Money makes the world go round but love conquers all. Well, apart from 42% of UK marriages ending in divorce (according to The Office for National Statistics). Not to mention, research indicates the honeymoon stage begins to decline after a year. Yet Hollywood and society (school and family) educates us to choose love over everything else. In relationships, will we ever confess: money better than love?
The women who prefer money
I was standing on a quiet street in London when her face appeared. With a beauty only money could buy – a facial glow, tailored clothes and hair smoother than ice running under a cold tap, I couldn’t decide if it was wealth or her smile beaming towards me. Unapologetically, she admitted her partner isn’t the best looking; he’s not the grand love of her life. But his income has carved her business, bought her luxuries and permitted proximity to prime real estate.
This woman wasn’t financially poor prior to meeting her boyfriend. She’s educated, and was somewhat successful in her own right – going against the gold digger stereotypes we assume on women who marry for status.
We tend to accept women who wish to marry men with equal career and earning prospects. If I was a multimillionaire author, society wouldn’t bat an eye at me sourcing a wealthy husband. Opinions change when a ‘girl next door’ says she wants a rich man. We think: gold digger.
And we typically make judgements. Since asking people: Is money better than love, I’ve received responses suggesting those who opt for cash, have possibly given up on romance, are selfish and greedy, have their priorities wrong, and will never be happy in the end.
What about lifestyle over love?
Rather than looking at money in itself, what about considering dreams. (As a disclaimer, I’m going to address this as woman wanting a wealthy man, due to experiences, stories and stereotypes – I’m aware the roles can reverse.)
Let’s say a woman has worked her way up the corporate ladder, on a decent salary, in a job that’s not ideal though she feels some career satisfaction. A kind man falls head over heels for her, offering not only comfort and support but lavish holidays, a beautiful house and investment. Is she a gold digging, horrid woman, for being in relationship with him, despite not being in love?
I have a friend in such a situation. She’s tempted – she knows her partner isn’t a romantic Mr. Right. On the phone, her voice echoes a relaxed stance on love as a priority. She favours the finer things in life – an uncomfortable thing to admit. Asking for what sounded like my approval, I struggled to form an analytical viewpoint.
I’d much rather date men with money. Yes, I said it. Powerful men in my experience, possess more confidence, wisdom and ambition, with a work drive I can learn from. The wealthier of my exes always came across more interesting; life bestowed them greater leisure. And best of all, they saved me from using the London underground and helped me to capture nicer Instagram photos. (A little humour there, though actually true).
In terms of asking if money is better than love, I believe it’s a factor of what other traits a person has. People often present rich partners as greedy and dominating; waffling on about work and running out to have affairs. A friend said to me, “Don’t you think rich men near us look like stuck up idiots?” I said, “Have you met any nice poor guys recently?”
What if the wealthy partner frequently donated to charity, shared similar humour, took the time to sexually fulfil… and the one you love doesn’t share your ambition and interest to learn. Can we still argue love over income?
Is love overrated?
An article on Medical News Today discussed a study which found people feel more love at a pet being happy to see them, than hearing “I love you”.
A piece on the website Uplift, describes how Western culture conditions us to believe that romantic love forms life happiness. We’re encouraged to believe our lives are lacking something when no one romantically loves us. The article further goes on to talk about love addiction – how the chemicals boost “pleasure and confidence levels.” Only, the fantasy of such excitement rarely lasts and all that passion and desire simmers to friendship.
As a self-proclaimed romantic, I always thought I HAD to find a significant other. I spent much of my twenties running back to a guy I really believed I’d eventually end up with. Love in my mind, meant everything. Someone to hold your hand each day, to share experiences with. I’m not implying I no longer want to find such a connection – of course love is an incredible emotion to ride. It’s the ultimate escape.
However, I feel I could find happiness with loved ones (not necessarily romantic), in a beautiful country, writing, swimming in the sea, eating fresh produce, reading the most amazing books and spending my days going on adventures, hopefully with incredible passion.
I would choose career over love. So, why does it sound difficult to say I’d also choose money?
Is it all a game of settling?
It’s easy to slate people who prioritise money as they go against society. We may perceive them cold and ruthless. Funnily, we’re more accepting of those who specifically desire good-looking partners.
In fairy-tale land, each of us would earn the income we need to live the lifestyles we want, finding partners who tick both love and money boxes. That’s not a feasible reality for the world’s population.
As much as I’m a lover of love, I understand people who choose to not place importance on a significant other. We like to paint singletons and those not in love, as missing something. What if the ones in love are the people blinded? Perhaps self-fulfilment and a great partner who provides companionship is more than enough?
Money doesn’t always make people happy, and neither does love. In debating is money better than love, you have to factor the relationship and ask:
- Can a person with all their faults and flaws, satisfy you each day?
- Does a person feel like a sacrifice, as though you’re settling in case you don’t find someone else?
- Will you see life half empty or half full? If you choose lifestyle, can you accept not finding a ‘soulmate’?
- Will the person give you the life you want? Are they someone you could happily spend years with?
- How much could money issues cause problems, if that became an issue?
To summarise; love doesn’t buy happiness… if you’re going to the wrong shops. What’s your view? Do you think love always wins; are there circumstances when money is more important? And could you give up your dream lifestyle for the person you love? I’m interested in hearing different opinions.
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