Can Money Buy Happiness and Love?

couple choosing love over money

Can money buy happiness and love? It’s an age-old question that humans have been asking for generations.

These days, so many of us seek validation from our bank accounts instead of other people, but is financial success as fulfilling as relationships? And are the two connected? 

The relationship between money and happiness is just as complicated as any other type of relationship. After all, most of us spend over 280 hours a week working, it’s only natural to wonder what all that time is getting us. 

Once you’re financially secure enough to have the basics, can money buy happiness and love? Or just bragging rights and material things? 

We did some digging to find out.

Our Take on Whether Can Money Buy Happiness and Love

Don’t overestimate the pleasure that comes from “stuff”

Regardless of how much money we have in the bank, we’re only human. Meaning? We get distracted pretty easily.  

Sure, the shiny new high-tech gadgets and expensive cars might thrill you for a few weeks or even months, but then what? Do you buy new gadgets? More cars? 

Continuously chasing thrills like this will likely lead you to a garage full of stuff, not a life full of happiness. Why? Because you’ll always be waiting for the next best thing instead of appreciating what you already have.

Human beings are rarely satisfied. The more money that we make, the more that we want. But money can only buy us things and eventually, things get old and stop bringing us joy.

However, if we invested this energy in other humans and actual experiences, they wouldn’t stop bringing us joy. 

Relationships are full of surprises and investing in them is rewarding. That’s the secret to a fulfilling life.

The happiness we get from others only increases as we improve our communication habits with them and strengthen our relationships. 

Now that sounds like a worthwhile investment to us!

It’s not how much you have, but how you spend it

However, studies show that to a certain extent, money can buy happiness, sort of. The hook? It’s not the amount of cash that matters, but what you do with the money you have.

People who spend more of their money on the activities and causes that they genuinely cared about are more satisfied with their lives. 

So, can money buy happiness? Yes, to a certain extent, if you use your funds in ways that align with your goals and know where to draw the line with your spending.

Money can’t buy love

But eventually, it seems like the joy your finances bring you will run dry. Unfortunately, money can only buy you so much and most of the things it brings you don’t last. 

People who base their entire self-worth on financial success often feel pressured or disproportionately disappointed when something at work goes wrong. Why? Because they’ve put all their hopes into this one outlet. 

Maintaining a happy relationship when you’re a workaholic is difficult. Money won’t introduce you to “the one” or nurture a connection.

After all, showing up is what builds a rewarding relationship, not your bank account.

Money doesn’t break up love either

But can money split up your relationships? It doesn’t look like it.

Even though money is a common complaint and stressor in relationships, it usually isn’t the final straw that results in a split. 

Research has shown that when it comes to grounds for divorce, the issue of money plays a pretty small role. 

It usually ranks fifth in the blame line-up behind incompatibility, lack of emotional support, abuse, and sexual problems. 

It seems that some couples blame money or financial troubles for their split because it’s easy. 

It’s much simpler to shift the blame on something like money than to open up about any emotional woes they were experiencing. 

Even when couples fight about money, there’s usually a bigger issue behind it, whether that be control, freedom, security, or self-worth.

So, can money buy happiness? It doesn’t look like it, at least not long-term happiness.

Like anything, money takes on the intention and energy of the individual. 

If you’re working and earning money to connect with your authentic self, then you’ll likely feel more fulfilled and confident than someone who’s working hard to impress others. 

Ultimately, it’s how we choose to spend our time and who we spend it with that determines our sense of well-being, not how much cash we have. 

After all, happiness is only real when shared.

Brianne Hogan

About the author: Brianne Hogan

Brianne is a Canadian freelance writer who's been writing about dating and relationships longer than any of her relationships. She applies a "do what I say, not do what I do" approach to her articles, and believes you can find Your Person mostly when you aren't looking. So enjoy your life, and eat lots of cheese (at least that's her motto). Her byline's been featured on Thrillist, The Huffington Post, HelloGiggles, Elle Canada, Flare, Awesomeness TV, among others.

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