Searching for Love in a Down Market

Pepper - Bothell, Washington
Entered on April 1, 2009

It’s hard to read the financial pages these days isn’t it? Even harder to look at any investment account. There are only two real responses to both, and only one of them is good. One is to dissolve into despair and sink into destructive acts like drinking or sleeping all day. The other is to refocus on the core and most rewarding things in life: Family, health and love.

The silver lining in this very dark economic cloud is it helps us refocus. It reminds us as important as money is, love really is the most compelling need in our lives. Having someone lighten your heart, cuddle you in their arms and stand by you no matter what, is as good as it gets. We all know how important love is, but I think when other parts of our life fall apart, keeping us nervous and tentative about what the future will bring, the value of love becomes even more clear, more central and more powerful.

As we reevaluate what makes life worthwhile, we also start to think about how we want to use our time. People become less interested in dating, and more serious about substantial relationships. Dating isn’t only expensive, but ultimately, it becomes boring. Mature people don’t want beginnings over and over again. Sooner than later, people want to have a relaxed, intimate day-to-day relationship which builds into a future.

When times are uncertain, no one wants love to be uncertain, too. People want connection, loyalty and character. They want a soul mate – someone who fully understands the real you, who’s compatible and emotionally solid.

People are prioritizing where they put their money. They’re finding there’s no place more important than in the service of finding love. Their goal is to find something more real and rewarding than the seemingly unending negative news today. Unless we’re talented financial types, most of us really can’t outguess or outmaneuver this downturn in the economy. We depend on economic advisors and experts, and perhaps even government intervention. We can’t design an economic recovery.

However, we can do something about love. We can take control over our emotional goals and use a significant part of our energy and emotions to find someone who’s worthy of being loved and who has the capacity to return love in equal strength. We know in times of recession – or depression – relationships become the center of people’s lives. Once in a rewarding relationship, people work harder to stay and make it work.

So, while no one wished for this economic free fall, there’s a benefit: We remember what’s most important to us, and we try to get it, and protect it. Dating just got a lot more serious and meaningful. And, I think this commitment to finding and keeping love is a truly good thing!