My boyfriend wouldn't tell me his salary, so I ended it. Here's why...

I really cannot see how couples can have separate finances in todays' economy- I am happy if it works for them but to me it seems like a slippery slope into possible financial abuse.

Alice Tapper

Tell me a bit about you and your life

I am a 32 year old living in London and working in Higher Education. I moved to the UK 4 years ago and have been dating on and off.

Tell me about the relationship that ended - how did money come into this?

About 8 months into the relationship, my then partner and I were both looking at moving as both of our contracts were coming to an end so we obviously discussed moving in together which is when I initiated a serious conversation about money. I understand that people in the UK are not comfortable talking about money (which is why I ended up dating someone for 8 months and not knowing how much they make) but I was shocked to learn that he would not consider disclosing how much he earned and his overall financial situation even though we were to become one household unit.

The conversation was pretty much done in 3 sentences because he wouldn't budge. We were to find a flat and split everything but we weren't to know of each other's finances (even though he knew about mine because I do not see money as a taboo). The ultimate reason why a conversation couldn't be pursued was because "my parents don't share finances and don't know how much either one has saved or is in debt and they are perfectly happy". I put an end to the relationship around that time because I couldn't see a future with him and he wasn't interested in communicating more even when I expressed that.

What's important to you in a relationship/dating when it comes to money?

When it comes to money and relationships, there are two main elements that are important to me: money attitudes and current financial situation. If I am to share my life with someone I need to understand if this person is willing to work with me towards the same goals, how risk/debt averse they are, if they are actively saving for the future and why/why not etc.. They also need to be honest about their situation if they are in debt and tell me how they are working towards repaying it, or at least admit they don't have a plan but be willing to work towards a solution. I really cannot see how couples can have separate finances in todays' economy- I am happy if it works for them but to me it seems like a slippery slope into possible financial abuse.

I wouldn't want to be married and find out my partner is in huge debt and I wouldn't want to find out I'm paying 50% of the rent and I make half their salary. Not to mention the extra layer of complications if we were to have children. Even if we consider a situation where the care taking role is equal, given men cannot give birth, if a child comes into the marriage the woman can potentially lose opportunities. Even if we are to exclude or consider a same sex relationship, people's lives are so diverse (we can become carers, or disabled for instance) and I really cannot see a world in which two people can anticipate a whole relationship and therefore not need to discuss finances.

Does what someone earns matter to you?

How much someone earns is of no consequence to me but if I am to date someone on a low income I am interested in knowing whether they are looking at earning more in the future. This is because I started on a very low salary when I moved here and life was very difficult but I do believe that progression is possible and I am willing to support if needed.