The 3 Ts To Discussing Money By The 3rd Date

Ah, the promise of a new relationship. A new beginning. Full of fun.

And funds?

Well, that’s important to know too, now isn’t it? This does not refer to how much money they make. It also does not refer to any requisite that they come from wealth or already have wealth.

It refers to their money philosophy and money behavior. How mature and how disciplined they are with their money. If you are fairly mature and disciplined with your money (and you likely are, if you are reading this), it likely matters to you that they are as well.

Before we get to the 3 Ts, here is what you want to find out by that other Magic 3: The 3rd Date.

Through the course of conversation, how do they talk about money? Do they approach it as a means to an end or as the end? Do they approach it from fear of not understanding it or of not having enough? Do they see it as the means for reaching where they want to go in life or are they intimidated by it? Do they talk about it to try to impress people (how much money they make or the stuff it buys)? Depending on where you are yourself, these are green, red, or beige flags.

So, you want to find out. It does matter how it is approached though, doesn’t it? Approach it incorrectly and your intentions could be misunderstood.

What are the 3 Ts to discussing money?

  1. Timing: Is there a ‘too early’ time to bring up money? Let’s face it, the earlier you find out the other person’s money philosophy and behavior (from ‘can’t take it with you’ to ‘don’t want to die poor’ and all the degrees between) the better off both of you are. If your philosophies and behaviors differ, you can both cut your losses and move on. This is because people very, very rarely change their behavior, and that goes for their financial behavior too.
  2. Theme: Is the conversation about how much money the other person makes? Hopefully it’s not, as it’s not as important as money behavior. Is the conversation about their goals? Talking about goals is a natural segue to discovering money behavior. How forthcoming are they in sharing what their goals are and how they will be saved and paid for?
  3. Tone: This isn’t an interview. Keep the tone light and warm. The more weighty the topic, the more important the tone can be. Come across too urgent or dry and it can seem that you are focused on it for reasons you aren’t. If they are hesitant in having this conversation, pause to explain, in a self deprecating, but not glib, manner, your interest in discussing it. Be forthcoming with your own money behavior and philosophy. As you are, are they shutting down or are they engaging you in the conversation?

And there they are, the 3 Ts to having the money conversation by the 3rd date.

Sometimes this doesn’t come up until a relationship has started.

And while not ideal, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing.