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The Ugly Truth: Relationships are Expensive

Even when we were little kids (especially little girls), we dreamt about growing up one day and finding that significant other with whom we will spend the rest of our lives.

Little girls dream about their wedding days, and little boys dream about becoming fighter pilots and rescuing damsels in distress to marry.

When we grow up, we realize that relationships are not quite that simple.

Obviously, there are the personal and ideological differences that come into play in relationships. There’s also something else that is hardly discussed about relationships: the finances.

At school, no one really teaches us how to manage finances, much less how to manage finances together. But that’s exactly what’s expected of children when they become adults. Financial problems in a relationship can emerge as early as during the dating stage.

How Much Do These Roses Cost?

When people date, they are told to show appreciation towards each other with little personal gifts. Also, trips and dinner dates are also expected to take a casual relationship to the next level. And what do all these mating rituals have in common? They are all crazy expensive.

Traditionally, the man was expected the bear the financial burden of a relationship. However, with the rising costs of living and stagnating wages, no one man can be expected to be the breadwinner, unless the man in question is featured in Fortune 500. Modern women certainly want a say in the financial matters of a relationship and have some independence. However, neither party may expect the sheer costliness of their being together.

Family Dinners?

In case a couple somehow manages to survive dating without going into debt, there are the inevitable costs associated with meeting each other’s families. Hosting dinners for families, taking the whole family out to dinner are equally or even more so expensive. On the other hand, this is a good time to test the strength of a relationship. If a couple can sort out the financial problems together at this stage, they just might make it through life.

The W.E.D.D.I.N.G

The lucky ones that survive finally get their big day: the wedding. Weddings used to be fairly simple affairs like a family gathering. However, as the wedding industry has boomed, there’s more pressure on brides and grooms to purchase expensive decorations, designer cakes, branded dresses, and so on. Peer pressure is also high to show off at an extravagant wedding. Expenses have risen to the point that some couples seriously consider taking out personal loans to cover for their wedding expenses. This is an unwise decision, mostly because the couple will need to take out other, far more useful loans in the near future.

Who Pays the Mortgage?

After tying the knot, wedded bliss comes with a hefty price. Namely, the price of a mortgage. It’s fairly impossible for the average worker to afford a house without borrowing money. Mortgages are necessary loans that most couples end up paying for decades to come. A financial burden like this can certainly strain a marriage, especially because financial ups and downs are expected as the couple ages.

As you can see, relationships are expensive. From dating to marriage to having children, modern life is consumed with debt. Will anyone see a solution in the near future?

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.