by Julia Guardione

Can money buy love and happiness?

Money is everything, but it’s also not everything. We know, “that’s a little confusing”, but hear us out.

We love and need money. Whether we like it or not, our world revolves around it, both on a planetary and individual level. Though money both prompts and funds most of our life choices, there are also non-economic elements; things like health, purpose, love, peace, and happiness within the human experience that motivate us to behave in certain ways. Though they are separate from money, and are achievable without, achieving these non-economic goals can be, and typically are, integrated somehow with having money.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, many of us have love and happiness on our minds, as those factors seem to be associated quite a bit – especially this time of year.

And, since we’re advocates of strong personal finances, it seems prudent to discuss money’s role in achieving these important goals.

Money and dating

Most of us want to have lots of money, love, and happiness. For the single population especially, one or all of these elements could be missing or in need of improvement. So, can money buy love and happiness?

The answer is: yes and no.

Happiness

According to a study, money can buy happiness. Money buys happiness when used to purchase free time, e.g. a vacation, certain days off, and having more time to explore oneself and one’s interests. Removing (even temporarily) or reducing daily time stresses can increase happiness. Since “time is money”, cash is typically involved in buying time.

So, sure, money can and does buy happiness, but only to do a degree. Another study on the relationship with money and happiness determined that higher income is associated with less daily sadness, but not more daily happiness.

“Money buys freedom from worry about the basic things in life” (Psychology Today); it creates circumstances that induce happiness, but it is not completely fulfilling.

Love

Unlike happiness, research does not show that money is able to purchase love itself. However, according to an article by Psychology Today, money might not be able to buy  love, but it can increase the chances of love. There’s two reasons why:

Attraction.

There are two genres of money-related attraction. First, there are those who are attracted to people with money. Money makes life easier. For those who seek stability or a comfortable lifestyle, money is an attractive element that can eventually lead to a loving relationship. Next, there are those who are attracted to similarity (most people). Studies show that not only are we more attracted to those who are similar to us, but also to those with whom we share similar attitudes and habits about money. Essentially, we are hard wired to be attracted to financially compatible partners. This makes sense because money habits are related to personality traits, and strong couples tend to have compatible personalities.

Favorable Circumstances. 

Money generates circumstances that are more favorable to love such as stability and lack of concern over basic needs.

Dating Big Picture

Money, in fact, cannot make you fully happy or fall in love, but that it can help you get there. So, if you’re single, here’s some tips to help you attract what else you’re seeking.

  • Maintain or build your income.
  • Develop good financial habits and budgets.
  • Seek those who do, too.
  • Buy happiness in stability, free time, and life experiences.
  • Good luck out there. Love is in the air!

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