Author Topic: New Relationship: Can you change someone or do you find someone else?  (Read 14226 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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However, I still don't completely understand how to handle a SO with different spending and saving goals on a simple day-to-day basis. This was an issue for me in a past relationship, too. BF wants to go out to eat-- for the third time this week. Do I stay at home and cook myself? Do I try to pick a cheap restaurant? Do I try to "change" his mind? BF wants to plan a third vacation this year. Do I threaten to stay at home and entertain myself? Do I try to pick a cheap hotel? Do I try to "change" his mind?

I get the difference between frugal and cheap, so I don't begrudge a fancy restaurant or a nice hotel once and a while. And since I can afford it, according to 95% of society, I have no excuse. But at some point I want to say enough is enough. Do I? Don't I? How do you guys with non-MMM SO's handle it?

There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, though. Before BF and I lived together, we managed our food/groceries/meals very differently. I would stock my fridge, plan meals, batch prep ingredients, etc. Some weeks were better than others, but in general it was a priority for me. He had more trouble with it (though he had/has nothing fundamentally against cooking/eating at home). Now I insist on going grocery shopping and we take turns cooking. We also keep "zero-effort foods" in the freezer and pantry: dumplings, ravioli, canned soup, etc. We do still go out; but we don't have excuses to. Only that we really want to.

Same with vacations: is it a trip for a wedding? to see family? a spontaneous jaunt to Europe? a weekend roadtrip? do you have the time off available? Why does he want to go and how much does he want you to come with? If there is significance to it, maybe you need to suck it up and go. If he just wants to get away, you can try swaying him to something cheaper/closer. If you really can't sway him, and he just needs to go, wish him bon voyage but tell him you can't/won't join him. Maybe it isn't even money; you don't want to take time off work, you'd rather be in Europe for a leisurely 2 weeks, not a whirlwind 3 days, etc. Or maybe it is about money. Talk about it, but don't force him to your viewpoint. Hopefully, you can find a place of mutual respect for each other's wishes (as others have said, if not, maybe it is time to reconsider).

If he is looking at buying something you disapprove of, remember it isn't your money. If he's talking about you buying something jointly (not sure if you're there yet), remember that it *is*.  You have as much say as he does in that case, but you will have to share your goals and values and priorities to be understood. And maybe your fears...maybe you weigh the possibility of losing your job, or medical problems more heavily. Bf and I found in conversation that I weigh the risk of debt (even at the same net worth and zero APR) more heavily, and would rather have it gone sooner than later. And as mentioned earlier/by others: you don't have to agree on this, just mutually respect each other's opinions, and factor that into your choices as relevant.