Sunday, February 7, 2010

Romance and Vetting the Significant Other

Not my idea but something published by the Indianapolis Business Journal's NewsTalk blog:

Vetting your sweetheart
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a Purdue University expert recommends the marriage-minded conduct some pragmatic due diligence before engagement rings find their way onto fingers.

It’s widely known that financial problems undermine many a marriage. To that end, Sharon Burns, an associate professor of consumer sciences and retailing, suggests looking for bad habits before they wreak havoc. Not easy to do during such a passionate time, maybe, but still wise. Here they are:

--Your sweetheart has borrowed lots of money from you once or has borrowed from you more than once. This can signal they’re living above their means or managing money poorly.

--He or she buys lots of the latest clothes, gadgets, cars and other luxuries. Big spending can reveal their needing a crutch to make them feel better and, ultimately, personal insecurity or lack of discipline.

--Your love needs financial help from family or friends. “Mature adults support themselves,” Burns says.

--They pay for normal living expenses with credit cards and then don’t pay the bill in full at the end of the month, a “sure sign of disaster ahead."

--They can’t hold down a job. In a normal economy, you should wonder if they’re lazy or lack self discipline.
Which leaves me wondering if the old idea of courtship doesn't have something over dating? After all, if one has been courting (or long term dating) how can one fail to notice that the significant other has problems holding down a job?

Which then leads me to wonder if the divorce rate's climbing numbers has less to do with some ill-defined ease of getting a divorce and more with the parties being less well-prepared for marriage.

And I will leave you with this last thought: the law can do a lot but society can do even more.

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