How to handle the elephant in the room in an international relationship

international relationship

The most common conflict in a relationship is financial problems. This is the ugly truth that people don’t want to talk about: the No. 1 reason for divorce in almost every country in this world is money. Before we discuss why that’s happening, let’s think about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Clearly, safety needs are basic needs and financial security is a major part of safety; love is a psychological need which is a high-level need. People can only pursue a high-level need after their basic needs are already met. That’s exactly why people don’t want love anymore when their financial security is challenged. But how should we handle this very common challenge in an international relationship?

  • What’s the elephant in the room?

Sadly, a lot of couples let money be the elephant in the room. Nonetheless, this doesn’t have to happen because: 1) when you start an international relationship with someone, it is your responsibility to establish the right boundaries in this relationship in terms of money – you can do this by having a candid conversation with your partner early in the relationship, e.g., whether you are going to have a joint bank account or not, how much money or what percentage of money you are going to put in the joint bank account if you decide to have one, your money habits, etc. 2) you can have a regular money date with your partner, e.g., every second Tuesday, you sit down with your partner at home with some sparkling water, delicious snacks and relaxing music in the background & have a 1-hour money date together – here is what you will do on your money date:

  1. Check your income.
  2. Save 10% of your income by transferring money to your savings accountyou pay yourselves first!
  3. Transfer 10% of your income to your play account – you can spend this amount of your income guilt-free (going out for dinner, buying clothes, enjoying overseas trips, etc.)
  4. Pay your bills – yes, you pay your bills last!

Remember: clarity and certainty eliminate the elephant in the room. 😊

  • If you currently have a 9-to-5 day job and you are looking to start a side hustle that makes another income, the advice below is definitely for you!

No, you don’t have to buy a $10,000 business course that teaches you how to start a business because you can learn for free:

  1. You can find a large amount of useful information on the Internet.
  1. You can borrow business books from the library.
  1. You can join a group on MeetUp.com where you are able to meet like-minded people in your local area and learn from someone who is more successful than you by hanging out with them – some of these people are reasonably successful business owners.

Don’t be a self-help junkie who only reads hundreds of “how-to” articles online without taking action. The fact that you are in my inner circle and reading this guide right now means you are a switched-on action taker, so hopefully you will actually implement what you have learned for free.

Yes, it’s very easy to read something helpful and feel really good about it, but in order to make great things happen, you have to implement what you’ve learned.

There are many gurus telling you that they read 52 books a year, listen to audio books (3x speed) when they are in the gym every morning and consume a lot of educational podcasts before they fall asleep at night. However, you must stop listening to those gurus because learning isn’t consumption.

Actually, learning is all about fully understanding the valuable information and implementing what you have learned.

That means reading a book per week doesn’t mean anything unless the implementation is solid.

Here is how I read books:

I read one page, and then I stop and think for an hour – I think about how to implement the key information on this page; I look up certain terminology on Wikipedia in order to truly understand the meaning of a particular idea; I write down many notes to faciliate my learning. And then I read another page & stop and think for an hour….

I’ve read several books more than once because each time I read one of those books, I learn something new. Meanwhile, there are some books that are still on my coffee table and I rarely touch them because they aren’t really relevant to my goals.

In my opinion, telling you how many books I read per month or per year is meaningless; knowing what I have done with what I’ve learned is much more meaningful.

“You can get rid of the elephant in the room by having more economic power. This will surely minimize friction in your international relationship.”

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