Money is no substitute for love, but love is no substitute for money either

Love and money - you need both

You can’t buy love. Spend your way to affection. Substitute stuff for time and attention. Paper over the cracks with lavish offerings.

You can’t live on love. All the love in the world won’t keep you out of debt, secure a stable home, put food on the table.

You need both. Love AND money.

I used to think love was the most important thing ever. The real world has taught me otherwise. Love is not all you need. Love does not conquer all. Love alone, unfortunately, is a poor substitute for the basic necessities in life.

The partners we choose for ourselves play such an integral role in our financial situation. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about where I am today and the choices that got me here.

Where I am today has been shaped by a lot of things beyond my control. But I made choices that set these things in motion. I may not have thought about it or realised it back then but now I have a much better understanding of why I made them.

Even if it’s a bit of a hard pill to swallow, these are the facts. My relationship and circumstances now are a strong reflection of the choices that I’ve made to date.  In trying to escape the shortcomings of my childhood, I gravitated towards certain traits, not realising what the trade-off would be or appreciating the value of what I did have.

I’ve come to terms with my tendencies as an enabler and the impact of this. I’m cognisant of how this has informed my decisions in the past and I know I need to be alert going forward to ensure I don’t make the same mistakes again.

I now know what I need, what I cannot stand for, and have a clear picture of what the balance between love and money should look like in my life.

“The goal of a relationship,” writes John Armstrong, in How To Worry Less About Money, “is that both people flourish together. And because money is a crucial ingredient in flourishing, it is a crucial ingredient in marriage.”

8 thoughts on “Money is no substitute for love, but love is no substitute for money either

  • Reply Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial August 2, 2016 at 23:55

    One book I recommend highly to my cohort is Meg Jay’s The Defining Decade, which is about using your 20s to build the capital (social, career, financial) to live a fulfilling life. She talks a lot about mindfully building your relationships to match the kind of life you want. Because as young folks we really don’t hear that money is the #1 cause of divorce, yadda yadda yadda and figure everything will work out and so we talk about “falling into” love and relationships instead of “fostering” them.

    Anyways, all that is to say, I am glad you have figured out where your relationship and money boundaries and I hope that knowledge serves you well as part of how you define your relationship in future.

  • Reply Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions August 3, 2016 at 10:17

    You are really right here and being on the same page as the one you are in a relationship with (in terms of money) is incredibly important. I’ve been in a marriage where we weren’t on the same page…and it didn’t end well. I learned though and life is grand when you are aligned on the same mission!

  • Reply Maggie @ Northern Expenditure August 3, 2016 at 15:34

    Very astute! I agree completely. Thank you for being so open about yourself. Money is a tool, but it can be a divisive tool as well. Managing your money so you can think less about it allows it to be just another tool in your arsenal of life instead of the centerpiece to your life.

  • Reply Funny about Money August 4, 2016 at 06:36

    Yep. Y’know, my mother used to say — back in another era, probably before YOUR mother’s era — that the main cause of marital discord is money. Don’t know if that’s still true today, when a woman can earn a decent living. But it was sure true back in the day when most women could not.

  • Reply Latoya @ Femme Frugality August 4, 2016 at 07:38

    I’m particularly fond of the statement, “love don’t pay the bills.” Oh how true that statement is! I’ll take a lot of each, please!

  • Reply Dividends Down Under August 5, 2016 at 16:01

    I realised just how much money means when we found out we need IVF to have children.. I have struggled a lot with that thought process that if we were in the “rich and elite” category, it wouldn’t even be an obstacle, because we could buy our way out of our infertility.. But we aren’t rich. That light-bulb moment was set off extremely bright – that ache we have to have children will only be fixed by money.

    I do consider myself very lucky to have found love though, my husband is my best friend and the love of my life, I am mind-blown by how amazing life is with him. Hopefully we can solve our need for money, working together towards financial independence, but I doubt I will ever have as much money as I have love :).


  • Reply Mel @ brokeGIRLrich August 8, 2016 at 12:29

    I have a financially unfortunate habit of dating musicians – though it’s not always true they’re terrible with money, it does seem to be the case more often than not.

  • Reply Mrs. CTC August 10, 2016 at 02:39

    Everytime I say that marriage is partly a business contract I get these shocked looks thrown my way. But it’s true!

    You should always have a good money plan in order with your significant other, and know the legal ins and outs of your relationship.

    I’m surprised people still invite me to weddings, sounds like a hoot, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.