A friend of mine in New York met a man who was a junior executive at a major corporation. He was charming and kind, so she accepted his invitation for dinner. One thing led to another until they became an item. She was looking for marriage and family, and he seemed good with that.
One day over lunch with friends, someone asked the killer question: "Are you in love with him?"
"I don't know", she confessed. "I'm not sure I have ever been in love." Over the next days she searched her heart for that special feeling you always see in films. Her friend was generous and considerate. But there was no flutter when he called and no longing ache when he travelled. She was careful to let him down easy. But he was obviously hurt.
A couple of years later, she was still dating around in the ever shrinking man-pool of Manhattan, complaining to her girlfriends, who all remained single as well.
The guy went on to marry and his company promoted him to a leading position in Europe. My friend continued her search for the illusive feeling that would indicate that she had found the one for her.
This is a true story, but I know dozens of beautiful, charming women that live variations on the same theme.
My friend was in her mid-thirties. She dreamed of family and travel, and mostly of a financial partnership that would ease the strain of her demanding career.
In our minds we separate love and money. Money represents hard, cold reality and love represents timeless bliss. Business partners think in terms of long-term benefits they can achieve together.
It isn't fashionable in these times to mix love and money. Common sense tells us that we might have to do some unsavory things to partners and associates, so affection and appreciation take the back seat.
As for me, I see love and money as equals. You will never hear me complaining that my partner works too much or that he cares more about his game than his marriage.
A very wealthy acquaintance of mine tells the story from her youth in which her mother called a family meeting every week when father came home with his hard-earned pay.
Every family member gave sincere appreciation for what he had to do and for what that money meant in terms of food, shelter, education etc. The values she got from those meetings gave her a special insight that enable her to excel in a business arena dominated by hard-working men.