How to tackle the topic of money in a budding relationship

So, let’s discuss the subject of money and relationships. It can sometimes feel like a taboo topic at the best of times, and it hardly makes for romantic small talk to bring it up early in a budding relationship.

However, let’s consider why it’s so important for men and women not to ignore the practical side of entering into a relationship – even when it may be the last thing on your mind as you’re swept up in the excitement and romance of dating somebody who seems really rather special.   

What you need to think about when you meet somebody new

You’ve taken the all the risks, you’ve kept going when it was so tempting to quit – but you didn’t – and you have reaped the rewards of a successful career and acquired considerable wealth along the way. Now you’re thinking how nice it would be to meet somebody, settle down and enjoy the fruits of your labours. It’s understandable if you’ve got some concerns about what a long-term relationship means for combining assets and the practical implications of managing your money.

So, what are the key things to consider?  You can think of it as three phases – dating, living together (or to use the official term, co-habiting) and marriage.

The dating is really about getting to know somebody better – do they want the same things as you and is life just better with them rather than without them? There’s no real financial or legal impact at the dating phase, except if one of you has more than the other. Are you happy to pay for the expensive holiday in the Seychelles you’ve always wanted to share with somebody special? Does it bother you if the person you’re dating earns significantly more or less than you do?

If the dating is going well and you’re thinking about moving in together, you will need to decide where it’s going to be – will you rent or buy a new home, or will one if you move in a house the other already lives in? Are you prepared to make changes to the home so that it’s ‘ours’ rather than ‘mine’?

This is where legal and financial aspects come into consideration. Let’s assume you’re the wealthier partner and that it’s your home you’ll be living in.

There was some talk of partners who lived together gaining rights after two years. At present, this is not the law…but that could change.

Currently, if one person owns the property, a partner could only claim rights if they had made a capital contribution, such as paying part of the mortgage, paying for improvements to the property (a new bathroom, for example), or if there is a child in the relationship.

Because you have fewer automatic legal rights than married couples, a co-habitation agreement is a way of laying out the terms of living together. This legal document sets out the arrangements for finances, property, children and what happens if one of you becomes ill, dies or you split up.

Now it’s going really well and you’re thinking of getting married.  You don’t get married with a plan to get divorced, but it is best to think about what you’re comfortable with should the worse happen.

Prenuptial (prenup) agreements are legally required in some countries but are not quite yet a legally binding document in the UK. However, courts will give serious consideration to the prenup if you get divorced. A prenup should be fair and it should be done in a reasonable timeframe. It can’t be signed the night before the wedding! This agreement must be signed off a month before the wedding as a minimum and both parties should have independent legal advice (but it is OK for you to pay for your partner’s advice). A prenup also requires full financial disclosure by both parties. This can also be reinforced with a postnup. A ‘life event’ such as having children can partly void a prenup, so it’s best to address those points in the original agreement and agree for there to be a review of the agreement if children arrive.

There is the subject of how you raise the matter. You may not wish to be on bended knee with a ring in one hand and a document in the other! So, once the Champagne and celebrations have been enjoyed, ensure you raise these issues with each other before you embark on the big relationship milestone of getting married. It’s also important to ensure you seek the appropriate expert advice when it comes to the legal side of things and be open with each other about your wishes.

While it might not seem like the most romantic of topics, understanding and securing your financial future will help both of you feel secure and well-prepared should the worse happen. And once the paperwork is sorted, you can just enjoy all the great things that come with a successful and loving long-term relationship!

Rudy Vandaele-Kennedy is an Investment Manager looking after private clients and their families, as well as their business and charitable interests. 

Here at Ignite Dating we aim to provide you with a stress-free search for love, with expert matchmakers on-hand to really understand what you are looking for in a partner. Get in touch today to find out more about our award-winning service!


Why the phrase high maintenance is a red flag in the dating world

What do you think when you hear the phrase high maintenance? Do you instantly think about somebody who puts a tremendous amount of time and effort into their appearance? A person who expects a high standard of living and can ultimately be hard work to date? Some would say, a ‘princess’.

And let’s face it, you’re probably thinking about a woman. A recent article over on The Conversation points out we rarely come across the term “high-maintenance man”.

Looking into the use of the term high maintenance on dating apps, the author Lisa Portolan found that many single ladies end up treading a fine line of identity management, by wanting to look attractive on dating apps but not too ‘perfect’ as they worry they might scare prospective matches off.

Her research found women worked hard to ensure their dating profiles did not come across as full of traits and images that were viewed as coming across as high maintenance. Instead, they wanted to convey their image as being “pretty” but “relatable”, concentrating on portraying themselves as expectation-less, fun-loving, easy-going, and capable. Low maintenance, in other words. Their intention is to ensure they don’t “intimidate” a potential match through their images and behaviour by appearing high maintenance.

Lisa’s research led her to conclude that the use of this sort of language to “reign themselves in” perpetuates a certain invisibility on online dating sites, where women are effectively dulling their shine and shrinking themselves to stereotypes of how women should act to appease men.

