These days, with prices of commodities shooting through the roof, a little belt-tightening is understandable. But being thrifty doesn’t mean you can’t still show your love for your man. In fact, you may want to work on taking money out of the equation when it comes to expressing your feelings for one another.

A study published in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy in October 2011 suggests that being too focused on money and material things may harm your relationship. The study involved a statistical analysis of 1,734 couples who were evaluated on how important money and possessions were to them as well as on other relationship measures. Results showed that couples who thought money and possessions weren’t too important to a relationship scored about 10 to 15 percent higher on factors like marriage stability, communication skills, and conflict resolution.

Jason Carroll, the lead author for the study and a researcher at Utah’s Brigham Young University, said, "Couples where both spouses are materialistic were worse off on nearly every measure we looked at. There is a pervasive pattern in the data of eroding communication, poor conflict resolution, and low responsiveness to each other." The study showed that if only one person in the relationship was materialistic, the couple was still better off in general than when both people prioritized possessions.
Carroll believes that "sometimes people can deceive themselves about how important their relationships are to them. It's helpful to step back and look at where you focus your time."

Still, we believe that there are ways to train yourself not to think that money has an impact on how you and your partner treat each other or on how you show your love for one another. One way is to work on the very points materialistic couples scored low on: stability, communication, and more.

In the slide show below, we’ve listed 25 suggestions for being more malambing without spending a thing.


For more date ideas for you and your man, check these out:

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(Flashbox photo by baileyraeweaver via Flickr Creative Commons)

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