We sat down with internationally acclaimed finance expert Suze Orman for her thoughts on love, relationships and how finances tie it all together. Orman extends her candid observations about money and financial responsibility to her own journey towards self-love and finding the perfect person for her.
Through her countless experiences helping couples, Orman says that “M” not only stands for marriage but money as well, as finances are the number one issue that can make or break a relationship. And when it comes to the dangerous land of plastic cards — she has a solution — her very own Suze Orman Approved Card! Read on for her interview about love.
eH: Is it more important to be loved or to love?
Suze: Hmmmm…can you do one without the other? I don’t think so. Even if you are not loved back by the person you are loving, the action of really loving another brings love into your own life.
eH: What do you love most about your life now?
Suze: What I love most about my life now is that I am no longer looking for anything. I am no longer wanting or wanting for anything. I am happy with every aspect of my life both personally and professionally. As far as my relationship goes, I never thought that I would find the love of my life. Sure I was in relationships before but we both were never totally happy. Sure some of them were great people, but we were not great together. And then I found KT (Kathy Travis). I was not even looking, nor was she. I think we both had just settled at that time in our lives. And poof…we met. From the night we met at her house for dinner, my life has never been the same. I have perfect harmony with KT and there is not a day that goes by that I do not thank GOD for giving me the perfect relationship.
eH: What is the hardest thing about love?
Suze: I would have to answer the fear of losing it. If something were to happen to KT, an illness or an accident and therefore she would no longer be in my life, I honestly don’t know how I would make it through that. I know there could never ever be another KT. She really is one in a million. So that fear is hard.
eH: When would you say was the first time you really found love?
Suze: When I met KT. Sure I would say I was in love before, but it would come and go out of my life. With KT, it never goes away. It has been 12 years now and I love her more today than yesterday. I was 49 when I got together with KT and she was the best 50th bday gift I ever gave myself.
eH: What does love mean to you now versus 10 years ago?
Suze: I think when you first meet someone, you may feel like you are in love but I think it’s that you are in lust. Everything is new and perfect and there are very few problems. So it is easy to feel like you are in love when everything is new and easy. Years later things can become a little more complicated. Financial habits can be different, personal habits may become irritating. Feelings are not so raw, so a relationship can start to feel stale. For me however none of that is true. As time has gone on there is not one thing that I would change about my gal. Love now is about knowing that who I am with is who I want to be with for the rest of my life. We have dreams and goals of just spending time with each other more than anything we want to accomplish. Love today is about being alone rather than with others. Love today is just being together every chance we can. This is funny for we work together. KT and I are together 24 hours a day since just the two of us oversee my media empire. It really is amazing that we have no employees and yet everything gets done on time and with ease.
eH: How do you know if someone is “The One?”
Suze: Well for me at first it was a feeling. I loved talking to KT until late in the night. Our time together was filled with revealing our innermost thoughts to each other. But for me, given who I am and what I do, it was really the first person I had been in a relationship with that I felt understood money on a very different level than most. It was not about…is she good with it or not? She did not value herself by the size of her bank account, which was significant. She did not care if others knew what she had or not. She had values which to me meant more than money. The way I knew she was the one, however, was that I liked her even more than I loved her. You know it seems to me it is easy to love someone. But it is not so easy to like them. That had been my problems in my past relationships. I felt like I loved them, but I most certainly knew I did not like them. That was not true for KT. She was the one from April 16th 2001 and still is to this day.
eH: What do you think one needs in a partner to make the relationship successful?
Suze: Communication on an equal level. Whenever I talk with KT, I feel as if I am talking with her not to her. I feel like she is my equal in ever possible way. It is that equality that I just love. No power struggles, no awkwardness, no regrets, no desire to change the other, just two people who are equal in thoughts, words, actions and love.
eH: What advice would you give to those struggling with self-love — and those who are still looking for love?
Suze: I know that people say you cannot find love until you love yourself. I do not think that is true. I can say that when I met KT, as far as relationships go, I was not loving myself at all. Sure I was successful in work, but really I was a failure in love. I had low self esteem. I felt like I had no personal voice. My sexual expression had been dormant for six years. So I did not feel like I loved myself. Sometimes, however, someone is put in front of you when you least expect it and if you are just open to letting love into your life and you are willing to recognize it – you never know what can happen.
eH: How do finances affect romance?
Suze: Listen, everyone, I have now hosted The SUZE ORMAN SHOW on CNBC every Saturday night for over 12 years. I have probably talked to more couples about money than almost anyone out there. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that money affects a relationship more than anything else. “M” just does not stand for marriage, it also stands for money. If you cannot come together on money, you will eventually not be together at all. So it is essential before you really get serious that you know the other person’s financially intimate information. What is their FICO score? Do they have debt? Why do they have debt? Do they pay bills on time? Do they value saving more than spending? Do they like to pay cash or charge? Do they like to impress people with clothes or cars? Are they organized or do they disrespect what money can buy? You best know all of this, because if you don’t, you will be sorry.
Image courtesy: Robert Trachtenberg