Emotional investment in relationships

I am going to explore the topic of investment in relationships.

In my view, the investment we make is directly proportional to the value we give to a thing. Like if I earn, for example, € 10,000 per month and I want to buy a mobile phone that costs € 500, I will make a small effort. If I earn € 700 per month and want to buy the same phone, I’ll have to be saving money for several months to get it. In which case will I value the phone more? Clearly in the second, because the effort taken to get it was much higher.


In relationships it is precisely the same thing.

When I say relationships, I mean romantic/intimate relationships, although this applies to others as well.

If I do a lot of things for my girlfriend or partner, it means that I will become more emotionally attached to her and that I will value her more. If she does more for me than I do for her, then it means that she will be more attached to me than I am to her and that she will value me more.

The notion of society that there is reciprocity in investment is, in my view, erroneous. There is this logic that if I like a woman then I will invest in her, emotionally and even financially, and that afterwards she, naturally, will pay back … it doesn’t work like this in reality, because why would she pay me back if I’m making all the effort? That is, if I’m doing everything, is her paying me back necessary for the relationship to survive..? In this example I am using the case where the man is investing more but it could be just the opposite, meaning the man is investing less to make the relationship work.


Give the other person space to invest in you.

Looking at things from this perspective, it is always advisable to give the other person space to invest in you, to do things for you, and to let her participate. You don’t want to be the one that does everything, you had better get used to receiving and not only giving… if you don’t do that, you will have to make more effort to keep things going and as a side-effect you will be more connected to her.

If you invest too much, she will be less connected to you, and she will value you less because she is not investing a great deal in you. Basically, in this situation you are making all the effort to keep the relationship alive. I know this is counter-intuitive but it’s the way it works … This, is in my view, is a very bad deal and a source of pain and delusion.

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