Sunday, August 24, 2008

Romance and Finance by Alison Sardelli

For perhaps as long as love has been a part of human society, currency or trade have also played their parts; the two often cross paths, for better or worse and make for an interesting look at two of the most highly sought after fundamentals of our world.
Buying love with money: Phrasing the idea in such blunt terms is often a little off putting for many individuals who believe that love isn’t for sale. A gift given from person to another is not always the result of great expense, or in some cases any monetary expense at all, however in a world where the phrase time is money exists how can one eliminate the idea that a certain amount of affection or approval has just been, for all intents and purposes, purchased? It can be difficult to determine a person’s feelings for another where money is involved. Most people would agree that gifts are a healthy expression of individuals’ feelings, but would at the same time be offended by the idea that love can be purchased for the right price. If we look back not too many years ago, at a world where women in particular, though not exclusively, found that without the aid of a husband or relative they were nearly unable to support themselves it is easy to understand how such feelings could indeed be purchased. Considering the level of poverty so many people shared, the idea that a person could break free from such living conditions through the generosity (or sometimes just lust,) of another person would have extreme and lasting emotional consequences. In many cases, a prosperous marriage meant not only that a woman would never go hungry again, but that her family would also be provided for. While in some of these examples real love may have originated without the involvement of wealth; many of them were simply a trade, beautiful daughter or son, in exchange for financial security. In some cases this would be referred to as lust not love, but for many people the overwhelming sense of desire can easily be perceived as just such an emotion. Where some of these relationships may have begun with a pretty face or attractive body, the desire to take care of and provide for an individual suggests feelings that run a little deeper than pure desire. Though the idea may not be particularly appealing to many, it does beg the question: can love be bought?
Lust for sale? Amoral to some and illegal in many places the concept of buying a little physical action from a person for a set price is one of the oldest topics of debate throughout the world. Whether you believe it wrong or right, or simply don’t think about it, purchasing desire has been widely available in every country throughout the world as far back as any records can show. While lust does not share many of the same feelings with love it has certain powerful qualities that have driven many men and women to reach deep into their pocket books. In this case the person making the purchase is unlikely to invoke feelings of love from the person they are paying, but is it possible that some emotional attachment, some facsimile of love will come with it? Though it might be in many ways false love, the illusion can be extremely convincing. This is example of just how convincing can be seen in the well known gold digger, though perhaps not a very flattering term to use the concept is quite accurate: a person who marries are aligns themselves with another person who has the means to care for them, in many cases more than care for, providing substantial wealth. Though some might say there is a difference between a prostitute and a person who marries for money, it can be difficult to know where the line is drawn. On the other hand, a person who is attracted to another, at least in part, because that person could provide a comfortable, even lavish lifestyle, can hardly be blamed for finding the prospect appealing. Is it wrong to be attracted to a person for their money? Is it wrong to use your wealth in an attempt to attract others? These questions are ages old and yet still without definite answers from almost every society. Putting legalities aside, for most reasonable people it presents quite problem: is it fair to judge others for how they wish to live their lives? Most would say no. On the other hand the idea of selling sex for money has for many years been associated with other illegal and sometimes dangerous activities that tend take place in the same locations. Amoral or not, it is a true reflection of our growth as a society that these desires often outweigh logic; whether for or against, the emotional response is usually one sided and without thought to the oppositions’ feelings or opinions.
Money and relationships: It has been recorded numerous times that one of the most common reasons for couples splitting up is finance. Some attempt to avoid this issue by keeping separate bank accounts and treating the relationship, in terms of money, more like a roommate situation than a romantic one. In other situations one person entirely supports another financially while the other remains at home, perhaps attending school, pursing a creative profession or even more commonly to raise a family. However you and your partner have decided to address your financial decisions during stressful moments problems can be difficult to avoid. A few tips to keep in mind when dealing with this issue:
Financial difficulty cannot always be attributed to one or both people; in certain situations it can be extremely difficult to deal with poverty or limited funds, remember not to place blame simply because the situation is frustrating.
If trying to cut back on overspending, remember to cut on equal sides; it can be a stressful endeavor to eliminate certain excess from your life, remember that your partner feels the same way about their own.
However terrible the situation, try to find things to laugh about with each other, it won’t be easy but it can help to create a feeling of unity.
If one person is supporting another and this situation met with approval on both sides, don’t throw blame out simply because financial problems have occurred by reminding a person that they are not bringing an income into the relationship, especially for those that accomplish a great deal at home, though it might not be paid work, it can be extremely hurtful and will not be forgotten even if the situation improves.
Do not try to hide financial problems from your significant other; often these issues are much better to face as a solid unit and a great deal of stress can be eliminated by sharing the burden.
Forcing your partner to bear the positive attitude so that you can continue to panic or sulk is also unhelpful; regardless of your usual dynamic, try to be strong for your partner in these unhappy times.
When possible, if nothing can be done at the time to correct the situation, seek distraction with your partner, putting distance, at least temporarily between your relationship and finances.
Will the ties between money and love ever come to an end? Most likely not, as long as our society continues to include both aspects in it. To keep one from injuring the other requires patience, understanding and at times, accepting what you don’t understand. The long history for both weaves an intricate web of human development that is still just as alluring and confusing today as it was thousands of years ago

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