What Love and Money Have in Common
How many of us have ever felt that we've thrown our love away on some undeserving and ungrateful lover? Have you ever found yourself muttering something about an ex that included the words 'swine' and 'pearls' in among the expletives?
No, of course you wouldn't dream of turning the air blue with strong statements about hurt and disappointment. But you might well have wondered how your love could be wasted. What kind of a world is it where 'the power of love' - strange how the topic lends itself to song titles - is not paramount; where, contrary to what Beverley Knight sings, you can love in vain.
The thing is, for as long as you choose to see love as both mystery and miracle, blind passion and the magic word that sanctions our choices (including the most self-indulgent behaviours), you will believe - despite all evidence to the contrary - that 'love conquers everything'.
But just suppose that there is a Love Superhighway, just like the Wealth Superhighway. Just like the Wealth Superhighway, the Love Superhighway has 4 lanes. "It has??!", you exclaim in amazement. Yes, as of right now, it has. They are:
· Minding Your Own Business
· Managing Your Passions
Notice that the Emotional Lottery has no more place in the Love Superhighway than the National Lottery does in the Wealth Superhighway. The point is, it's all about choosing your investments. If you choose to channel your emotional capital into company with a bad track record and poor management, for whatever reason, the chances are you'll lose it.
But does that mean your love was in vain, or was it more an attempt at alchemy - and control? Were you using your emotional capital to try and make a poor bet into a blue chip relationship? There's nothing wrong with playing the Emotional Lottery; provided you know that's what you're doing.
So back to the 4 lanes of the Emotional Superhighway.
Equity is the capital you invest in the relationship. For your capital to grow, not only do you have to invest it well in the first place, but if keep yanking it out on a whim, you'll end up making big losses.
Property When you enter into a relationship, you both bring emotional property to the table; anything from a scuzzy terrace to a glorious mansion. From these beginnings you can develop a shared portfolio? or not. And you can maintain and refurbish the property as necessary? or let it run down.
Minding your own business means maintaining your own boundaries and respecting your partner's otherness. Ok, it may be much easier to mind your partner's business - all of the fun and none of the responsibility - but it will put huge strain on interpersonal relations.
Managing your own passions is simply the grown up alternative to dumping bad feelings on your partner. 'I'll make myself feel better, by getting you to feel worse' is every bit as good a strategy as running up credit card debt to buy a Chanel handbag.
In the end, you could argue that your relationship is a vehicle with you in the driving seat. The choices you make determine whether you drive an old banger that isn't roadworthy or whether you glide down the freeway in a glorious high powered saloon.
(C) Annie Kaszina 2004
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