When Love and Pay Collide 31-May-2012
I heard a discussion the other day about prenuptial agreements. It was just a little blurb I heard as I flipped past a radio station. It was, of course, a heated discussion, which is why I changed the channel. Earlier that same day, I read an article that made light of how children “don’t know what love is” in reference to loving their peers. You know, we’ve all heard it, said it… “Puppy Love” for elementary school aged kids, “Hormones” for teenagers! In general, I think it’s safe to say that adults don’t really think that kids know what love is or means. Of course, it was a pair of grownups that were arguing about how much money should or shouldn’t be tied to any given marriage. Hearing those two different topics on the same day got me thinking… which is always dangerous!
Remember when you were young, and all that mattered was how your heart felt? You weren’t worried about splitting a mortgage or a power bill with your homecoming date. You (probably) weren’t burdened with a car payment or concerns of how to fund college for your own children. You just dated who your heart told you to. You loved until it didn’t work anymore, or maybe you never even stopped loving that high school (or elementary school) flame… but you probably didn’t end any relationship in your youth for any financial reasons. To be loved by a child is the most absolutely pure type of love anyone can be blessed with. Yet when we talk about their youthful heartbreaks, we diminish that passion by calling it names like ‘Puppy Love’ or ‘Hormones’. I just disagree. As I often do. Hearing the radio debate and reading that article on the same day made me ask myself… “Am I sure I can still love as purely as a child?” I am sure. I truly am. Yet reading the news and listening to the radio leaves me a bit more worried than usual about society in general.
With grown up love, we split the furniture and argue over the house and the credit card debt. Whose fault this or that debt was, how much money which one should get when the love dies. How many years together equate to how much of the assets. Who cheated, who didn’t, why it matters and how much that should ‘cost’.
Folks, I’m here to tell you that Love and Pay shouldn’t ever collide. Not ever.
Yet they always do for adults. Always. I truly have to wonder if the financial slaughter at the end is just all that’s left after the love dies, or if the potential for financial disaster was what killed off the last of the love in the first place. No matter what your opinion is of all that, or how strongly you feel that you should have been able to keep the big screen TV or the washing machine in the divorce, what is for certain is that adults talk about love ending, moving on, and the financial aftermath… all the while, youth finds new love regardless of whether or not the love actually died in the last relationship. Youth springs new beginnings while adulthood barely stops to mourn the loss of the last. It would seem. And it’s not just divorce… some people stay married for financial reasons, and/or finances strain most marriages at some point or another. Sadly, single adults are far more likely to date within their pay grade than teenagers are. It’s how things work.
So which one of us is more immature? The elementary school child checking ‘yes or no’ on a love note, the passion of a high school romance, or the adult who can’t see that finances were a burden that should have never been strapped onto the back of love? I think that in the majority of cases, Love and Pay only collide over time, accidentally. Sometimes it’s the plan from the get-go. How often which is which is only opinion.
For my own part, I’d trade you all 3 grocery bags of stuff I got in the divorce for the rush of one single love note that asks me to check ‘yes or no’. Because that kind of love, however you see it, lasts forever even if only in your memory, while adults toss around the word love like it’s a weather forecast. Sometimes I think adults are just too mature to see the wisdom that was often intertwined with immaturity, so they just write it all off and assume they know better now. I’m not convinced.
In any case, it is what it is. We’re adults, we have rent or a mortgage, we have utility bills. We have to buy stuff for our kids and ourselves. Our finances really are part of who we are. Is it impossible to keep love and finances completely separate? You could when you were 8 years old. But you didn’t really know anything about life back then, right? Just a puppy. Puppies grow up to be dogs that still love unconditionally. What goes wrong with the humans?
Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Heart