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My Love Do(n't) Cost Things

Love isn’t Free. Materially or metaphorically, it isn’t. Here are four characteristics of why money isn’t the only thing but is in fact, a thing in relationships.

It Depends On Your Lifestyle

She’s dripping with Gucci and you can’t do without Armani. Then you share similar lifestyles and the similar incomes to sustain them. You could also both be college students feasting on cup ramen and hanging out with the roommates. Similar economic backgrounds, similar life goals make relationships develop more fluidly. There’s more shared mutual understanding and mutual expectations of what’s considered ‘acceptable’ or ‘frivolous’ spending.

Investing isn’t the same as Investment

I strongly believe that the most reliable and most universal measurement of a quality relationship is time. How much time does your partner invest in you? Time is money for the affluent. But time is time for anyone and everyone. Time is time you could be spending on sleep, on others, at your job, with friends, with things, with yourself. The most singular valuable expenditure a man or woman can give you is their time.

Finance isn’t always Independence

It’s hard to fathom that statement but think about it. Money could be his family’s or the government’s. She could be owned by the grants that fund her research, or the shares that her company request. The heir, investor, or CEO gets entrenched with the company's values, goals, and expectations, aka your relationship's own personal values, goals, and expectations.

The self-made man could both be free and lucratively independent but just as well, as the freegan or political, modest activist. The man who chooses to live on the land, the minimalist, the conglomerate “ex-son,” the banished artist, the ladder-climbing employee, can all still be way more independent. Ask yourself, if they are someone who can carry on their own and can easily start again if their empire (aka steady income) abruptly disappeared.

“You think you gotta keep me iced (You don't)
You think I'm gonna spend your cash (I won't)
Even if you were broke
My love don't cost a thing
Think I wanna drive your Benz (I don't)
If I wanna floss I got my own
Even if you were broke
My love don't cost a thing”

Jennifer Lopez “My Love Don't Cost A Thing.”


There’s some form of a saying, a potential and probably folksy myth on sex and money. It’s crude, but it’s worth mentioning, if not to stimulate thought. It is as the follows: “When women get richer, they need less men. Whereas, when men get richer, they need more women.” Historically (doesn’t mean it’s right), men have been the breadwinners and power-stirrers of a relationship or marriage. Now in today’s society, where women can be the sole head of the household and men the care-takers, what does it say about our new plane of courting and dating? Money and sex appeal (youth) are equally sought by both genders. It just becomes way more diverse when “traditional roles” are interchanged along with the “traditional” courting. An older, rich, beautiful independent woman ends up still single while a financially struggling, yet young, handsome, and charming man may still attract multiple women non-stop.

Bottom Line

Jen only didn’t want to spend her beau’s cash because well, she’s stashed. It might have been totally different if she wasn’t. Supporting and financially investing in each other is sure as heck still important, across all economic demographics. It’s effort that should be measured proportionately to circumstance. You’ll have success as a couple when both are comfortable in their roles and levels of independence in the relationship. Both are getting something more substantial than the ‘gendernomic’ exchange and both want to invest the most valuable expenditure of all: time.

Author Profile

Sarah Suhaimi practices 명음 by day and the art of dark chocolate bar swindling by night. She is currently working closely with a local Pittsburgh non-profit that serves sex-trafficked victims, Living in Liberty, as a volunteer and grant proposal writer. She founded the Southeast Asian Student Alliance (SEASA) at her university, and, as well, the "Offer Islam Campaign." Her works vary from prose to poetry to articles. Her published works include, ‘The Home of an Immigrant’s Daughter’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2012 Dublin Biennial, Dublin, Ireland and ‘Hidden Beauty Reveals Itself (Intellect Vs Instinct)’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2011 Florence Biennale VIII, Florence, Italy.

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