, read over their profiles carefully, and enjoy; because when else do we get to go on 7 dates in one day!
Ding!

Date #1

  • Dream Date?
    • I prefer going on a picnic or a quieter restaurant for the first date.  I wouldn’t want to invest too much into getting to know a person, until I know that they are a good match.
  • What are the most important qualities you look for in a person?
    • Resourcefulness
    • Someone who enjoys the simpler things in life
    • Someone who is content with things as they are now.  I’ve grown up and lived in the same town most of my life.  Leaving this lifestyle or getting a promotion doesn’t feel that important to me.
  • What would you take with you to a deserted island?
    • I’d probably take my coupon book with me so that I could catch up on couponing.  Collecting and having coupons has really helped me to spend less money on basic needs and to be able to pay off my home faster.
  • If you had to be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?
    • I’d love to be someone who is super handy for the day.  I could do so many little home projects that I’ve been putting off without having to spend a lot of money on them.
  • What’s your ideal weekend?
    • A weekend together gardening sounds nice.  I’ve been gardening for a while because the produce saves so much money on groceries.  Getting everything ready and planted for the summer makes me feel so happy
  • What song best describes you?

Who Was That:  You just met an individual who is extremely frugal and focuses only on saving every penny.  They use their money to meet their need for security, kind of like a mouse saving up for winter.  Above all else they are afraid of being without money again.

Date #2

  • Dream Date?
    • I’ll rent a helicopter, pick you up, we’ll fly around the city, go shopping so that we can feel nice in our fancy new clothes, eat at the best restaurant in town, and split a bottle of expensive wine.
  • What are the most important qualities you look for in a person?
    • I look for someone who enjoys a fast-paced life and who can keep up with me. For instance, traveling to Vegas one night and then maybe to Italy the next weekend is pretty common for me.  Someone who enjoys new experiences and who also has a go, go, go mindset is a big plus for me.
  • What would you take with you to a deserted island?
    • I’d take my satellite watch with me to a deserted island.  I’m a bit addicted to my gadgets. It’s hard for me to admit, but missing work would be a big challenge for me.  I’m a little worried that my career would suffer, if I was lost for too long. At least with my satellite watch, I can still see what’s going on in the world, and hopefully wouldn’t fall too far behind society.
  • If you had to be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?
    • I’m thinking that it would be cool to be Warren Buffett for a day. He’s basically synonymous with wealth and investing.  I’d be pretty intrigued to see what it would feel like to have that much money. I wonder if he’s happier than I am. He does seem to live pretty simply though for someone with that much money.
  • What’s your biggest fear?
    • I’m getting a little scared just thinking about it, but getting demoted at work would probably break my heart.  It’s really hard to watch others around me do better than me. If I was capped off financially or even making less money than I am now, I don’t know how I would handle it.
  • What song best describes you?

Who Was That:  This individual only focuses only on material possessions and Type 1 Happiness, or short-lived pleasures.  They believe that more money and possessions are the key to life.  They constantly want more in order to feel good, and they struggle to enjoy what they already have.  They are stuck on the hedonic treadmill (chasing after more, the carrot on a stick), and can’t wait for the newest gadgets and fastest cars to come out.

Date #3

  • Dream Date?
    • What if we just went somewhere peaceful, maybe like the beach or a beautiful stream, and stared into each other’s eyes?  From there we could connect over interesting things we’ve been thinking recently, or just play and have fun together. I find questions that truly enable me to know someone on a heart level as important, such as “Tell me about what love means to you.”
  • What are the most important qualities you look for in a person?
    • Someone who loves what they do and is happy.  I find gratitude is hugely important too, and also someone that can enjoy the little things feels super meaningful to me.  Compassion is also a trait that I really look for in a person, as well as someone who can find bliss, even in their own company.
  • What would you take with you to a deserted island?
    • I’d take, maybe my guitar, a couple good books, my dog, or my yoga mat.  As long as I have myself, I’ll be happy. The opportunity though to grow or enjoy some form of simplicity feels special.
  • If you had to be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?
    • I’m thinking I’d want to spend a day as Oprah.  I don’t think I’d ever want to be like her long term or have the same ambitions.  However, a day understanding why she desires to make such a big impact, feels like it could be enlightening.  I’d also enjoy spending a day as the Dalia Lama. I’m intrigued what it would be like to spend an hour meditating with his mind.
  • What’s your ideal weekend?
    • I genuinely find quiet moments of reflection as holding a ton of value.  Going on a nice hike to the top of a mountain or a quiet stream and relaxing and maybe journaling there would be incredible.  If we could find some naturally growing fruit too along our hike, I’d be thrilled.
  • What song best describes you?

