Opportunity Cost of a Relationship
In economics exists the term of opportunity cost. It is described as “the loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen”. According to this concept, if we decide us for one thing or alternative, that takes all of our resources (time, money, etc.), then we logically can’t use those resources for any other choice. We lose the potential gain from other alternatives, when we made a particular choice.
To use a more practical example, if we have 25.00$ available and are buying a car with that whole sum, we can’t buy e.g. a motorcycle or anything else with this money anymore. It is gone, it is spent. If we sign a full-time work contract at company A, we can’t sign another full-time contract at company B, too.
Since we exchanged our time for money, we also can’t use this time to travel around the world or build up our own business. We can’t split ourselves or duplicate our time after all. It is impossible. By deciding to do a thing, we miss the chance of doing something else. I hope I could make the term “opportunity cost” clear by now.
Now, if we use this concept in regards to a relationship with a woman, it gets rather interesting. Especially, if we are in a safe and boring relationship. Maybe the relationship is not necessarily bad, but it is not as great as we imagined it in the beginning either. Since we still spend resources, mostly time, emotions and money, on this bad relationship, we pay the opportunity cost of not being able to put those resources into something else.
If the relationship ends at some point you will often hear one or both say: “What a waste of time”. Maybe the waste of time was only a few months. Maybe it was 5 years or more. As a matter of fact, no one can get his or her time back. So, we should think twice about how we spend our resources and especially our time.
We have to think about our Opportunity Cost
Whenever we are in a relationship, we have to think about our opportunity cost. Is the time, emotional and money investment into the relationship worth the return – or are we staying in a miserable relationship just because it is safe and easy? If we don’t constantly rise this question, we will miss the damage the relationship is actually causing:
By spending all that time with someone we’re no longer fully happy with, we’re missing the chance to be with someone else who makes us happy. We miss the chance of a happy, fulfilling relationship, especially if our relationship is monogamous. All of this because we are to afraid to actually leave our comfort zone and to go for something new.
I mean I get it, new things are frightening, the comfort zone is warm and who knows if we could ever find maybe someone as hot as our current relationship (hint: there is always someone hotter). Nonetheless, think a few years ahead. We are still stuck in a miserable relationship. What now? Is this actually healthy or fulfilling? How does and will it feel to know that it will sooner or later end and that we have wasted so much time, which we will never get back?
Of course, we not only have to think about this concept in regards to our relationships with women, but any other releationship and decision we have to make too. It is just that in those regards, like buying a car or signing a work contract, it is clearer to ourselves, that this choice has a cost. The cost of us losing money and / or time that we could spent otherwise. On the other hand, in regards to women, we men can turn blind and shut off our brains, because the blood that we need to think rationally is actually somewhere lower in our bodies.
Every time I have to choose something that will take my resources, I will objectively and carefully weigh up the opportunity cost.
I hope I could show you, that opportunity cost is real. As real as the time goes on and we will inevitably meet our end one day. After all, no one can produce or buy more time. Think hard and twice with whom or what you want to spend your time with – about how much a relationship will cost you.