What do people think when they hear the term high maintenance?

High maintenance is a term that is often thrown around in the dating world in a derogatory fashion. As The Conversation article points out, it can be a slippery term to define, with the traits that constitute high maintenance usually centred around appearance and behaviour. The stereotype of high maintenance centres around women who are unapologetically demanding, with unreasonable lifestyle expectations of their partner. They are loath to split the bill on a date, like the finer things in life and put a great importance on material status.

The internet is full of articles explaining how to “manage” a high maintenance woman, portraying them in a negative light and asking whether it is worth the reward to date somebody who has a profile which screams “high maintenance”. It’s no wonder the single people who featured in Lisa’s research strived to avoid these sorts of definitions.

Other experts are keen however to point out the problem may actually reside with the person who is throwing this term around. Over on Medium, a recent article points out using the term high maintenance can be a form of manipulation, indicating the person you are dating wants you to comply with their wishes. It can lead to women doing just that, just to avoid being labelled with the title of high maintenance.

The article points out that if a man says you are high maintenance, this reflects more about them, not you, and demonstrates the person using the term ultimately doesn’t value you. It creates an imbalance in your dating journey, where your expectations don’t line up to their preconceived ideas of what a relationship should look like and the effort they should be putting in.

Other experts in the dating world agree, saying the term has become weaponised against women to shift responsibility when a man refuses to meet your emotional needs in a relationship, instead labelling you as the problem. Using high maintenance as a way to degrade or berate somebody is often with the intention of making them feel like their relationship demands are unreasonable and that they are a bad person for having them. A massive red flag, in other words.

Don’t dull your shine

The valuable lesson here is the right person will respect who you are and be prepared to put in legwork to really make a budding relationship work. A good partner will understand and respect your needs in a relationship as well as their own. It can be all too easy to dull your shine in the dating world, with recent surveys finding many daters admitted they were conscious of behaviours thought to be off-putting to men including appearing too clingy, being too forward or coming across as genuinely interested. However, by being yourself your date can get to know the real, amazing you. If you are both authentic and upfront with each other, it’s so much easier to establish whether you have a genuine connection. The right partner will love all the quirks and traits that make you the person you are (even if you do make you both late for every night out because you like to dedicate plenty of time to getting ready!). If you come across somebody that isn’t prepared to put in the effort to really make a relationship work, then it’s time to forget this person and move on.

Are you looking for somebody who will really value who you are and share your goal of a long-term, committed relationship? Here at Ignite Dating we’re experts in helping you with an enjoyable and stress-free dating journey, providing you with hand-selected matches you’ll really share a connection with. Contact our team today and find out how we can help you find true love!


The Science of Dating – How to maximise your chances of long term relationship success

While there is nothing unusual about having a type when it comes to dating, we all know somebody who is guilty of taking it a bit too far. Think about that colleague who is obsessed with only dating glamourous blondes, or your friend who won’t even look twice at somebody unless they are over 6ft tall. Then ask yourself this question, how many times have their uncompromising preferences led them into successful relationships?

Well, according to the science behind relationships, there might be a very good reason to ditch the tunnel vision and look for somebody who doesn’t necessarily tick all your usual boxes.

Bear with us while we explain.

A recent article on Wired, adapted from a new book by data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, examined whether it is possible to predict whether two people will be happy in a romantic relationship.

In a nutshell, Stephens-Davidowitz sets out the efforts of scientists to define reliably which traits can predict relationship success. But like anything in life, there were some important lessons learned along the way.

For one, the researchers found many of the traits that are competed for ferociously in the dating world do not necessarily correlate with romantic happiness. Citing data collected from online dating apps, the article points out that single people are predictably drawn to certain qualities in a partner, such as height, wealth, beauty, occupation, and similarity to themselves.

However, the conclusion was that there was not a set of traits that guarantees romantic happiness. In fact, the traits most valued by daters were found to be among the least predictive of long-term relationship happiness, despite their attention-grabbing qualities in the dating world. So, if indeed daters believe the pursuit of these particular traits will lead to relationship success, it then suggests single people are actually going about dating all wrong.

The findings led the author to sum up: “In the dating market, people compete ferociously for mates with qualities that do not increase one’s chances of romantic happiness.”  

It’s not just data science that has led to these sort of conclusions – dating experts are keen to point out the detrimental impact of relentlessly focusing on a certain ‘type’ when you are looking for love. Over on our blog, our master executive coach Genevieve Gresset explained how having a relationship checklist can hold you back in your quest for love.

Solely focusing on a checklist of physical and personal preferences can limit your search for the perfect partner, as you simply don’t know who you are going to share a connection with. You could be ruling out somebody special just because they don’t tick all of your usual boxes and the person you’ve initially discounted could actually be perfect for you.

Don’t get hung up on certain traits

It’s important to remember that height and age are just a number, and it does not matter if you have completely different tastes in music, TV, or film. Shared interests offer a good starting point for those initial conversations, but it doesn’t guarantee that your relationship will be successful in the long-term.

