Monday, 23 June 2008
Sam: What price for love?
A little while I was asked to comment about a woman who put a date with her sister up for sale on ebay, it’s a bit of fun but got me thinking.
Here is a person who is literally putting her sister’s love up for sale – well of course that’s the idea, the actual chance of the highest winner being a person that she is going to fall in Love with, is, in my opinion, pretty low. Though on the other hand James Blunt’s sister did find love through ebay, but then that was the chance to transport to her a funeral in Ireland.
I think this raise a really intersting issue of the commodification of love – or put another what price would you pay for love.
It’s been happening for a while, starting with old fashioned dating agencies, and then really hit the big time with internet dating which is now globally worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year. To put my hand up I am part of that process – people pay me to teach them the skills to help them find love.
But it really hit me when I was chatting with one of my clients (who is rather minted) and he casually told me he had joined a top end dating agency and forked over £10,000 for probably 4 to 5 dates. There are matchmakers in the states who apparently charge $100,000 to help millionaires find love.
Now when I think about love, I really find it hard to put a price on it. Love is one of the most important things in my life, so to me it is really priceless. But I guess that’s why collectors pay so much for rare artworks, there is nothing else out there quite like it, or quite as important to them. So if something is priceless, and it goes up for sale, then people are potentially going to be willing to pay quite a lot of money for it.
Personally I think love is something natural and should really be free, perhaps like air. But in today’s world where love seems to be increasingly hard to find, then it clearly becomes worth something (otherwise I wouldn’t have a job!) and potentially a lot. So what do you think? What price for love?