Monday, September 20, 2010

Love as a resource: Is it depleting?

Can we qualify love?

Can we put value to love?

In ways that our imagination works, love can be associated with anything. But as far as reality is concerned, we can’t perform valuation and qualify the limits of love. Putting limits to what love can do, makes us beings not capable of feeling.In such cases, I would dare to explain love on something that I am familiar with; Love as a resource.

Love is an infinite resource. It is abundant and unlimited. We live in a world of order that was formed out of love and mercy of God. Everything around us is the creation of love. Imagining a world without love is simply living in chaos.

In a more interesting note, its abundance is the reason why we don’t seem to get tired of loving and caring for others. It is a resource that is non-rival and non-exclusive. Everyone can have access to it. It is like a seed planted in each one of us that we nurture and share its fruits to others. It is like a road that everyone shares. It is like a park where everyone can enjoy and relax. Love is a universal resource that makes up the very foundation of human interaction.

Can we trade love? Yes we can trade love in exchange for love. One important point of trading is for its appropriate reciprocity of satisfaction. Just like trading a goat for a sack of rice, there should be an equivalent satisfaction. But this satisfaction isn’t always mundane and romance. The satisfaction we get from shedding our love to others is the feeling of being loved in return. At times, we can trade love without expecting in return. You can choose to have an altruistic take on love. The good thing is, even if you don’t get love as an exchange, your love don’t diminish, like a pot of gold that never runs out of gold coins. Love as a resource quickly replenishes.

The important question now is; why are there people that fall out of love? Does this mean that there is a shortage of love?

This scenario is actually a by-product of the complicated social structure that we are in. Like in a market, we say there is a Perfect Competition just like saying that there is a perfect relationship. Ideally, I want to think of love and relationship like this. But we can never be sure, since imperfections around us makes it hard to achieve an ideal relationship just like imperfections on a market.

The nearest explanation I can get is the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility. It is not really love that depletes. What depletes is the utility or satisfaction from the relationship you have. May be they got fed up on having the same routines every day. May be they lack the toil and trouble on making their relationship last longer. We have to consider, one good thing about LDMU is that you can prolong your utility from being diminished (Will come up of a new post particularly on this one). Meaning you can slow down the rate that your satisfaction declines.

But in the end, love is a very mysterious resource. It may be infinite and abundant like water, but the irony of it is that, finding its true meaning is a very rare resource just like diamond.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Friendly Love

A friend is someone who stays with us in times of fun and definitely in times of sorrow. We sometimes share with them moments that define who we are. But can this relationship be more than what it seems to be?

We always see ourselves falling in love to a person who understands us, stays with us, and take care of us. This is that same description that a true friend means. And this blurs the line of friendship and lovers. This brings me the question:

Can friends be lovers?

I say, why not? I even fell captive to this very same euphoric idea of love. It is like hitting a double jackpot on a lottery; having a lover and at the same time a friend. But it is not easy as it looks, as for my own story did not end well.
A friend falling in love is probably one of the most complicated things we will ever get caught up with.

But how does this develop? Well, it always started to something usual. May be he/she is your classmate, your org-mate, neighbor, and co-worker. You spent a lot of time together. You talk about each other’s life. You share food. You might even share about each other’s love life stories. Then unnoticeably you get closer and closer with each other. You as if can’t live a day without seeing him/her. Then you always wanted exclusivity and have time together away from the rest of your friends. And yes, this is when weird things happen.

He gets sweeter, like carry your things for you. Always ask you on phone if you have eaten yet then followed by an invitation to have lunch or dinner together. You will always receive text messages telling you good night and get some rest. Always wants to get updated on your life then show a grim face whenever you tell about your ex or crush. Generally, these are the common behaviors that a man exhibits when he fall in love to his friend.

On the part of the women, sometimes they can’t help to fall in love to her friend who seem to be sweet and a total gentleman. We can’t blame them for assuming that this guy is somehow trying to impress her especially if of all the girls in the group, she is the one being shown with this behavior.

I myself sometimes don’t recognize whether what we are having is the usual “a friend bonding” or already a mutual understanding. We can’t be certain on this unless we try to ask… The more important question therefore is, are you courageous enough to ask the question: “Who am I for you?”