The same goes for getting hung up on physical attractiveness. It can really pay to disregard a profile photo and concentrate on what the profile says about the person, their values, aspirations and ultimately their potential compatibility in a relationship.

Physical attraction is important but it’s vital to remember there’s many other aspects to consider if you want a long-lasting, happy relationship. By keeping an open mind, you are much more likely to open yourself up to some truly amazing people and you stand a much better chance of achieving the all-important spark you’ve been searching for.

Focus on yourself

There was another valuable finding that was gleaned from the data analysed in the Wired article which could help predict relationship success – and it does not involve the traits of the individual you’re dating.

Researchers found that if somebody is happy and content in their life outside a relationship, then it can have a huge impact on their happiness within a relationship. This serves as a valuable reminder to always focus on your own well-being and self-love in your dating journey. Dating can be tough, especially if you’ve been on a string of unsuccessful dates and it’s all starting to feel like a chore.

Focusing on what makes you happy in life can be a valuable antidote to dating burnout. It can help to concentrate on yourself and enjoy time with family and friends to appreciate what you have in life. Building some valuable breathing room into your dating journey can provide the time to understand what you’re looking for in a partner. You’ll then be in a much better place to tackle the dating world refreshed and confident, helping you achieve a more fulfilling and stronger relationship in the long run.

Stephens-Davidowitz’s book is a fascinating insight into the modern dating world. It’s another timely reminder to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of mono-manic dating – instead ditch the checklist approach to be in with the best chance of meeting somebody who you will really share a connection with!  

Are you looking for help with your search for love? Our matchmaking team can open your horizons to a new way to date, introducing you to hand-selected individuals you’ll really share a spark with. Give us a call today and find out how we can assist with an enjoyable and stress-free search for love!


How To Dress To Impress This Summer

Summer is finally here, the days are getting longer and brighter and hopefully things are heating up in your dating journey too! Come rain or shine, Summer is a great season for romance, thanks in no small part to the air of spontaneity when it comes to making plans and abundant dating opportunities that aren’t available at other times of the year. Whether you’re meeting for a relaxed walk in the park or enjoying cocktails at the best al fresco spot in town, it’s time to make the most of this season’s outfit trends so you are putting your best foot forward when meeting somebody new this summer.

While a lot of Summer essentials can be decidedly casual, it stills pays to build an outfit which makes you feel super confident when you’re embarking on a first date. Even if we’re in the midst of a heatwave, simple wardrobe additions can bring the advantage of looking great while keeping you cool and relaxed when stepping out for a balmy evening rendezvous.

Below we’ve highlighted our top tips for getting the most out of the Summer fashion trends to ensure you feel energised and ready for navigating some truly wonderful dates this season. Thankfully the restrictions of the pandemic are behind us, so let’s make this a Summer to remember!

For Her

This season is all about square and Bardot-style wide-open necklines exposing the shoulders. Both styles have the advantage of highlighting your feminine décolletage and adding a sexy and sultry edge to your outfit.

Prints are also back, and we’re seeing them on gorgeous slip dresses this season. Bask in the sunshine in a midi-style slip dress for effortless glamour that’ll suit a wide range of date occasions. Thankfully at this time of year, it is warm enough to wear a slip dress without outerwear and you can keep your look fresh with a range of accessories. On those days when the mercury is really rising, it’s a great style for keeping you sexy, cool, and confident with the thinner materials giving a real advantage for combatting the fierce heat of the day.

Whether you’re opting for prints or plain colours, don’t forget to select the right colour for your skin tone – in my spring dating trends blog I recently shared an overview of the best outfit colours for different skin tones. Another way to add a gorgeous splash of colour and embrace one of summer’s hot trends is to wear a small silk scarf in your hair like a turban. You can also wrap it gently around your ponytail for a fabulous pop of colour.

Your outfits are a perfect way of reflecting a relaxed summer vibe while giving you an invaluable confidence boost, as when you feel your best your true personality will shine through while dating.

For Him

For gentlemen, this summer is all about linen sports jackets. Light blue or salmon colours truly celebrate the summer season and add a pop of colour to your look. The beauty of light-coloured linen jackets is that they can be paired with a simple dark blue jean. For an excellent first date look, finish the outfit with a suede loafer and you’re ready to go!

Summer is one of the most varied times of year to date, thanks to the plethora of date ideas available to make the most of the fine weather. Whether you’re enjoying an evening of live music, a romantic picnic or a traditional formal dinner, there are plenty of ways to put together an outfit which’ll look effortlessly stylish and sophisticated. Whatever you opt for, make sure you are staying true to wearing what makes you feel good and your preferred personal style. You’ll then be sure to feel your best and make a great first impression!

Are you looking to enhance your dating journey this Summer? Working with a matchmaker can effortlessly help you reach that goal of a long-term committed relationship. We work closely with you to really understand what you are looking for, and we’re experts at hand-selected introductions to amazing people you’ll really enjoy meeting, and build relationships that will be around long after the Summer months end. Ready to commit? Give our expert team a call today!