Love Economics: Today’s love recession

Love as we know it is a social construction. Actually, the idea of modern love did not exist until a century and a half ago. From arranged, convenient, marriages to a platonic courtly love; to the Victorian conceptions of what a relationship should entail; love has evolved into such a complicated archetype that couples find it hard to remain together while trying to achieve it. The dream of love has survived, but it continuously disappoints us.

We are constantly comparing our investments against our gains. We are now, more than ever, forcing love into some kind of economic dilemma. After all, what is economy about if not “the allocation of scarce goods”? And what good is the scarcest of them all if not love?

With divorce rates of around 60% in developed countries and the age of first time marriages getting higher and higher, I’ve come to wonder if we have entered some kind of love recession.

We treat people (and ourselves) as assets. And we end up separating love into a dichotomy: You either love the person enough to invest the time into a relationship, or you don’t. And you don’t know, so you stall, you “hang out”.

Have we set such high expectations in love that we’ve created a dating bubble that, like the housing market, is bound to pop?

We love our liberties, our pool of choices, the dream of something better always being around the corner.

So do your personal value equation. What would be your opportunity cost? What are you willing to sacrifice for love?

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