Who Was That:  This individual is someone who lives completely outside the realm of desire for money.  They’ve had jobs such as a nonprofit worker or teacher. They’re content with little, enjoy the moments with others, and not interested in fame or achievement.  They desire to make a difference, spread love, and be present in the moments with people. To them Love and Service are important pieces of life.

Date #4

  • Dream Date?
    • Let’s go somewhere authentic, with personality and charisma, where we can connect.  I’m more about the experience than the fanciness or style of the place.
  • What are the most important qualities you look for in a person?
    • Someone who has their own passions and hobbies is really important to me.  I’m also interested in someone who knows what they want out of life, doesn’t need the finer things, and enjoys and really cherishes picking a few nice things and savoring them.
  • What would you take with you to a deserted island?
    • Honestly being on a deserted island in and of itself sounds amazing.  Maybe we could stay up late and look at the stars, and meet random sea creatures, and make an adventure out of every day.
  • If you had to be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?
    • Actually I really like being me.  I’m not sure that I’d want to be someone else.  I’m thinking if I had to though, I’d be a zookeeper.  It seems so fascinating to wake up and enter a self contained world full of passion and surprise.  It might not be glamorous cleaning up bear poop, but at least I’d spend a day with and doing the things that are meaningful to those animals.
  • What’s your ideal weekend?
    • My perfect weekend would be going to a nice cafe, a beautiful hike, maybe splurge on a fancy dessert, a concert, and a book.  Those things can all fit into two days…right?
  • If you could go back and visit any time period, what would it be?
    • I’d hop in my time machine and go back to this weekend. I was having such a good time with friends.  We only grilled out, but we got completely lost in conversation. It was a little sad when everyone had to go home.

Who Was That:  This person has a clear definition of “enough” and continues to work until they make enough to meet all of the needs for both them and the people they care about.  They are ambitious, loving, and balanced. Their life is based on the philosophy, “Everything in moderation, even moderation.” They live a meaningful and happy life.

Date #5

  • Dream Date?
    • I’d want to get to know you first and then pick out something that would be meaningful to both of us.  If I was just choosing off of my own interests though, I’d have you meet the team of people that I work with.  We do a lot of volunteering and helping nonprofits. You connecting with them and having similar values is something that would be important with anyone that I date.
  • What is your best memory from growing up?
    • This one day at school a kid in our class’s house burnt down.  I felt really bad for her, and so I went and talked to the teacher to see if there was anything that we could do.  We met with the principal, put together a school fundraiser, and were able to at least buy her all new school supplies and clothes.  It was a small thing, but the look on her face afterwards is something I will never forget.
  • What would you take with you to a deserted island?
    • If I was going to a deserted island, I’d take a stack of papers and pens.  I’d love to have a year or two to write letters to loved ones. Sending letters has somewhat become a lost art, and it’s an easy way to show others that I care.
  • If you had to be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?
    • I’d love to be the president, or the Dalai Lama, or the Pope.  Really I’d enjoy any position where I could make an impact in an even bigger way and maybe do something to pass love on to others.
  • What’s your ideal weekend?
    • Honestly, I’m just trying to write a book about my life.  It’s one way that I can use my story to help others. I’ve been consistently making progress on the book, but two whole days of non-stop writing would help a ton.
  • What is your dream car?
    • I care more about having a chauffeur than what car I drive.  That extra hour or so each day would be incredibly helpful as far as making sure that I can accomplish more of the side projects that I’m working on.  I also like to be prepared going into any meeting, to make sure that I’ve researched as much about the values of the organization as possible.

Who Was That: This person is only focused on adding value, solving problems, and making the world a better place.  They have limitless ambition and are continually searching for bigger and bigger ways to give back. They’ve made millions, but without really attempting to do so. Service is the most important cornerstone of meaning in their life!

