A month ago, I wrote a popular blog post on how NOT to fight about money. The first thing I said was, my husband and I NEVER fight about money. Now, I'm going to tell you something else about our relationship...We DON'T celebrate Valentine's Day.
You may think, well, that seems about right for a money coach -- the commercialization of Valentine's Day, a holiday that's not really a holiday because no one gets that day off from work, all that pressure to buy stuff or take someone out to dinner... and you're right. I do believe in all that, however it's also because it's my husband's birthday! That's right, he's a Valentine Baby, born on February 14th. For a guy, it can be a drag because I'm sure before he met me, he's had to take someone else out or even buy gifts, on his birthday.
Everyone who knows me, knows I LOVE birthdays, especially my own birthday! I guess it's because for most of the year, I like to focus on other people. It's my job, after all, to coach others about their money. So, for one day a year, I love the focus to be just on me. I get to do what I want and indulge!
Back to my husband...He's not like me. He doesn't relish in the birthday tradition, as much as I do. I think it's because of this Valentine's Day thing getting in the way. It's never been about him. Well, maybe when he was much younger, when his mom would make him heart-shaped cakes.
So, in honor of his birthday, I'm going to focus this week's blog post about him.
The two of us met while working on the popular ABC show, The Bachelor. How funny, right? I meet my future husband on a show about romance, dating and marriage proposals. It was Jake Pavelka's season. Do you remember him? He was the pilot. It was a strange first season, with one of the women getting kicked off for messing around with another producer and that producer getting fired. It was my first season, and I think it was Michael's third season. At first, I was like....is this how they produce on this show?!
We knew each other but didn't talk too much for most of that season, since we were on different "teams." At the end of that season, we were on the beautiful island of St. Lucia.
Below is a picture of me on set of what I think is the proposal location? Or maybe it was a date location. This was 10 years ago, so my memory is a bit foggy.
I was sweet Tenley's producer/"handler." This was before the rejection... and I'm sure she doesn't mind me saying that because she's married now to a wonderful man!
I wish I had a photo of Michael in St. Lucia. But anyway, we started talking about our love of Willie Nelson one night, and although it wasn't a deep subject, I felt like I had known this person my entire life. It was a soul connection. However, we were both in relationships.
When we came back to Los Angeles, a.k.a. REAL reality, we both broke up with our significant others. However, we didn't even start dating immediately after the break ups. We were very clear that we didn't break up those relationships because we found someone else. Those relationships were already on the downhill. We also didn't want to hurt anyone, and we wanted to start off our relationship in the best way possible. My last relationship ended because of money issues (a story for another time), so when Michael and I finally did start dating, my first questions were --
"What's your credit score, and do you have an emergency savings?!"
His credit score was amazing, and he said he didn't have an emergency savings...so I told him to start one!
Fast forward a few years, and here's us, after he proposed in Big Sur, in a super romantic and unforgettable weekend of wine tasting, swimming, doing yoga in a yurt, getting massages and staying at the Post Ranch Inn. I thought it was just an amazing birthday weekend, and then he pops the question!
Then, five months later, we get married in an incredibly beautiful ceremony at an art deco venue in downtown Los Angeles, paying for the entire wedding in cash.
I'll break down the numbers in a future post, perhaps on our anniversary. However, here are the lessons I've learned from this incredible human being:
- Men can be incredibly strong, "manly" AND also have vulnerability, thoughtfulness and emotional intelligence.
- Generosity doesn't just have to be about money. Instead, giving others the benefit of the doubt can be the biggest act of generosity there is.
- Every situation can be funny. Here are two Michael-isms I wrote down awhile ago: "It's funny how puppy babies can run around and move about but human babies are just big blobs of caca that just cry." "You can't act like a turd or you'll get flushed down the toilet."
- True partners give 100% of themselves when they can, and when they can't, the other person picks up the rest and gives more than 100%.
- The best kind of relationship isn't one where you just do what the other person says...instead, it's one where you're always helping each other grow and be a better person.
That last one is what my husband does for me. We make each other better people each day, each month, and each year. Now, what did I learn from him regarding money? That it's definitely not as important as love. Love should be above all else, and that's the ultimate reason we don't celebrate Valentine's Day because we celebrate our love EVERY DAY!
I'd love to hear from you! Subscribe, comment below, and tell me how you celebrate love! Also, in honor of our birthdays and love, I'd love to give YOU a 1-HOUR FREE financial coaching session to get you unstuck in money (and in love, as you can read on the testimonials page...how money coaching can even help your love life)! Just click here to sign up and then go to this link to schedule.