A few years ago, a friend of the family gave me some advice that didn't sit well with me.
She told me it's better to marry someone you like who has money, rather than someone you love who has none.
Her reasoning went something like this: If you like a man and you end up in a relationship where you're comfortable and have everything you could ever want, the love will come eventually.
If you love a man and you end up in a relationship where you're uncomfortable and always longing, the love will go away eventually.
I hated this idea. I thought, what a shallow and unromantic view of how to find your soul mate!
I especially hated the idea because money never crossed my mind when it came to dating. I mean, sure, I didn't go out with homeless guys. But I also never cared if we went out to Zaffiro's or Sanford.
Fast forward to today.
My friend Michael and his wife are getting a divorce. They seemed to be a perfect match a few years ago. Then they maxed out their credit cards. Michael got a second job to help pay some of the high interest rates. They cut back on everything – a $5 Little Ceasar's pizza was a splurge.
And just when things couldn't get any tighter, they found out they were going to have their second child.
Soon, the stress of the baby, the unpaid bills, and just the inability to do anything fun that cost money got the best of them. They fought incessantly, stopped talking, and now pretty much hate each other.
I hate this idea. But it happened. And, combined with other things I've been seeing, it makes me wonder if I need to reconsider the whole money factor in relationships.
--Relationship experts say financial problems are the #1 reason couples break up.
--I know some well-off couples that didn't seem nearly as in love on their wedding days as Michael and his wife. But they're going strong.
-- Money has been a factor in some of my past break-ups. Sometimes I wonder, if there was tons of it around, would the relationships still have crumbled?
Distressed about the whole topic, I took the subject to my friend Bria's new apartment to dissect over wine and pizza.
"I can see some truth in what your family friend was saying, but I just don't think it's that simple," Bria said.
Bria noted that people who marry just out of like and money pay a price – they never get to experience true passion and butterflies for someone.
That's true, I was relieved to agree.
But I also feel like it's probably naïve to not take any of the family friend's wisdom into account.
So, I guess I'd revise the advice to say this:
It's easier to marry someone you love who has money, than it is to marry someone you love who does not.
Because money can put a huge stress on relationships. But in the end, butterflies still can't be bought.