Monday, June 23, 2008

if you have to ask how much it costs . . .

Scrolling down through the titles of the emails in my junk mailbox, I noticed this one: You will now know the true cost of love. I'm sure it's just another offer to sell me some of those little blue pills, but it stopped me in my tracks.

Everything has its price -- even if that price can't be expressed in dollars, euros or quatloos. What do you think is the true cost of love?


edited to add: Some of the comments have mentioned the risk of heartbreak as a cost of love. Which certainly makes sense, but (though it wasn't clear) what I was really thinking about was the cost of love without considering the risk of losing it, the cost of love itself. There's a lot out there about the value of love, the joys it brings, its inestimable worth. But what do we lose when we love?

27 comments:

Christy said...

I think the true cost of love is the value of a broken heart. You have to be willing to hand your heart to those you truly love, risking whatever they may do with it.

Magpie said...

incalcuable.

Maggie said...

The cost of love? The willingness to risk EVERYTHING. And really, is there anything that costs more?

thailandchani said...

I don't think a value can be attached to it.. nor can it be weighed and measured.

Tash said...

priceless.

Becky said...

I agree with Christy. I think we've all experienced the true cost of love when we opened our hearts to being a parent and having a large part of it lost. With that said, I'd do it over and over again just for the experience of loving that greatly.

So to me, the value of love is how willingly I'm able to give my heart knowing what the outcome could be.

Awake said...

the inevitable heartbreak.

Azaera said...

your sanity.

Pbugs Mommy said...

Heartbreak, and the willingness to do it again. Oh, wait... That's insanity, right?

christina(apronstrings) said...

life.

jo(e) said...

The cost of love? Love forces you to work through your childhood issues, unpack your baggage, look at yourself closely, become aware of your shortcomings, be willing to change.

It's expensive, but worth it.

Casey said...

Independence. Self-actualization. Status as a non-delusional person.

What? Cynical? Me?

S. said...

I'm with Casey on independence, at least. Love makes it impossible to see yourself as complete and whole unto yourself. Any kind of love. You can't make decisions with only yourself to consider anymore.

I didn't understand that price well enough before I paid it.

Sober Briquette said...

this question requires too much quantum physics for my tiny brain.

I'll just cop out and go with the "It's a wonderful life" answer. There is no way to remove and measure the changes wrought by the relationships in our lives. But I still felt that George got the short end of the stick.

slouching mom said...

freedom

Andrea said...

The ability to think only of yourself is gone--to do whatever you want whenever you want to.

On the other hand, if you arent' getting back at least as much from a friendship or love relationship as you give it--and I'm idealistic enough to think that in a relationship that works, everyone gets what they need and comes away thinking they've got a good deal--what would anyone be in it for? You give up, I guess, having the bed to yourself every night, painting the living room whatever damned colour you want, always eating what you like for dinner, never having to see a movie that's not interesting to you. But if it's all sacrifice, if you're acutely aware of what it costs without also being aware of what it gives you and feeling that in some way you're getting back more than you give, what's the point?

Amy said...

I don't think I can measure the cost of something that gives back to me. The cost of not loving, though? I think those costs are staggering.

Furrow said...

It's cost me my ability to look at or listen to the news with detachment. Other people's anguish, their losses, they feel so personal. And, no doubt, that's a good thing, over all, but damned inconvenient, at times.

Jen said...

I think before we define the cost, we have to define the word "love". It means so many different things to so many different people. It would be hard to put a value on something that some don't want, but others give a chance to.

For me, love means sacrifice. That is also the cost.

Ahuva Batya said...

Hm, what's the cost of love? The lost opportunity of the other loves that are surely out there in the world for you. The artistic genius that comes from being lonely, miserable, and heartbroken. The path not taken with regard to life decisions of career or adventures missed. After all, in truly loving we do give up a piece of ourselves, no ?

Steph said...

I think jo(e)'s comment is right-on. And I agree with those who mentioned independence.

womaninawindow said...

Apparently love only costs $4.99. That is exactly the cost of a small wooden knife that can be used to defeat many kinds of evil. It also happens to be mostly against the rules and therefore, when I allowed it, wow, love so cheap!

Lisa b said...

accepting that the rewards outweigh the risks

Christine said...

privacy

Zee said...

As to actual price, I don't think you can put a material value on it. It's not something you can buy (not really--you can purchase something that might resemble it, but I don't think that's what we're talking about.) Nor is it something you can necessarily earn--since there are plenty of people who don't "deserve" it, who seem to get it anyway.

What do you lose when you love? You lose the ability to lose it (or leave it or have it taken away) without pain. Someone (or something or some place) that you love gets inside you and robs you of the ability to detach from it completely. I don't think you can measure the "cost" of love without considering its loss. After all, even the monetary value of the smallest thing is based on how much cash would be required to part it from its owner.

Aurelia said...

We lose our privacy, our independence, our ability to choose to do whatever we want.

We definitely lose the ability to live like sloths, and be late, and eat crappy take out....especially if we marry neatniks, who are always on time and cook gourmet.

not that I would know anyone in that situation....

Angela said...

I like the answer that you are losing the opportunity of other loves that are out there. I definitely agree with that. When you love any thing or any one you lose variety. There are millions of other things and people that you could experience and create things with, but when you love one thing you choose to exclude the others. I mean, even if you want to...there's still that loss.