Keeping financial independence in a relationship: Selfish or Sensible?

It’s the 21st Century. The term ‘Relationship’ and even the term ‘Marriage’ are very different to what they used to be.

Traditionally, a couple were married and they immediately became financially dependent on one another. Or rather, the woman became financially dependent on the man who was expected to work, earn an income and provide for the family.

Fast forward a few decades and relationships look very different. The rise of internet dating is contributing to ‘disposable relationships’ that are easy to find and even easier to discard. Second marriages are on the rise and it is totally acceptable for partners to have careers, for couples to live and start families out of wedlock and for the females to be the breadwinner in the relationship.

With this shift in the norm is it still right for us to hold on to old practices that expect modern couples to be financially dependent on one another? Do we still feel pressured to share everything with our partner and if we don’t want to, do we feel we are being selfish?

There is no clear-cut answer to such a complex question. But there are a few things to consider if you find yourself unsure about whether to hand everything over or keep things to yourself.

You never know what is around the corner.

The world is a crazy place and no’one can blame you for wanting to keep your little nest egg just in case the worst happens. Feeling this way doesn’t mean you think your relationship isn’t going to last, it just shows that you are have considered the fact you never know what is around the corner.

You won’t have to ask permission.

Remaining financially independent brings along the benefit of actually making you more independent. Having your own pocket of money means you can purchase things you want without always having to ask your partner if it’s OK. You can pop to the shops and buy those headphones you’ve always wanted without always having to justify why. (I would caveat though – Maybe don’t do this all the time as it might not down too well!

It could be seen as selfish.

Keeping your money to yourself could be seen as distrusting or an unwillingness to share everything you have. However, maintaining financial independence isn’t the same as not sharing. You can still contribute fairly to family outgoings while still remaining financially separate.

You don’t owe anyone anything.

Just because you are in a relationship it doesn’t mean your money no longer yours and you have to share it. You earned it and you don’t have to share it if you don’t want to. The key thing here is – if your partner really loves you, they really won’t mind if you want to keep your things to yourself.

It give you choices.

Who knows where you will be in 5 years from now. Maybe you will have a family, maybe you’ll want to start your own business? Being in control of your own finances will give you the flexibility to do just that. If you don’t need to rely on your partner financially they might be more supportive emotionally.

Money will always cause rifts.

Whether you decide to be financially independent or not, money will nearly always be a sticking point in relationships. So, whatever you do with your money, never do anything you aren’t comfortable with.


Follow your gut – it knows you better than you think. – ASkinny Buddha


What do you think? We would love to hear from you!

Categories Careers, lifestyle, love, Relationships, UncategorizedTags , , , , , , ,

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