A few years ago, I was having a casual conversation with several of my media colleagues about relationships and in particular, marriage. The conversation quickly got heated when one of my male colleagues, known for his unconventional thinking, said that people should treat marriage like a business and marry, not for love, but to strengthen the business.
There was silence, then laughter. Lots of it.
Most of the people in our circle immediately started dismissing the idea, but he was serious. I didn’t agree with his suggestion, but I’m a naturally curious person, so I wanted him to elaborate.
He stressed that couples get too caught up in marrying for love that they overlook their partner’s finances. He said rather than marry a partner who has his or her life together at the moment, we look at their potential to be something great. I knew he had a point.
How many times have we dated a man who was at the bottom of the corporate ladder because we felt he was ambitious enough to climb rapidly? A man may date a woman who is in an entry level position because he feels she’s a great person and his family will like her. But, what financial value could she offer at the moment or in the foreseeable future?
That conversation took place years ago and while I still think it’s important to marry for love, I’ve since adjusted my views. I now think relationships and marriage should be treated like a business.
I’ve had the good fortune to be exposed to some very successful, wealthy men. One of them, who was single at the time, told me that while he wants to find a great companion, she has got to be bringing something to the table. He said he didn’t want to be the major breadwinner in the household, not because he couldn’t afford to be, but because he didn’t want to be.
He said he wanted a woman who was not only pulling her own weight, but was not going to depend on him for money. Now or in the future. He said beauty and personality were secondary. And he meant that.
A spouse or companion can be dead weight if they are not as financially stable as you. Let’s say a house is on the market. You have your deposit and are secure on your job, but your spouse has no money and his or her career is a virtual see-saw. You won’t be able to take advantage of the opportunity.
Every time you want to make a financial move, you can’t because he or she is unable to do so. That person cannot complement you. As a result, you won’t be able to progress – at least not as a team.
During one of our animated discussions, one of my female friends tossed out a question. She wanted to know if I would ever date an unemployed man. The answer was a resounding no. I explained that if we were already in a relationship and he lost his job, then yes, I would. But, if I were looking for a mate and he was unemployed, hell to the no. He’s already operating at a loss. And it’s not that I need him to help me. It’s that he would expect me to help him. That’s not good business.
Like any good business, it’s important to review the books. Look at what is making you money and what is taking it away.
How do you handle your business?