We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Can money buy you love? Khanyi Mbau & celebrity divorce lawyer Billy Gundelfinger weigh in

Money definitely makes life easier, even in the love department.
Money definitely makes life easier, even in the love department.
Image: 123RF/Thanaphiphat Suanpan



Money definitely buys love, but unfortunately it's not enduring. The kind of love that money buys is the kind of love that fuels my practice - the conditional love that evaporates the moment the going gets tough.

January is the busiest time in my practice because couples are compelled to spend the holiday together and scrutinise their "love", which often highlights cracks in marriages and sends couples straight to my offices [for a divorce].

Having said that, it's said that if you marry without money, you'll have good nights but sorry days. Money buys the biggest and best weddings, the most magnificent homes, cars, holidays, cosmetic surgeries and lifestyles. When all that is no longer enough, it can buy you the best divorce attorney.


Private equity analyst serving rich individuals

Sorry poor people, the stats are clear: money buys love. You're more likely to find love, get married, be married happily and for longer if you have more money.

Let's break down what love costs.

Sex: Say you need sex four times a week, rapidly reducing to once in a blue moon over the next 40 years. This is easy to buy.

Cuddles: There's a woman in Canada offering an hour of cuddling for $60 (R900). You'll need a weekly fix.

Companionship: Dogs are great. You'll need an average of 1.3 dogs at any one time with an average life of 12 years per dog.

Someone to listen to you whine: Psychologists are pricey - get one session a week. If you're Catholic, you'll get this for free.

The present value of a lifetime of love is R2.2-million or an annual equivalent payment of R224,978
Steven Bolleurs

Using a complex modelling tool called Excel and some arbitrarily defined assumptions, the present value of a lifetime of love is R2.2-million or an annual equivalent payment of R224,978.

If you're not alone and your other half costs less than this, shh, don't tell anyone you have a sweetheart deal.


Poet and author

Money can buy every kind of sex imaginable and is a factor in more marriages than we might think. Who can forget Olive Schreiner calling rich men's wives "prostitutes"? A bit harsh, maybe, but we forget that until recently, marriage was an economic transaction - in many parts of the world it still is.

But money can't buy the radiant floating sensation of being in love. Scientists have shown that the experience of falling in love triggers the same receptors in the brain as heroin. It really is a drug high that no chemist or dealer can supply. You can trick yourself into thinking you're feeling it (margaritas help), but even then, money rarely features.

Then there's real love, which is an intangible construction made up of intimacy, play, fun and pleasure, learning, memories, sharing and trust which takes years of commitment and dedication to build. No amount of money can buy that. But money does pay for therapy once it all gets smashed to pieces.


TV personality

Many songs, poems and quotes from romantic films suggest that money can't buy love, happiness and peace. But as a resident of the real world, I beg to differ. Money gives love mobility.

Love and money are like a cyclist on a bicycle. You need the one to get the other going
Khanyi Mbau

Love and money are like a cyclist on a bicycle. You need the one to get the other going. You need love to enjoy money and money to enjoy love. Relationships based on money without any love automatically become transactional.

Often, to catch someone's eye you need to understand their personal targets and living standards. It helps to dazzle them by spoiling them. So money used intelligently can buy you everlasting love when it comes with brains, compassion, understanding and years of courtship. It is a bonus to have wonderful memories and pictures.


Chartered accountant

There are a lot of things that money can buy. Love is not one of them. Blackstreet sang ''Money can't buy me love" on their 1996 hit. I agree, but it sure as hell gives you more options when it comes to falling in love. More money equates to more social opportunities and, as a result, the prospect of more partners.

In the book titled The Seven Natural Laws of Love, Deborah Anapol says love is inherently free; it cannot be bought, sold or traded. Love is not a substance, nor is it a commodity money can buy. One thing is certain - to make your life memorable, you won't need all the money in the world, but you are going to need someone to love.  

This article was originally published in The Times.