The Cost of True Love

It all begins with a smile, and a spark, and if the chemistry and timing are right, you find yourself changing your Facebook status to “In a Relationship.” Many of my friends have told me that being in a relationship is a magical experience. But the experience of love also entails commitment, which includes financial commitments.

Being in an exclusive relationship can be very costly, in terms of time and productivity. This increase in costs begins with courtship. The costs of courtship can be categorized as regular and special. Regular costs include the necessary increase in phone bills especially if the man and the woman have different mobile providers, the increased gas or commuting expenses from fetching and bringing the woman home from the office, and the regular date expenses, which can range from a simple lunch or dinner in the food court, to more expensive and fancy dinners in restaurants. These regular costs usually come in small increments, but they are big when summed up. On the other hand, special costs include gifts, and dates to more exclusive events such as concert tickets or basketball games (especially from those coming from UAAP schools). They are called “special” since these costs do not recur on a regular basis, and are usually more expensive than regular expenses. Overall, the costs associated with courtship can pile up. Thus, before undergoing this ritual, assess first if you have enough in your “war chest” (i.e. ATM account). Moreover, look at yourself also and see if you are ready physically, emotionally and financially to undergo this process. Courtship can contribute to being buried in debt.

After getting the sweet “yes” or being in an exclusively dating arrangement, costs can go up even higher, due to frequent dates, increased communication and gas costs, and also productivity. While relationships can be viewed as an inspiration, it can also serve as a distraction. For instance, lost productivity due to lover’s quarrels can add up. For students, time spent studying can sometimes be spent with the partner. Productivity losses can be a hidden cost for those in a relationship.

Moreover, being in a relationship also involves “carrying costs” carried over from the courtship period. In fact, some women complain that men become less persistent and sweet when they are already exclusively dating. Thus, courtship calls for consistency, which also means that costs are consistent.

In summary, courtship and being in a relationship involve financial commitments, as well as emotional ones. Being in a relationship can serve as a sign of maturity, and as such, this should serve as a sign not only of emotional maturity, but financial maturity as well. Courtship need not be grand and expensive all the time, since I believe that women are not objects being bought. Rather, I believe that true courtship involves honesty, even with financial capability. With this in mind, courtship need not be an expensive mask to cover financial realities, nor a financial burden one passes off to parents or incurs debt for. Courtship is about knowing each other, and being honest with one another. It is an investment, that when made wisely and planned correctly (including the financial aspect), can give lasting dividends of happiness.

About the Contributor

Lester Yee teaches with the Finance and Accounting Department and the Interdisciplinary Studies Department of the Ateneo de Manila University. He also handles courses on management analysis with the Development Academy of the Philippines.

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