Opening your heart is more important than opening your wallet

Neha Seenarine, Staff Writer

Money is a stressor for most Americans. It is a strain on people’s romantic lives. 

It seems that you cannot survive in this country without money. You have to pay bills, eat and use transportation. Once I step out of my front door, I feel like I have already spent $50. My golden college years are overshadowed by loans piling up. I cannot imagine supporting someone else, such as a romantic partner, when I cannot even afford five college textbook

When looking for partners many people focus on material qualities like wealth rather than who they are as a person. (Illustration by Emily DiSalvo)

When searching for a love interest, the goal is to find someone with a good heart, not with a big bank account. There is a mentality that money is not everything. However, there is a tendency to be materialistic when it comes to dating. 

There is a societal expectation of going on dates and showering our partners with gifts. It can be hard to take your partner out for dinner when there are bills due the next day. It seems that we can only show appreciation to our significant other by spending money. 

Love does not come with a price. A gift can represent how much a person pays attention to you. However, there needs to be value behind it. If a couple breaks up, the emotion goes away, and the gift becomes another object. Appreciation is so much more than purchasing an expensive necklace for your partner. There are alternatives to show your appreciation such as making a playlist of your favorite songs or making pasta from scratch together. 

Financial status can alter the way we look at people. A person without an income can be perceived as someone who does not have their life together. There is a difference between being unemployed and not having ambitions. The job market is tough for college students when opportunities require experience they might not have. Just because someone did not get their big break in the industry does not mean they are not worth appreciation. 

Many people looking to start dating take advantage of those who seem more financially stable. A potential partner can have heart eyes for their wallet and not their heart — more money, more gifts. However, when the financial factor is subtracted from the relationship, there is nothing left. 

Societal standards have left it to men to be responsible to pay the bills. There is pressure for them to afford dinner dates and purchase gifts. It is nice when a man picks up the bill, but I understand that they do not have to. No one should feel obligated to spread themselves thin for another person.

A person should not be depending on another to satisfy them. It is important to work for the things you want in life. At the end of the day, you are the only person you have. People can wake up one day and walk away. The artist, Cher, was told by her mother to settle down and marry a rich man. She replied, “Mom, I am a rich man.” We should be the person we want in a significant other. That way, we will not need one because we have ourselves.