In the puzzle of love and money, there’s a big question: Can you have romance without finance? To dig into this, we chatted with Abdulyeken Ayobami. She’s not just a coach but more like a guide for young folks dealing with love, relationships, and the tricky part of money. Think of her as someone helping you find your way through the maze of love and dollars.
Kindly tell us about yourself?
I am Abdulyeken Ayobami, a sexual health health educator and a youth relationship coach. I help adolescents and young adults with their sexual health, relationships and sex life.
What do you think is the most essential element in building a relationship?
Communication and compromise are the two most essential elements in a relationship. And when I say communication, it’s not just not about “Nos” and “Yes”; it’s about a deep understanding of both partners. It is more of a heart thing than a head thing. Sadly, we are in a generation where partners do not come to a compromise with themselves because of public opinion. Extrinsic voices have become louder than their voice.
For a relationship to work out, both parties must be able to talk openly about issues. I believe this would go a long way in helping them understand each other better. Concerning compromise, I do not mean that you endure abusive or toxic relationships in a bid to compromise; however, partners can always find a balance between their respective interests.
So, if any relationship will work out well, it must be built on communication and the ability of partners to compromise for each other.
Concerning communication, How do you advise partners to approach financial conversations and ensure transparency?
Conversations around finance are pretty sensitive. I once had a session with a client that broke a 5-year relationship where they had marriage in view because of a financial accountability issue. The case was that when my client lent her partner money, he didn’t return it. However, he would always be on her neck when she owed him money. She could no longer cope with his attitude towards money and decided it. Remember I talked about communication and compromise? Partners ought to communicate their “Money triggers’ with themselves. You must understand your partner’s money attitude and what turns them off.
For instance, in my relationship, I tend to spend more. I had to be honest with my partner; we spoke extensively about it. Anytime I have an important project or a need to meet, I send it to him to keep for me. He has become my accountability partner. At first, it was not easy on my end, but I had to come to a compromise with my partner. I would not allow my spending habits to affect our beautiful relationship. Partners must understand their financial weaknesses and strengths and be able to sit down together and work something out.
What role do you think financial goals play in a relationship?
When partners set financial goals, it makes them more financially responsible. Ideally, partners should set financial goals for themselves and work together to achieve them.
For example, there was a time when my partner and I planned to get an apartment. We had a goal in mind, and we worked towards it together. I had to be intentional about my savings towards the goal. I ensured I was not faulting from my end, and since my man is responsible, we had no issues. Financial goals in a relationship help both parties to be more financially accountable, and the overall experience is lovely.
Can you share an experience where financial attitude became an issue in a relationship?
This is quite funny for me. Recently, I bought stuff impulsively because the “Stuff” was too cute to ignore. Unfortunately, I ran out of money and had to pay a bill. I reached out to my man to lend me some money, and he did not. At first, I was pained, but I understood I had gone against something we both agreed on. It did not cause an issue because I understood the lesson he was trying to teach me.
Another case was a couple I had a private session with, whereby the wife played an active financial role. She takes care of the home. In the conversation, I realized that she did not find it burdensome to play an active role financially and genuinely loved her husband, regardless. When couples thoroughly understand each other and communicate appropriately, they have a bright future ahead of them.
How do you strike a balance between financial responsibility and impulsive spending?
What I practice now to curb my tendency for impulsive spending is “ Priority Spending.”
I make a list of things I need, the urgent stuff. When I get money, I first check my list and buy the essential things. For example, if I have ₦40,000 and a light soft box costs ₦30,000, I’ll get that first. With the leftover ₦10,000, I might treat myself to a meal to celebrate making that money.
This helps me not spend impulsively and keeps me responsible with my money. Otherwise, I might buy things I don’t need, like too many clothes or books. I stick to my priority list and sometimes use reminders to stay on track. My partner helps, too – he makes sure I follow our plan. This way, I balance being responsible with money and treating myself. It just makes sense. And when things get financially stressful, I have a plan to help me through it.
How do you maintain an understanding atmosphere in your relationship when there is financial tension?
In my relationship, things are tight because we’re working on some projects. So, we had to make some changes and cut back on many things. For example, instead of my partner taking care of things like subscriptions or expenses for me, I try to find ways to manage those costs on my own.
When times are tough, we both try to be understanding with each other. It’s like we both put on our ‘understanding partner hats.’ This helps us come together and figure things out. You know, like a team.
So, being understanding partners is like our little trick. It just makes sense. Plus, it helps us unintentionally spend less on things we don’t need, like going out to eat a lot or splurging on unnecessary stuff. It’s like finding a balance together.
Finally, do you think romance cannot be in a relationship without finance?
Money is essential, and I think a relationship can be great even without a lot of it. But, let’s be honest, money is still quite crucial.
In situations where there isn’t much money, understanding your situation, communication, and a supportive partner can make things work. You still get attention, love, care, and everything that makes a relationship unique.
We should recognize that there are some things we need money for, like gifts or special treats. Even for romance, you might want to buy something nice or plan a little outing. Money matters in a relationship, but it shouldn’t be the foundation. It’s not just about the cash; it’s about how you care for each other. In fact, there are many things we can enjoy together that don’t cost much.
Money improves the relationship, but it’s not the most important thing. It’s like a bonus, not the main story.