The utility of love (and love languages), Or Chocolate Bars Of Love

Economics is a strange beast. It tries to turn everything in value in money and to explain behavior that way.

And it works, sort of. That is, it works as long as you remember that “value” is a pretty flexible term.

For example, the “paradox of value“. Diamonds, which aren’t very useful in keeping you alive, are expensive. Water, which is super-useful in keeping you not-dead, is comparatively inexpensive. So it’d be tempting to say that water is less valuable than diamonds.

But wait! That’s when you start getting into ideas of utility.

[Utility] represents the advantage, pleasure, or fulfillment a person gains from obtaining or consuming a good or service.

And while there might be some average values of utility, the utility of any particular good changes from person to person and from scenario to scenario.

For example, I would find a bottle of water considerably less valuable when I was standing next to a water fountain than when I was in a desert. Someone else might not see quite so large a difference because they only drink bottled water, and so on.

Put another way: it’s chocolate bars.

The first chocolate bar I had after BASIC training was great. It was worth a lot. But later, when I could essentially have chocolate whenever I wanted, a single candy bar wasn’t that big of a deal.

That same model illustrates why it’s so important to be your own person in your relationships. Because as much as you love the people in your relationship(s), you don’t want to be around them 24/7.

You want a break, a chance to do something other than eat chocolate bars.

Featured Photo by Jordane Mathieu on Unsplash

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