This is a tricky question for many people in relationships. We’ve all probably heard the cardinal rule that mixing friends and family with money is bad news coming. It’s often difficult to enforce agreements with loved ones especially when they are very close. Being close to someone like a partner can also affect the way you see things. Normal expectations you would uphold with anyone else who you weren’t close to can easily get away from you because you’re reasoning with your heart rather than your mind.
While there are some people who believe that the decision to lend money to your partner should be based on quantity and frequency, others choose not to take the chance and offer non-financial support. Twenty dollars here and there might be no big deal but it can easily add up without you even realizing until it’s too late.
The sad truth is, if it’s meant to be a loan and you have nothing in writing stating that it is and that the person lending it will make payments to return the money, you’re pretty much hooped. How you see your relationship can also change if the money exchange is flowing one way. You may start to question what your role in the relationship really is and whether that person will still be with you if you didn’t provide them with financial support.
Setting guidelines and collaborating with your partner on what’s fair is integral in a relationship. Let them know that if you’re spotting them a twenty for something that lunch will be on them next time. This way, it’s equitable for both parties without making it a strict money for money exchange each time someone needs a small amount to cover something.
I would personally advise against lending big amounts of money out without a signed document. In the end, finances will and can affect your relationship. If your partner is genuine about paying you back, they’ll have no problem agreeing to sign an agreement for return of the money.
What are your thoughts on lending a loved one money? Would you do it?
Amy Yew is a registered clinical counselor and relationship therapist. She is also the author of a fashion and lifestyle blog Style Du Jour. Tell us what you think and submit any questions you have to email@example.com.