You can only gain as much as you put in!

Business-savvy men and women tend to invest in finding love and a relationship using the same energy, creativity and passion that led to their career success. Seeking a partner should be viewed as an investment in your life, and should be approached using many of the same principles you apply to other major life decisions, such as finding the right job or the right home. When seeking a partner, we subconsciously rate ourselves on desirability factors such as physical attractiveness, intellect, social status, wealth, youthfulness and health. People with high levels of self-awareness and self-esteem are more likely to rate themselves accurately and therefore have a realistic view of true compatibility.

Once you have found a truly equal partnership (and remember this is not solely a question of looks, which may not come into the equation at all, but equals in terms of humour, outlook, values, hopes, dreams and beliefs), the next stage is investing in the relationship. Psychologists have recognised a parallel between economics and relationships: relationships work on an exchange of costs and benefits, similar to the marketplace. A relationship will be successful if both partners perceive that the rewards, costs and contributions to the relationship are equal on both sides. As Eric Fromm, the German psychologist and philosopher, once said: ‘Love is often nothing but a favourable exchange between two people who get the most of what they can expect, considering their value on the personality market.’

However, problems can occur when people take these kinds of business principles too far and expect to invest a minimum amount for the maximum return. Relationships, unfortunately, don’t work like that – you can only gain as much as you put in (there is no such thing as a bargain!). People who have high levels of self-awareness are more likely to assess the balance of investment and reward from both sides of the relationship and maintain equilibrium. If you approach relationships intelligently and with the same passion, creativity, spontaneity, time and effort that you apply at work, then the rewards for both partners can be wonderful.