Date #6

  • Dream Date?
    • I’d take you to my office, I work on the 85th floor.  I know it’s atypical, but my office has a lot of value to me.  I was promoted in just four and a half years. We’ll order take-out, oversee the whole city, and talk about our ambitions.
  • What are the most important qualities you look for in a person?
    • I want a partner who also has goals, wants to support me, and who hopefully wants to raise kids (more than I do).  I want someone who’s willing to help me so that I can spend as much time as possible focusing on work. This sounds bad to say too, but if they come from a wealthy family, that’s a plus.  I go to a number of fancy events for work, and them reflecting me well in that type of environment is important to me growing within the company.
  • What would you take with you to a deserted island?
    • My laptop and a satellite phone.  I get to work remotely, sweet! That’s something only the top level people get to do in our company.  No big deal. Also, think about how impressive my selfies would be, taking pics on the beach while making money.
  • If you had to be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?
    • If I had to be someone, I’d be the president.  Can you imagine being one of the most powerful people on Earth? Think of how much status I’d get.  Also, then I’d name a day after me that people would celebrate by going out and trying to accomplish some of the things that I have.  Instead of a day off, it would be a day where everyone is expected to work an extra few hours.
  • What’s your ideal weekend?
    • If I can cram in 20 hours of work this weekend, think of how much farther ahead of everyone else in my company I’ll be. I bet the boss will even notice that!  When people are talking about what they did over the weekend, and I brag about sleeping here, everyone will realize how important I am to the company.
  • What is the most important trait that you look for in a friend?
    • That they are green, named Benjamin Franklin, and don’t get attached easily because I’m either going to put them in my bank account or spend them on having Justin Bieber perform at my birthday.  I don’t even like J Biebs, but he’s expensive right? And not many people get to have him at their birthday party? I wonder how exclusive I can make this guest list for my birthday? Just by having him there, I bet I’d get to be in a magazine or that my coworkers would start looking at me completely different.

Who Was That: This person is someone who uses their money for status, continually climbing the corporate ladder, and seeking external validation.  They are happiest when using money to receive recognition, self worth, and validation.

Date #7

  • Dream Date?
    • I think that any date where we are able to talk about our views on money right off the bat sounds ideal.  I mean I couldn’t date someone that didn’t have the same views towards budgeting and achieving financial independence.  Also, not McDonald’s, but a restaurant that has a lot of bang for its buck as far as quality is what I’m about.
  • What are the most important qualities you look for in a person?
    • I’m looking for someone who has long-term goals and visions.  Being willing to sacrifice now, so that we can someday achieve our dreams; that’s sexy!
  • What would you take with you to a deserted island?
    • I’d say a large database of books around ways to live more economically.  I want to be able to continue working towards my dreams so that when I do get found, I can be ready to return to the civilized world, ready to take a huge leap forward.
  • If you had to be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?
    • I’d spend the day as Mr. Money Mustache!  I’m so intrigued by his work, and I’d love to have his financial knowledge for a day so that I could write it all down and email it to myself! 
  • What’s your ideal weekend?
    • Well, once a month, I sit down and readjust my budget.  It sounds small, but I get so much satisfaction out of seeing what areas of my finances I’m taking steps forward in.  I also really love meal prepping for the week. Shopping, making my meals, and planning them out, so that I don’t waste money eating out each week….yes please!
  • What is your biggest fear?
    • I’m probably just as afraid of going back into debt as I am anything else.  Living irresponsibly or marrying someone who isn’t good with money also sounds scary.  There would be nothing worse than spending all of this time saving up, and then potentially having something to take it all away.

Who Was That: This person is looking to retire ASAP and is part of the FIRE Community (A monetary philosophy focused on making money now to retire as early as possible). They are very focused on their additional side hustles, financial freedom, and making as many sacrifices as possible now to live a better life later.

Reflection Time

Some of that was probably fun, and other parts were more like, is this person being serious? Unfortunately for us, and as we’ll soon learn, many of our beliefs around money are learned before we even have any money of our own.  We often grow up unconsciously adopting beliefs from the media, family, or society. However, such an eclectic cast of dates will provide some good food for thought. Here are a few questions to ponder:

  • Which parts of those individuals most stood out, either positively or negatively?  
  • Which date did you enjoy the most?  
  • Were there any of those individuals you’d date in the short term, but not long term?  
  • What would your responses be, if you were asked some of those questions?  
    • Dream Date?
    • What are the most important qualities you look for in a person?
    • What would you take with you to a deserted island?
    • If you had to be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?
    • What’s your ideal weekend?
    • If you could go back and visit any time period, what would it be?
    • What is your biggest fear?
    • What is the most important trait that you look for in a friend?
    • What is your dream car?
    • What song best describes you?
  • Which one question did you most care about your date’s response to?

