Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Whether you’re single, married or in a relationship, Tuesday was Valentine’s Day and I hope that it was a great day for you regardless of your current relationship status. Restaurants are booked weeks in advance, (last minute) flowers and chocolates are bought and the next day we’re back to our lives.
As a bookkeeper, I can’t help but look at how things can be broken down from a financial perspective and love is no exception. Love and Money. These two things can go together like water and electricity; they can work together in unison with great results (see hydroelectric power) or when mixed together they can be dangerous.
But why do we go to the extra effort for those whom we love on this day that comes every year in February? Some skeptics may call it a “Hallmark Holiday,” meaning that it doesn’t carry the same weight as the likes of Christmas and Thanksgiving. We are hounded by commercials showing the latest diamond ring that costs a month’s salary and the newest model luxury car with a big bow on it in the driveway (I always wondered how much those bows cost and figure if I have to ask this question, I shouldn’t be worried about the car).
So why do we do what we do for those we love? A short answer: love is not about money and money is not about love.
I think the quote at the top of this post could be a good barometer for any sort of relationship. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t buy that new piece of jewelry for your partner or to abandon all of your worldly possessions and live a life like that of Gandhi, but read that quote carefully one more time.
You read it again? What stood out to me were patience, protection, trust, hope and perseverance. Possessions, both literal and figurative, are not in the recipe of love. We’re not bragging about being in love or envying those who are, nor are we keeping track of transgressions. Love can be a source of hope and can help us persevere through the toughest of times.
In short, there is nothing wrong with getting your significant other gifts or making grand gestures every February 14th, just remember why you are getting them this gift or taking them to that fancy restaurant for dinner: love.