Relationship Investments and Balance Sheets

Are you owed something if you make an investment? That investment may come in many forms, so may the return on that investment.  In thinking about relationships, one may consider their money or time spent during the relationship as an investment.  If that relationship ends, are you owed something?  If the relationship progresses, do you consider that a return on your investment?

I know a former couple in which one party traveled quite frequently to spend time with the other.  While together, the other party took care of all the other expenses during their romantic excursions.  Although the traveler spent a significantly larger amount of money for their togetherness, they thought of it as an investment into the relationship.  When that relationship ended, the traveler wanted reimbursement for the overage in costs (their travel expenses –amounts their partner spent for weekend expenses = the return they wanted back).  They wanted to make things equal because overall, their investment did not result in the anticipated gains for either of them.

I contemplated my own situations and wondered if I could ask for a refund from certain relationships.  I could ask, but I doubt I’d get anything back.  I wondered if other people thought that way as well.  It turns out, some do… As usual, my social media buddies came through to let me know their thoughts.

Time above monetary investment rang true for a few of my friends.  Because they are professionals in their fields, their time is money to them, and therefore, if you waste their time, you waste the time that they could be making money.  So if they choose to give you their time, know they are considering it an investment.

Others noted that if someone spends money on you, it shows that person may have a deeper level of care for you or your well-being.  One friend stated that their boyfriend bought them a coat fairly early in their relationship which they understood as him having good intentions about her and her well-being.  It wasn’t like a meal, it was something to last and be used to keep her warm.  She understood the investment gesture as something meaningful and they have gone on to have a successful marriage.

Still, there was someone who said that time and money should be used as something that person wants to willing give without wanting something back.  If a person bought something for their partner, then it’s a gift and should not be used on a personal, financial transaction sheet.

A couple said that money and time spent shouldn’t really be considered an investment until those people consider themselves to become exclusive.  Everything before that point should be chalked up as them getting to know if they want exclusivity.

Our man respondent stated that men typically don’t spend money just for the heck of it.  If a man spends money on you, it is because they feel the venture is well intended.

Your challenge of the day is to think about your relationships.  Have you ever expected a refund from a failed relationship?  Do you feel you invested wisely in one of your positive relationships?  Whatever the case, I hope that you made peace with your failed relationship or you’re happy with a positive one.  Most importantly, I hope you invest in yourself more than you invest in any relationship, because ultimately, you are your only guarantee.

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