Why is it so hard to talk about money with your honey?

written by Bari Tessler February 16, 2023

Dear Money Adventurer,

Money does not have to be a point of contention and conflict in your relationship with your partner. 

Talking about money is challenging for many couples. But the very things that make these conversations so difficult–the deep emotions, values, and beliefs we carry around money–are the same things that can draw you and your honey together in more intimate understanding and compassionate connection.

Money can actually bring you and your sweetie closer together, if you let it. It can be as simple as being more mindful about your money conversations. Ask your partner, “is now a good time to talk about money?” or schedule a money date as a couple to make sure you’re both present and in a good space to talk about money before you dive into the conversation. 

Here are 5 more ways to have more authentic, more aligned, and more loving money conversations with your partner.

#1: Do your own money work first.

Money is an emotional subject–and most of us never learned about financial literacy or emotional literacy growing up. We weren’t taught how to work with money, or how to talk about money, or our emotions, for that matter. 

That’s why having more loving money conversations with your sweetie starts with doing your own money work first. Learning to understand your personal money emotions is an essential skill in life and in love.

Those challenging money conversations with your sweetie are so hard because neither of you has the tools or the language to understand the stories or emotions that come up for you around money. Never mind to hold space for each other.

 You need to develop the skills to unpack your own money stories, so that you can bring more awareness and understanding to your relationship with money, and then meet your sweetie there, in that place of compassion, self-knowing, and gentle curiosity.

#2: Learn how to have a new kind of date together–a money date.

Money dates are one of my favorite ways to infuse couple’s money conversations with a little more love and understanding. Simply put, a money date is just a time you and your partner set aside to talk about money–but it doesn’t have to be all seriousness and spreadsheets. 

You could go on a hike to take some of the pressure off or light candles and put on soft music to create a more intimate atmosphere. Discover my four steps to fun, loving, deeply transformative couple’s money dates–and what I wish more couples knew about facing money stress.

Feeling some pre-money date jitters? Not sure what your ideal money date with your lover looks like? The only “right way” to have a money date is the way that works for you and your love. To help you find some inspiration, here are 27 ideas to help you make your next money date your own.

#3. Hire a financial therapist to help you learn how to have healthier, more compassionate, more meaningful money conversations.

I truly believe that financial therapy is for everyone. Especially when you fall in love, decide to build a life together, and find yourselves with two sets of money baggage and no resources or shared understanding to help you unpack your feelings, beliefs, or expectations around money. 

Learn more about financial therapy–including what questions to ask a potential financial therapist–in my Beginner’s Guide to Financial Therapy

Couple’s financial therapy can create a safe space for you and your sweetie to work through your money stories, differences and expectations with the support of a trained professional to help you navigate difficult conversations and stressful situations.

If you are looking for a one-time focused and powerful financial therapy session for you and your partner, I would love to support you. You can sign up right here and get on my calendar!

#4: Work with a financial coach or financial planner to help you review your goals and plan for the future.

We all need support from financial professionals. After all, we can’t all be experts in everything. Hiring a financial coach or a financial planner can help you and your partner address any concerns, clear up any confusion or uncertainty, and create a plan to achieve your goals and pursue your dreams together. 

It’s an incredible feeling to bring a trusted professional on your team to help you and your family review your financial goals for now and the future. It will reduce the pressure and stress on you and your sweetie and create new opportunities to connect and grow as a couple. 

Not sure how to decide whether to hire a financial coach or a financial planner? Find everything you need to know–from the different types of financial experts, what to expect from working with them, and the questions you should keep in mind when it’s time to decide who to hire–right here. And, if you would like us to send you our referral list, just respond to this email. 

#5: Remember: You’re on the same team.

When challenging money emotions arise and different money opinions collide, remember that you’re coming from different perspectives and experiences, not different sides. When you are going through ebbs and flows of income, work, family, and all the different phases that come with growing together, remember you are on the same team.

If you feel discouraged or disconnected, here are my top 11 tips to infuse a little more loving alignment into talking money with your honey.

Even when you disagree–especially when you disagree–taking time and creating space to honor each other’s money stories, emotions, and values makes room for you to find common ground. 

It offers an opportunity to know and understand each other more intimately, to support each other more authentically, and to continue growing in loving partnership as your journey unfolds. 

Learning to navigate the ebbs and flows of life and money together is how you make love and money work in the long run.

That’s how you and your honey write your own love and money story. Step by step, one money conversation, and one money date at a time.

With my dearest wishes,

P.S. Need Some Support? My books The Art of Money: A Life Changing Guide to Financial Happiness and Art of Money Workbook are available everywhere online and in many local bookstores as well.

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