Materialism – Buying things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people that don’t matter.
With so much pressure to ‘live up’ to a particular lifestyle and the need to ‘fit in’, many people fall prey to materialism. Adding fuel to fire are those persistent advertisements compelling people to buy the latest gadget or that super-expensive piece of jewellery, promising all the happiness in the world.
A happy marriage or relationship does not go hand-in-hand with materialism. Unfortunately, this evil is the root cause of divorces around the world. If you are one of the many who are in a relationship with a materialistic partner, here is how you could deal with the situation and help yourself as well as your partner.
1. Talk it out
Never underestimate the power of a good conversation. If your partner has been showing signs of materialism, it is your duty to highlight it to him/her. It is a great idea to give them the benefit of doubt and a chance to improve their behaviour. Maybe they are doing it completely unconsciously or under the influence of bad company.
So, don’t just sit there and sulk; do your best to show them your side of the picture and talk them out of their bad spending habits.
2. Set limits
Once you have given them an idea about what you feel, it will be helpful if you and your partner mutually set a monthly budget and of course, stick to it. For example, decide how much your partner can spend on clothes, gadgets, bags, shoes, and other leisurely items and let them try their best to follow it.
Try setting up two accounts, one for saving and the other for spending. With credit cards, give your partner just one of the many you may have for spending. Preferably get him/her one with some great cashback benefits!
If they happen to overspend initially, tackle the situation with care and patience and encourage them to not get derailed from the track. Slowly, things will get better.
3. Get help
No, don’t call up a psychologist or psychiatrist as yet. By help we mean videos, books, podcasts, and many such channels through which you can reiterate your thoughts. Not only will your materialistic partner get your point, but these mediums will also help them find their way out of the spending addiction. A few book options include The High Price of Materialism by Tim Kasser and The Materialistic World by Grace Scott.
Help them answer this question: Can money buy you happiness?
4. Movie date!
If Friday nights are movie nights, why not enjoy your popcorn watching a relevant movie this week? Carefully choose a flick which will show your partner how being overly materialistic can ruin relationships, marriages, and life in general.
Top picks include It Could Happen to You and Confessions of a Shopaholic. Even though these movies don’t have the best of ratings and reviews, they highlight the issues that come along with materialism quite well.
5. Budget holiday
They say a holiday can solve the biggest issues in any relationship. However, here we are not talking about the holiday which will only weave in romance in your life. Take a holiday with your materialistic partner to a place that is not expensive and show them that happiness does not always come only when you spend money.
Check out inexpensive holiday locations around Singapore here. After this holiday, maybe your partner will understand that sometimes, living in a cosy homestay is more romantic than living in a five-star hotel room and swimming in a village lake is a lot more fun than lazing in a fancy, infinity pool.
6. Break up
Sadly, if nothing else works out, you have to take this drastic step to save yourself. After all, living with a materialistic partner is draining physically, emotionally, and mentally. If your partner does not accept the problem and is willing to sacrifice you and the relationship, maybe all your efforts are not worth it. Believe that whatever happens, happens for the best and try to move on.
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