By Nicolle

A friend of mine once told me how disgusted he was with the type of language we use when we refer to our relationships. We “invest” in our friends. We “balance” our relationships. We “budget” our time with our boy/girlfriends.

Referring to our relationships the way we refer to our bank accounts might seem a little cold. But maybe if we started viewing love and marriage as romantic business deals, we’d be able to maintain them more long-term.

The reality is that many parts of marriage revolve around the mundane – Who’ll do the dishes? Who’s going to clean the toilet? Who should cook dinner? Who’s in charge of the bills? How do we decide about finances? Who buys the toothpaste?

Often, we forget that these day-to-day activities make up a large portion of marriage. The mushy-gushy romantics get pushed to the wayside when it come to who’ll keep track of the finances or who’s going to the grocery store this week.

Even people we love the most can be awful roommates, budgeters or cleaners. Just because you’re romantically gooey with your partner doesn’t mean all those boring, everyday things magically work themselves out. They require tedious discussions that make long-term commitment seem like not exactly what we signed up for.

Look at it like this: In choosing a partner to go into business with, would you pick someone who lacks a work ethic, who disagrees with you about how to make financial decisions or who has a knack for spending more than s/he makes? Probably not (and if you did, your friends and family would caution you against it). So why, when so many of the same characteristics are part of what makes a marriage work, would you choose someone you a) hadn’t discussed those things with or b) knew you’d completely disagree with them on?

You shouldn’t. And you shouldn’t let an in-the-moment romantic feeling cause you to make a long-term commitment you wouldn’t make in another area of your life.

When you’re dating, everything is geared toward getting to know each other, spending time together and having fun. When you’re married and living together, things start to shift and become geared toward doing regular life together. Sure, there are special times you plan like when you were dating, but those times aren’t necessarily as frequent because your downtime, your relaxation time, your just “being” time is spent together. None of that is bad; it just represents a shift in the relationship that many people don’t factor in when deciding when or who they’re going to marry.

I’m not proposing that we should rid marriage of romance or completely disregard our feelings. What I do advocate is letting our logic inform our feelings (and if you’re lacking in logic, find someone who can give you that kind of advice, be it a good friend, family member or mentor). We have to strike a balance of head and heart when making decisions that impact our romantic AND everyday lives.

Cold? Callous? Unfeeling? Perhaps. But taking some of the romanticized ideas out of marriage could make us more successful in our relationship attempts.

While our relationships might not be as financially lucrative as a business deal, we will yield a high result if we can recognize that the sense we use when it comes to financial decisions can come in handy if applied to marriage. And a high marriage stock is worth more than any financial stock (especially in this economy).

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