Fortunately for us, we now have the gift of experience and can decide for ourselves what type of relationship we want to have around money.

More on Money and Romance

Imagine Dating a Person Who:

  • Believes spending money on romance, like Valentine’s Day, is a waste, and that money should instead be invested.
  • Believes that two date nights a week is a minimum, even throughout marriage.
  • Wants to spend a third of your combined income each year “making memories” and having experiences with you.
  • Frequently spends their salary on buying you lavish gifts, but rarely values spending quality time together.
  • Wants to sign a prenuptial agreement before marriage.

All of these are financial scenarios of people we might someday date, or are already in a relationship with.  There is nothing “wrong” with any of these types, but the diversity and extremes above likely make at least one person a challenge to each of us.  And yet, discussing views on money eventually becomes an important part of any relationship. Why? Our relationships with money are seldom based in math.  They are instead about the beliefs we hold around what makes a meaningful life.  

Money symbolizes a host of things to each of us, ranging from love to our own identity.  Money is not only a symbol, but often one of the main tools we use to help create our ideal world.  The depth of our money beliefs go back as far as some of our first memories. Each story or belief around money is also intertwined with loads of memories still ripe with emotion.  As a 4-year old, hearing “no” to the pair of shoes that lit up when we walked, may still hurt to think about.

How Money Shows Up in Our Relationships

Relationships are a mirror that reveal to us both our identity and the stories we have around money.  Why? Relationships continually put us in new situations that challenge us to examine and either defend or adjust our beliefs.  Our identity is shaped by our stories, and both impact the quality of our relationships. In essence, the three are intertwined. It’s almost impossible to understand how we show up in our relationships without also understanding both the: 

Deeper Nature of Our Stories
and
Our Identity

Money in a relationship also shines a light on deeper issues, such as control and trust:  

Whose role is it to make financial decisions?
Should all financial decisions be made together?
What if one person is better at saving than the other, that’s not fair!
Should we get a prenuptial agreement?
Are there some decisions that one person should have more of a say over than the other?
How much money are we allowed to spend on a purchase without telling the other?

It’s one thing to trust our partner with our life; it’s another to trust them with our bank account.  Also, the battle to make sure that we are getting our fair share of control can emerge, as we easily spot the little financial decisions the other person makes without us.  Many fights about money are really about who has more power or control in the relationship.

Money also reveals our innermost financial expectations of one another.  Whether our parents kept separate bank accounts, didn’t talk about money, or together sacrificed their careers to pursue parenting; we will likely carry these beliefs into our current relationship.  Other common stories center around who should be the ‘breadwinner,’ whether or not to sacrifice if one person gets an opportunity, and how things should change if kids come into the picture.  These conversations are deeper than each person playing their part. Instead they are about wanting to be valued and recognized for what we are bringing to the relationship.

The deep seeded nature of these beliefs makes it easy for money talks to become quite emotional.  And talks about money will be aplenty over the course of a relationship. When having money conversations with another, It’s important to approach these conversations with a sense of grace and openness.  Remember that we are talking to another person, rather than a potential opposition to some of our deepest held views about life. In these conversations, we want to avoid being “right” at the cost of connection to our partner.

An important piece to consider is that a few of our ties to money might be deep enough that we never want to change them.  And a few of our partner’s might as well. We don’t know the recipe for a perfect relationship, but we know the recipe for disaster: making our happiness dependent upon changing our partner.  The next time we begin a new relationship it’s helpful to consider these few questions:

Try These: Money Non-Negotiables in A Relationship

  1. What are three financial principles of yours that you’re unwilling to change?
    1. ______________________________________________________
    2. ______________________________________________________
    3. ______________________________________________________
  2. What are three financial views that would be nearly impossible for you to overlook in a partner?
    1. ______________________________________________________
    2. ______________________________________________________
    3. ______________________________________________________
  3. If you could design your dream partner, what are the top three financial beliefs they’d have?
    1. ______________________________________________________
    2. ______________________________________________________
    3. ______________________________________________________

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