02/14/2014

Valentines Day can be a time when relationships can take a step to that next level. Whether it's the flowers, candy or candlelight dinners, such a holiday can have couples expressing themselves with talks of love, affection and....money?

Before you jump to conclusions saying what a buzzkill the money talk can be, Katie Moore, GreenPath financial counselor in Detroit says that "the talk", while an important part and step in a relationship, needs to be timed out carefully.

When do you tell someone you're dating about your financial problems? The first date? The third? While walking down the aisle?

I don’t think there is a hard rule here but I wouldn’t suggest telling someone before the first date," said Moore. "I would say  it would be a good idea to let someone know you are dating about your financial problems, when your relationship is getting serious, such as if you are considering moving in together or getting married."

And if you're the one in good financial shape and learn that the person you're dating is way down the credit score ladder, how should you react, and what should you do?

Financial trouble doesn’t have to be a deal breaker in a relationship.  If your significant other comes clean about their financial troubles, hopefully you will be able to react with empathy and understanding. 

Financial troubles are not necessarily a reflection of someone’s character.  With the downturn in the economy many people are finding themselves with credit and debt issues for the first time in their adult life due to a situation that may have been out of their control such as a layoff. 

"I think it is important to identify the root issue of problem and discuss what strides your significant other is making to resolve the problem," said Moore. "If the root issue is poor money management or overspending and you are good with your credit, maybe you can help them turn their situation around."

So enjoy those flowers and candlelight dinners. But, don't be scared, if your sweetie looks deep in your eyes and says lovingly, "What's your credit score?"