Over-Investing Is For Finance, Not Romance

“In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.” – Robert Arnott

over-invest, verb

the practice of investing more into an asset than what that asset it worth on the open market

The world of finance is as foreign to me as I assume the principals of clinical social work are to outsiders. People do not generally understand what they do not actively practice. And yet sometimes, as with dating at almost 30 years old, no amount of practice can make logic of romance. After nearly a decade of dating I seem to know little more about how it all works than I do about the financial market, save for one principal that seems to apply to both finance and romance.

Individuals are as capable of over-investing in a romantic relationship as they are in a house, car or boat. Over-investing is for finance, not romance. In personal finance, over-investing leads to a poor Return on Investment. In romance, over-investing will break your damn heart.

Maybe you notice your over-investment right from the start. Maybe it takes a few weeks or months for the imbalance to weigh you down. At first you ignore the whispers that rumble from your gut, the reality that beats from your heart. But at some inevitable and unavoidable juncture you realize that you are indeed more invested in the romance. Once you realize this, you cannot un-realize it. You have no choice but to accept it and hurt.

After this realization, your energy feels improper and misdirected. You feel less worthy and more pedestrian than you did before. You feel disappointed and punctured. You feel sad and flattened. You feel sick and unbalanced. Life feels unfair. You shut down in an attempt to protect your precious, vulnerable, open heart. Through the years your heart has felt so much pain, its dark corners already stuffed with pale memories of countless injuries past. You wish desperately to circumvent this discomfort. It is better not to.

Our generation inspires and emboldens indifferent and detached behavior. Our modern world thrives on apathy and incites triviality. In our current culture it is easy to avoid, to disengage, to deny. It is difficult to attach, to care, to invest. In a world of instant gratification and constant opportunity, investing in anything hardly seems worth the return.

It is indisputably daunting to invest in hope, in love, in romantic optimism. Society insists that we need not burden ourselves with the unease of anything uncomfortable, with the inconvenience of anything that requires more than little effort. With minimal investment comes minimal loss.

Then again, over-investing in a romance has a rather positive return should you choose to see it. You were brave, you were honest, you were genuine and engaged. You cared. You tried. You lost, but it was real. It was raw. It was earnestly human. It was true. It was you.

And you did all you could do.

One thought on “Over-Investing Is For Finance, Not Romance

  1. Thank you for this very timely post! On the eve of what would have been my first Valentines Day in a relationship in over 10 years, the same man who introduced me to his mother and children on Saturday advised me via text that he “needs to disappear for at least a week and figure out what he wants” WTF??? I spent the weekend making Valentine goodies for him, which will now be gifted to my lucky co-workers tomorrow. I finally thought it was safe to trust someone, but I guess I was wrong. Sending you hugs and sympathy from Texas!

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