This guy... Where do I begin? So many bitter sweet moments here, wow.
I dated The Financial Advisor (this is not his profession) right after my divorce. When we met I was enjoying my life. I was going out often with many friends from High School who I had recently gotten in contact with again. I didn't know who he was although we had gone to the same High School and had friends in common. He caught my eye because he didn't approach me like other guys would, he was subtle and made me laugh. He is a sweetheart, very romantic and said all the right things you say when you want to date someone. He knew I had recently gotten divorced and that I had, at the time, a 1 1/2 year old daughter. Our relationship lasted for 3 years (not sure of the timeline exactly, it might have been right under 3 years) and we lived in Kissimmee the majority of it. We moved from our hometown to pursue bigger dreams, I was very happy and my daughter loved him. "Why did we breakup if everything was great?" you might ask, patience my friend, the sky is bluest right before a storm.
Throughout our relationship, this guy was very adamant about money being a big deal to him. I wasn't sure if he had gone through any traumatic situation in where money was scarce, but I knew money wasn't so important to me to the point where I skipped on experiences because I wanted to save it. This was his goal though, to save as much money as possible. Later on in our relationship (one of the reasons things started to get rocky) I found out he was saving all this money to go back to Miami and buy a house, and if I wanted to live in the house with him I needed to save at least half of the number he had come up with. His plans didn't include me from the beginning, this was a goal he had and I just happened to show up and get on board. (As I'm writing this I'm laughing because there are so many bitter details and WTF moments... but please bare with me).
So, we lived in Kissimmee. I worked as a Transitional Teacher, he worked two jobs. We barely did boyfriend/girlfriend things because 1. We didn't have much alone time due to the little human I was raising and 2. He didn't want to spend money. Yet, on the days he wanted to enjoy himself, he did... alone. I wanted to be a family unit, yet this wasn't in his plans. He was very focused on saving money for HIS future plans. At no time during our relationship did we talk about joining our lives (marriage). The one time we touched on the subject, he shared his fears about marriage and why he didn't want to pursue it. If I had known earlier on about this I would have not pursued the relationship, but we will never know now if it was his intention from the beginning to never get married or if it was something he thought about afterwards.
I wasn't taught to save money for a rainy day, I was taught to save money for what I wanted to spend it on (for example, save money for a new pair of shoes, purse, etc). He was saving money for a new home and if I wanted to do anything fun as a family, it came out of my pocket more days than none. Although I believe he had no business being in a serious relationship while trying to build himself and his financial stability, this is my experience and what he taught me.
The Financial Advisor taught me to have financial independence. His focus on saving money and thinking of the future is admirable. He showed me what NetWorth is and why it's important to him, he showed me what percentage of a down payment should be made for a home, you name it, he was very well informed when it came to money. I learned that money could get in the way of a relationship, not only when its scarce but also when its the center of your world. He was very focused on his dreams, that is also very admirable. I obviously didn't learn any of this while being in the relationship because I was caught up in the middle of it all and my feelings were being played with. Our relationship was on stand by most days because he was too busy building a future for himself and maybe, just maybe, I was going to be a part of it someday... Spoiler alert!
He showed me what it's like to live with the bare minimum when it came to our "behind closed doors" relationship; Nowadays, compatibility is the number one thing on my list. Many lessons were learned with this guy. I learned how to be patient but also how to hide my true self and play a role. because so many bitter lessons were learned, I have to stick to the ones I can use today and financial wisdom is the one thing I chose to embrace.
Dear Future Husband, having money is important but not at anyone's expense. I have learned since, I should save money for things that matter to me like traveling. Owning a home isn't at the top of my priority list but experiencing new cultures and seeing new places is, therefore, I shouldn't carry debt and definitely save for when I decide to take a spontaneous trip with my daughter and you. Knowing now, what I didn't know then, has switched things around and given me perspective. He taught me to become financially independent but he also, unintentionally and subliminally, taught me to live one day at a time and not get caught up with the future.