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Is Your Shoe Collection Hurting Your Relationship?

suitcase full of womens shoes
Contributor
Love, Self

Why a recession may benefit your love life and why your shoe shopping habit could hurt it.

Research increasingly shows that money doesn't necessarily make couples any happier. In fact, all those lotto horror stories could actually teach us something (other than that winning lottery numbers are actually a curse, thanks Lost): When it comes to our relationships, money doesn't buy happiness, but it can tear us apart.

Yes, as the saying goes, "Mo money, Mo problems." So what's this have to do with your fetish for fancy footwear or penchant for designer handbags? After all, we get that a five million dollar jackpot is a little different than a few pricey additions to your closet. A Lotto Ticket: The Best Wedding Gift Ever?

Well, according to a recent story in the New York Times, new research is revealing that people are happier when they spend money on experiences rather than material items, and this translates into happier relationships. Experiences are gifts that keep on giving, thanks to the memories they provide us with. Things, on the flip side, lose their luster with time, as anyone who has ever impulse shopped probably knows. Sure, those shoes had you grinning from ear-to-ear when you first bought them, but a few weeks later, the heel-high wears off, and you're already jonesing for a new pair. 

Not to mention that the build-up before a big trip or date only makes the entire experience better. Seriously, who doesn't get giddy with anticipation as they get ready for a romantic dinner? Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, says this is a result of what psychologists have dubbed "hedonic adaption." Translation: Over time the euphoria from a new purchase becomes the norm, and we stop getting pleasure from it, so we buy new things to experience that high again. Anticipation, on the other hand, increases happiness. Study: 40% Of Women Prefer Shopping To Sex

But if you're buying nice things, like ahem, those new Jimmy Choos or that Prada purse you just had to have, you may find yourself in an endless purchasing cycle that just leaves you unfulfilled. According to the NYT, a study published in Psychological Science, "found that wealth interfered with people's ability to savor positive emotions and experiences, because having an embarrassment of riches reduced the ability to reap enjoyment from life's smaller everyday pleasures, like eating a chocolate bar." Meanwhile, the study also revealed that dishing out your hard-earned cash on experiences, like going ice skating or seeing a movie with your sweetheart, "leaves people less likely to compare their experiences with those of others—and, therefore, happier."

In other words, taking your man to a concert or football game for his birthday instead of giving him a material gift, even one you know he'll love like a new grill, will make your relationship stronger. And if you're debating whether to spend money on a new flat screen for the apartment or a romantic getaway, opt for the vacation. The experience will not only bring you closer as a couple, it will make you both happier. What Your Clothes Say About Your Love Life

So moral of the story: Next time you hear this season's to-die-for booties calling to you from the store window, remember how much you love your man, cross the street and keep on walking. Trust us, they're not going to hold your hand during a scary movie and they certainly won't do you any good in bed.

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