article on relationships: The economics of loveIn school we were taught that economics is the study of how goods and services are produced, sold and bought. I dare say there is an economics of how love is generated, even sold and bought!

An understanding of this economics is vital to achieving success in love even as an understanding of world economic theories and principles are vital to achieving success in life. Well we need to define what success in love means for us first: I believe this is achieving a loving relationship that is respectful, fulfilling and everlasting. So lets cut to the chase and look at various things that happen in the quest for and the practice of love and certain economic principles that work for us in our quest for the kind of love we just described.

Those who are single and seeking love will be interested in the very important economic concept of demand and supply. In pure  economics terms, it is a product/service which is readily available (high supply) has little or no value, while low supply refers to products that are not readily available but have much value.

Things that are scarce are usually sought with passion and people place great value on them and are willing to pay more money to acquire them. But not so for things that are readily available. It does not matter the actual quality of the product/service.

You’re surprised when the same pineapple you recently bought N100 now costs 300 and the seller simply explains that “Pineapple is scarce now” – you quickly pay before someone else buys it. So in your quest for love please understand that if you are readily available, or you give of yourself cheaply, your value as a lovable material worthy of a high price diminishes. People will value you more (and love you more) if you are not easily obtainable.

Some people get heart broken when someone starts acting funny or breaks up with them after they gave in to the persons demand for … ( you know what). Well the simple truth is that  their value had dropped because they became cheaply available. What to do? Understand that you’re a person of great value and become the priced product that is not readily available, not easily get-able. Men (or women) will want to do anything to get you . But even then you should remain unobtainable until they do the one thing that guarantees the love will be everlasting until they sign the marriage certificate saying they’ll be with you forever no matter what.

Another important love economics principle is the concept of “No free Lunch”. In pure world economics sometimes people demand for things like good roads or other amenities but with little thought for where the money to pay for the roads will come from. In reality the money has to come from somewhere, either higher taxes or from private investors who will seek to recover their investments say by charging tolls on the roads.

The point is the people still have to pay for what they enjoy. In love there is also no free lunch. Guys understand and apply this principle even if unconsciously. A guy who spends money on a girl soon begins to expect something from her in return. A girl should therefore weigh if the guy is one with whom she desires a long term relationship before beginning to accept his gifts and lunch dates. This does not meaning that she gives him the ultimate reward, no, at least a promise of the future would do for now, until he makes the ultimate gift to her of a wedding ring, in the church.

But more importantly both guy and girl should understand that sex outside marriage is not free. According to renowned speaker Pam Stenzel, “Sex has a prize tag”. The price could be emotional scars if the relationship goes sour. It could also be pregnancy outside marriage (pls don’t even think of abortion), it definitely includes guilt and loss of self esteem. Yes, no free sex. So as someone says let’s have fun, ask them, “At whose expense?” e.g “who will lose her self esteem after the act and whose body will carry the pregnancy that may result?

Now before it seems as if we’re only concerned about love between single persons we hasten to touch on an important love economic principle for the married and the engaged. It is the principle of Motive or incentives (a.k.a what is in it for me?) A lot of married couples are trying to revive the spark of love in their relationships and failing woefully at it because they ignore the fact that our actions and reactions are usually driven by incentives (gain/reward).

In pure world economics, if we’re asked to proposed a solution for say dumping of pure water sachets on Lagos streets we could suggest many solutions. But one solution that is sure to work like magic will be to announce that sachet water manufacturers will pay money for sachets anyone brings. People will be motivated to even pick sachets dropped by others to go get the money. Married couples need to look for their partners incentives.

What does he or she want most? You don’t have to do everything but just that one thing that he or she treasures most. It will make her love you like never before. As Gary Chapman, bestselling author of “The 5 love Languages” put it, “ you need to find what fills your partner’s love tank and do it.” Someone may want to be appreciated with kinds worlds while someone else want you to do pratical things for them like clean the house. Someone else may like notes left in certain places for her/him to find or you calling her just to say “I love you” etc

If you can find your spouse’s best incentive, what he/she wants more than anything, and focus on doing a lot of it, then its likely that most of your failings in other areas will be ignored and you can have a wonderful relationship. The 80/20 rule says that 20% of what we do in life gives us 80% of our success. That also applies to love relationships.

It is hoped that you found this piece insightful and educative, if yes, share it with a friend.

Article culled from: Our Ladys Voice (A monthly publication of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church Aguda S/lere Lagos).

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