All you need is love?

The other day I had coffee with a man I dated briefly a year ago and with whom I’ve stayed in touch. As we were catching up, he chided me for not having an elective medical procedure that he thinks is important and I think is less so. When he pressed why I hadn’t done it, I responded, “All it takes is money.”

He pounced. “You didn’t really say that did you? All it really takes is love.”

I thought I knew where he was coming from — that money is just the manifestation of love. But he continued, “I’ve seen some of the poorest people in the world who were deliriously happy because they were surrounded by love. They loved deeply and passionately and were loved in return. All you really need is love.”

All you need is loveAs I drove home, I pondered his comment. Is all you need love? I know I have had years of meager income yet when I was in love it was tolerable. When you feel loved, you feel supported and able to conquer anything. As the Beatles’ song “All You Need Is Love” goes, “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.”

I also know that one of the top reasons couples have difficulty or break up is over money. Does that mean that they weren’t really in love? Or that it takes more than love?

Indecent ProposalRecently I watched the 1993 film Indecent Proposal. In it a billionaire, played by Robert Redford, offers a married couple, played by Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson, one million dollars for him (Redford) to sleep with Demi. After much soul searching, they accept. What follows is a heart-wrenching test of their love. Although it was clear they were deeply in love, not having money had strained their relationship. Then this act, which resulted in their having money, taxed their relationship.

So what do you think? Do you think Lennon and McCartney were right — that all it takes is love? Or do you think love is the foundation but other things need to be in place to be happy?

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4 responses to “All you need is love?”

  1. coachsappho Avatar

    great discussion! i can speak from personal and professional experience (i’m a relationship coach who specializes in working with gay and lesbian singles and couples), that ‘love is not enough’.

    all u need is love is a quaint, naive notion! a necessary but not sufficient condition (isn’t that what they taught us in philosophy or some science class!).

    personally, I loved my two, long term partners (one 14 years and one 7) ‘to death’. ever the patient one, i put up with way too much, in the name of love!

    professionally, I teach a type of coaching that looks at becoming ‘more conscious’ in love relationships. one big concept that applies here, i think is ‘balancing your head and your heart’. all head and no passion/chemistry/feeling doesn’t work and neither does all heart and no consciousness.

    what’s a good example of ‘balancing head with heart’? it’s feeling love for someone and showing it in your actions but not putting up with behavior from your partner that doesn’t meet your needs.

  2. Paulette Avatar

    I agree with both coachsappho and Dating Goddess. Love is not enough, and there have been times I was in love when the financial imbalance was tolerable… for awhile. I believe and now recall love masking many things which, when left unchecked for too long, tipped the balance to intolerable. One of the bigger reasons I left a 9-year relationship about a year ago was based in our totally different and seemingly-permanent perspectives on money. At 59 1/2, I’m too young to live that many more years that unhappy! 🙂 I’m grateful for that relationship for the lessons I’ve learned. Nexxxxxt.

  3. Traci Avatar

    What does love have to do with your elective medical procedure? Just curious . . .

    I’d like a brow lift, but that takes money, not love.

  4. Fred G Avatar
    Fred G

    Dear DG,

    I will only take minor exception to the clause: “one of the top reasons couples have difficulty or break up is over money.” I believe that is a case of confusing cause and effect. The money issue is the sympton – not the problem. The problem I believe is the control of the money – the choice of one person’s value over another – which is really a conflict of unreconciled balance of power/domination.

    I think we have all been there. Sometimes the choice on one side is an expression of core values – hot Mustang, Prada someting, Night out with the guys, pedicure. The other side says we can not afford it. Other times it is a test of control/power – mostly the same list as above. Often times the list above causes no conflicts. Different people, different values, different motivations. Conflict nontheless – “Root Cause” is the way to assess.