Editor’s Note: There are no spoilers here on the show’s finale.
There’s a lot to unpack after watching “Love Is Blind,” the unconventional reality show that has climbed to the top of Netflix’s most-watched list.
“Love Is Blind” is a social experience where single men and women bond without ever seeing each other, with the ultimate goal of becoming engaged. Each meeting takes place in a “pod” where two people can hear each other, but not see each other, through a translucent wall. If the conversations result in an accepted marriage proposal, they meet for the first time outside of the group. It’s hard to look away from the inevitable drama that unfolds when couples try to make their “blind” emotional bonds work in real life.
While there are a lot of tough times – like when couples learn they only have 40 days to plan their weddings, and when a woman lets her dog drink red wine – there are also raw ones. and relevant, especially around navigating their finances.
For example, a woman tells her partner that she has $ 20,000 in student loans and credit card debt, while another couple awkwardly discusses the possibility of signing a marriage contract.
These conversations are a reminder that real financial lessons can be learned from unlikely places, including dating reality shows. Here are the ones we have selected in “Love Is Blind”.
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1. Level with your partner about your debt
On the show: In episode six, Amber Pike, an “ex-tank mechanic” (who is unemployed while filming the series), discusses her debt with her fiancé, Matt Barnett, an engineer, when they discuss the buying a bigger house someday. “I’ve had student debt since I never graduated from college – it’s about $ 20,000 and honestly, I haven’t paid it off,” she says. “Not even the minimum? He asks, visibly worried. She shakes her head no.
Real money lesson: Pike’s decision to avoid paying his student loans altogether is not a decision we recommend – there are several student loan repayment options, whatever your financial situation, but we welcome its transparency and its timing.
If you have debt, being open with your partner about the amount of debt and your repayment strategy (or in Pike’s case, the lack of one) is crucial, especially if you plan to merge finances One day. While it’s not something that needs to be revealed on a first, second, or even third date, giving your partner a complete and accurate picture of your finances while discussing your future goals will likely help the relationship. long term.
2. Avoid turning your only credit card into a store card
On the show: In the same episode, Pike also reveals that she only has one credit card – a store card with a limit of $ 700 – which she mainly uses for makeup purchases: “Makeup is expensive, and it’s easy to do it really quickly!” she said to her new beau.
Real money lesson: If, like Amber, you’ve decided to stick with just one credit card, beware of turning it into a store card. Store cards tend to have high interest rates and will limit where you can earn points.
If you have good or excellent credit, you are probably better off having a credit card rewards. They tend to have better overall value than store cards, as well as lower interest rates. However, Amber mentioned that she has average credit. If you are in the same boat, we suggest you watch credit cards for fair credit and choose one with low or no annual fees, especially if you have debt.
3. Set expectations about moving in together, especially if one person is a homeowner.
On the show: One of the couples on the show, scientist Cameron Hamilton and content creator Lauren Speed, seem to be the happiest and free of drama, but they face a challenge when discussing where they’ll live. Hamilton, who owns a three-bedroom house in Atlanta, assumes Speed will abandon her tiny one-bedroom apartment and move in, but she has her reservations. “I like my place,” she said. “How would you feel if I kept it?” He doesn’t look happy.
Real money lesson: There is already a long list of things to talk about when moving in together, but it can be even more complicated when one person is a homeowner. Setting expectations early on how you’ll allocate everything from monthly mortgage payments to furniture decisions can prevent arguments down the road. Be aware that it can also take a while for a person to agree to cede their space.
4. Compare beliefs about social norms and income
On the show: Jessica Batten, a 34-year-old regional sales manager, tells her fiancé, Mark Cuevas, 24, her fitness trainer, that she has a good place in her career and is worried about their pay gap. “The main reason for divorce is finances,” she says, continuing with a specific question: “What do you think about gender roles and financial management? She adds that she would like to obtain a marriage contract.
Cuevas, who appears baffled by her statement, concedes that he would not be the financial provider of the relationship, but he is hopeful that she can see his earning potential.
Real money lesson: While men typically earn more than women in all areas, it can impact relationship dynamics when the tables are turned. A 2018 US Census Bureau study found that when the wife earned more, both partners tended to inflate the husband’s income and deflate the wife’s income.
Regardless of who’s making more money in a relationship, figure out where you and your partner are at. Will the higher income have more of a say in your finances? Is a prenuptial contract (or postnup) make sense? These types of questions will help you understand how you both perceive social norms about money – and when (and where) you are willing to bend them.
The bottom line
“Love Is Blind” is fascinating and messy; it’s an emotional roller coaster for viewers as they try to guess which couples will survive until the end of the season. But one thing that’s quite clear is that the cast members’ approaches to personal finance add a layer of complexity to an already complicated premise. Love may or may not be blind, but money is always in the mind.
Photos courtesy of Netflix.