28 June 2010

To Be Loved For Money

Traditionally, we wish to embark on a relationship not for one's financial status, but simply to find a companion who is able to open up the private sphere of our hearts in our torment souls and avoid contemplating romantic dramas on TV in evenings alone. In the world of the twenty first century, however, the romantic conception of love has undergone a paradigm shift. The definition of love, depending not on being curled around and talked to with infantile, affectionate language after making passionate love in bed, but rather, on whether the male counterpart can afford an overly priced apartment or whether he can financially allow his female counterpart to wage an exhausting wardrobes competition with her female friends. What precisely damages the clarity of this traditional romantic conception of love? What heartlessly reduces the abstract notion of love to a couple of Louis Vuitton handbags or an fetish obsession with high heel shoes?

If love is getting commercialised, it is perhaps because capitalism has succeeded in exploiting human greed as an instinctive root of human nature. Driven by such pecuniary culture, we are often liable to worry at length about whether our financial status will allow us to sustain our living. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see money being regarded as an object of worship which ultimately leads to the innovatively capitalistic formation of love.

Consequently, emerging there are two schools of thought in love. One school proposes that one should find in her partner logically reducible elements: money, fame, social status etc. Where traditional conception of love may require us to sacrifice for our partners, self-love, as opposed to selfless love, ought to be raised to a status of superiority. The other school, as obvious as it seems, condemns this pecuniary culture. It insists that money will ultimately nurture shallow relationships. A similar trajectory can hence easily be drawn for one's obsession for one's body, outlook, or even sexual candour. One should find in her partner some sort of inner beauty, elements that are critically independent of change and decay, things that might not be easily washed away by misfortunes such as intelligence, compassion, and sophistication.

In the midst of choosing sides, for the fear of being shallowly condemned, a great deal of social critics and groups of people whose thinking is submitted to the predictable brand of the mature middle class nonsense wish to draw their moral landscape from the latter school as the sole criterion for true love. Is our quest to find true love must necessarily be based on one's quality rather than one's material possession?

Perhaps it is shallow psychology to think that it is impossible for genuine affection to grow out of the love of one's money. Though the instinctive root may be self-interest, through the assistance of money, one may have felt for the help, namely, an expensive cosmetic set or a McQueen's dress, which she owes to his male counterpart that easily develops into sincere love. In the cynical world of ours, most of us severely condemn those who decide matters measured in money. However, the fact always runs counter to what is considered noble. It is precisely money or other superficial elements which one's attractiveness is based on. The fact that people are rich or look beautiful easily fools us into thinking that some sort of mysterious schemas are deeply attached to them. It is ignorance that muddies our objective judgement on them. It leaves room for a reflective delight which our imaginative vision flowers.

We are often told that we should not fall at first glance or for qualities that are unable to bear the verdict of time, that we should give a clear-eyed investigation into the depth of waters before we can testify for our romantic destiny. If we are prone to falling in love with people whom we know nothing, it is because they defy our ease of understanding. We are creatures of habit and therefore liable to grow contemptuous of what is familiar. If knowing each other means deviating away from the romantic conception of love, then perhaps we should cut away our effort for psychoanalysis and fall for merely superficial elements like money or physical beauty. The quest to find a true love is hence critically dependent on understanding absenteeism, that a great deal of affection is based on the paradoxical fact of less understanding.

Many Hong Kong girls anchor their criterion of love to money. But they should not be condemned merely on the ground of self-interest. Because things that invoke our promotion of self-interests are the ones that generate our desire of love. Therefore, love can be seen as a direction, not a place, and burns itself out with the attainment of its goal.

The problem in Hong Kong is that this ideal is being enforced to be a norm rather than a choice. Nevertheless, wealth can purchase the reality of love. It may be undesirable and less noble. Unfortunately, it is a fact.



  1. To be true, greed and selfishness is human instinct. Money can't buy real love.


  2. Anonymous,

    Money can't buy real love, but only on the face of it.



Commenting is sexy...or you may want to tweet us and like us in Facebook!