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loveandmoney-1

Like it or not, money does matter, especially when it comes to finding and sustaining love.

When you were very young, money probably didn’t carry that much weight or importance, aside from all that colorful Monopoly money you probably used to buy Park Place. Then, little by little, the need to acquire money and attract love probably became something more critical in your life.

According to Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs,” it’s pretty hard to seek out things like self-actualization, love, and total fulfillment when you’re freaking out about how to pay rent or put food on the table. Needless to say, you’ll probably want to make sure that your basic economic needs are met before you focus on your romantic needs – like attracting a lifelong partner.

Here’s some probing questions and other follow-up queries you may want to ask yourself, in order to clarify your particular relationship to love and that “other” powerful phenomenon we call money:

 Do you have a personal philosophy about money?

That’s a compelling question, especially if you’ve never really thought about your own particular philosophy regarding money. I know that I spend it, but haven’t spent that much time on exactly what the green stuff means to me.

And God knows, money means lot of different things to different people, right? For many of us, money means buying power and security. For others, it offers freedom and opportunity. As Joel Grey and Liza so sarcastically sang, in the 1972 hit musical, Cabaret, “money makes the world go round…”

What does money mean to you?

For better or for worse, many of us do believe that money makes the planet go around, and that the only way to secure lasting love is through the pocket book.

Then again, the Beatles so passionately sang just the opposite, “Money Can’t Buy Me Love.” I think most of us exist somewhere in the middle; it’s good to have money, but maybe, just maybe, it ain’t everything!

So take a few moments to ponder what money means to you. You may just find that love and the almighty dollar are more tied together than you had thought!

Do you over-value or under-value the true worth of money?

 There’s no question that a lot of us tend to over-value or under-value the true worth of money. Do you really understand the true value of a buck? Do you take money too seriously or just throw it around like there’s no tomorrow?

After all, isn’t that what the credit card companies hope you’ll do? These guys want you to shop till you drop, then charge lots of interest and late fees, plunging you deeper and deeper into debt. It’s the American way!  Not in my book…

Are you a debtor or a miser?

There’s nothing worse than accruing piles of financial debt. Talk about a quick way for potential love to fly out the window, especially when you’re just trying to survive!

And speaking of potential Iove, I hear this all the time, mostly from my male clients: “I can’t afford to date! Dinners and movies are just too damn expensive! I can barely keep a roof over my head!” Maybe they have a point – a very practical one, at that…

Then again, the tragic withholding nature of a miser, usually fear-based, can be equally problematic, just by its stagnant nature, and can cut-off any chance for love or true intimacy. And who’s typically attracted to a penny-pinching miser? Nobody!

Does money control you?

Everywhere I look these days, money seems to rule the culture with an unrelenting momentum. Just check out all those incredibly manipulative T.V. commercials, ever-commanding us to buy, buy, buy!

Unfortunately, that huge, mega-advertising machine we all love and know as Madison Avenue, does such a good job at pushing products on us, that it can really be a mighty challenge just to hold onto our hard-earned cash.

And with all this constant messaging, we’re left with a society made up of insatiable consumers – it’s just insane!

 Do you face your money issues openly—without shame?

It’s amazing how money issues and shame are so intricately connected.

How many times have you heard about or even witnessed those who plunge into addictions, or even more tragically, take their own lives following a substantial loss of finances? Remember all those “poor” money tycoons who jumped out of buildings during the Big Market Crash of 1929?

Or just look at all the problem-gamblers, hopelessly tapped-out at those “fun-loving” casinos, with nothing to show for their misguided efforts, except for deep cesspools of downward-spiraling shame.

It’s hard to believe that all these unfortunate beings weren’t controlled, in some way, by the almighty dollar.  For them, money was the only measure of self-worth – the only reason for their existence.

Money had become synonymous with self-esteem, ever-fluctuating, like the unpredictable ups and down of the stock market – too often turning peoples’ lives into costly disasters.

How does money connect to your life purpose?

Ah, your life purpose and the way it relates to your money – the ultimate question.

If your life purpose is to fix a broken world through service to others, then how much money will you need to make this happen? If your goal is to be the richest person in the world, then a ton of money will probably never enough.

Do you acquire money mainly to impress and attract the opposite sex? Are you out to purchase love, like a new pair of shoes? And if, God forbid, you have no life purpose, then money may have no meaning to you – except if you’re forced to hit the streets and beg for it.

And consider these related questions: Do you tend to carry this race for more money thing too far? Are you satisfied with what you have? How much is enough, and how central is money to you and the reason for you existence here on Planet Earth?

Something to really think about, isn’t it?

A healthier perspective about money

So, how can we develop a healthier, non-shame-based attitude about money?

Maybe the thing to remember is that money is primarily a means to an end, whatever that “end” means for you. In any case, you might want to make sure that money serves you, rather than the other way around.

Keeping a cool head about money and not being too obsessed or impulsive about it, is always a good way to go.

Taking care of your finances can go a long way toward helping you take better care of yourself – and even allow you to enter into something as beautiful as a love relationship without the undue distraction of all that needless source of worry, all that money stress.

Money matters, and that’s a fact.

But we also need all that other good stuff like human connection, belonging, and a healthy sense of self-worth. And, at the end of the day, what’s more attractive than that?

Money, if dealt with wisely, can help us to realize our dreams, and may even help to draw love into our lives – a precious love that can flourish and last a lifetime…


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