Love Advice From An Unlikely Source


What economic theory can teach us about love.

Perhaps the last person you'd go to for relationship advice is an economist; statistics, market analysis, applied mathematics, none of these skills scream out "love guru." Nonetheless Ben Stein, economist, lawyer, actor and writer has a charming piece in the New York Times in which he applies economic concepts to love and comes up with some clever guidelines.

Stein's thesis in a nutshell: find a quality person to love; make sure you know what you're getting into; once you're sure, love that person well and for a long time. And when all else fails, get a dog.

Here are the best parts:

High-quality bonds consistently yield more return than junk, and so it is with high-quality love. Stay with high-quality human beings. And once you find that you are in a junk relationship, sell immediately.

Realistic expectations are everything.

When you have a winner, stick with your winner. Whether in love or in the stock market, winners are to be prized.

Have a dog or many dogs or cats in your life. These are your anchors to windward and your unfailing source of love.

Stein's advice is heartfelt and useful, but after reading the piece we noticed he left out some of the classic rules of economics, so we've composed an addendum.

Diversify your portfolio. Date as many people as you can; in fact, two dates per night is just the beginning. Try to squeeze in a happy hour date, dinner date and late-night drinks so you have a one-in-three chance of falling in love.

Start planning for retirement now. Men die earlier then women, so ladies, start planning now. Strike up a friendship with the cute, young personal trainer you always see at Starbucks and by the time you're collecting social security you'll have a collection of shoulders, and other body parts, to lean on in times of need.

Save, save, save. Americans are notorious for not saving enough, and where does that leave you when you've been laid off and suddenly have free days but nothing to do? With several guys in storage you can pull them out as needed for Monday trips to the beach, Tuesday shopping sprees at Bloomies (this guy can be gay, if you want) and Wednesday bedroom romps in your new lace thigh-highs. You should have at least four men in the bank at all times; in fact, one of them should work at a bank, in case you need fast cash.

Who knew economics could be so helpful?