Sometimes it ends well and sometimes it ends like crap.
Sometimes, the person being confronted is:
a. Totally not into you. (not a chance at all)
b. Have unsorted feelings for you. (still have a chance- wait and be consistent)
c. Conflicted about you and his/her current relationship. (a complicated one)
d. Just wanted to be friends (totally forget about the friendship..- IT WILL NEVER BE THE SAME)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Market Share of Brain and Heart in the Competitive Market of Love

If love is a market and there are two competing firms (Brains and the Heart), which should you listen to? Should you patronize one over the other or try a bit of what the two can offer? I guess the heart has higher market penetration for majority of those in love. These are the kind of people who easily gives in to what they see, or in this case, I’ll call them the Impulsive Consumers of love. They can easily be lured by the packaging of their subject of attention. They don’t need second guessing over their feelings; they just act on it. I will say that they are neither ignorant nor imbecile; it’s just so happen that they developed some sort of Brand affinity or loyalty over “heart”. We can’t blame them for that; the feeling sometimes of love is overpowering and overwhelming.

On the other hand, we have the Rational Consumers of love. You would seldom encounter people in love that uses their brains. They are the rare kind of consumers. Before they try on something, they will read the label or in this case the character of their partner. They probably aren’t the spontaneous type. May be they will have Quadrant Analysis and the “R-SWOT” (Relationship’s Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats)- just an exaggeration…

Is there anything wrong if one has a bigger market share in terms of love? One way or another, we have to use both of them equally. Using too much of any of the two is proven harmful for a relationship. Over thinking may sometimes forget the most basic about love which is to feel. In contrary, using too much heart may blind you of the greater importance and essence of your relationship which is to rationalize.

My claim of having a balance is somehow contrary to popular beliefs that heart and brain’s interests are contradicting one another. But, I would humbly say no. Just like two competing firms, their common and shared interest is to have higher profit which will make them “happy” or “satisfied”. In retrospect, happiness is also the greatest driver in a relationship. In solving this dilemma, we can refer to basic business practice of merging the two firms.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Risk Premium of Risk Lovers

We sometimes worry too much about what to do with love… But behind all these worries we always dream of a life of security and stability with someone we care. But that dream is always faced with hurdles that are self inflicted. Your uncertainty on who you are and which path to take are weights and liabilities you have to carry.

Loving is risking. Because in love you risk yourself to uncertainty of the future over a life of clear demarcations and yes, even complacency and comfort. Upon deciding to take on a path of love, you are already creating a trade-off between a future with someone who might just betray or play on you over a life where you are the only one that should matter. You will let go of your comfort zone to give way to a possible great detour ahead with someone you love. This is the risk premium of loving. For starters, risk premium is the difference of the decisions you made to take on something (i.e. stocks) which are highly uncertain and volatile over something that is clear and well defined and without too much movement with the expectation of greater returns.

Like I promised in the previous post, I’ll discuss risk aversion in more detail. Most likely those who seek for higher risk premium are those who are risk seeker. Generally speaking, they are the adventurous type of person. They have higher tendencies to try new things. These are the people who in my opinion have endured and experienced a lot to keep on risking. In searching for someone to love, they are usually the kind of person to defy norms and stereotypes. These are the people who look for someone with unique characteristics that will give him/her the sense of mutual exclusivity. And that exclusivity is the premium on taking the risk on maybe having relationships. In love, we don’t see risk premium just only in its monetary value. The risk premium sometimes forego a life of sure luxury over a life wandering since the satisfaction the person is looking for, is a life that isn’t static. Could it be the right decision? We can say that for the average people no, because normally she should have chosen wealth. But we have to understand that it is in their nature to be nonconformist and unconventional.

Culture, Language, Geography, Age, Gender, and Wealth will set no boundaries for their love to see each other. We can say that they are the Romeo and Juliet of modern times. But at the downside, their love can be fatalistic and may lead to their own peril. Their love may also bring troubles to their loved ones like the love of Helen and Paris. But what else can we ask for, these are people willingly took this path for love. It may be right or not, because sometimes in love, we just have to follow our instinct.