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- Date Answered: 5/2/2012
- Is saying that a man invested in you a weird thing to do?
- Dear Investment Dater,
Although in the business world the term investment refers to “the acquisition of an asset for the sole purpose of producing future monetary income” (i.e. putting money in, getting money out), it’s not weird to say that you invested in a man, or a woman, or that they invested in you. The phrase “investing in someone” is an idiom: you “invest” in people of all types, from work relationships to romantic relationships. The idiomatic use expands the financial definition of investment to include different types of input and output: investing in someone means “to put money, time, effort, etc., into someone or something, hoping for a return.”
But why do we use this particular monetary idiom to talk about relationships? The metaphor makes sense! You don’t need an MBA to make an emotional investment (and, side note, you don’t make nearly as much money from your relationship investments as those Wall Street folks do), but it’s not all that different from a monetary investment.
A relationship, like a retirement fund, house or car, is something you put money, love, time, etc. into, hoping to get money, love, time, etc. in return—this is called return on investment and is a basic principle of finance. Furthermore, investment also implies risk. When you put money into something you risk losing it all, when you put emotional dollars (or even just time) into something, you similarly risk losing it all—and wind up with that sinking feeling that you’ve wasted your time. In spite of risk, you still make investments if you can determine that the ROI will be worth it. In business terms, this idea is referred to as the risk-return tradeoff and has been much-studied in order to determine optimum levels of both risk and return for various types of investments.
QB is willing to bet the risk-return tradeoff and all the rest of the fancy pants analyst theories and equations can actually explain why humans invest in other humans. Think about it: the risk is that you’ll be crushed by your crush, but the return is that you will have a successful, monogamous, relationship possibly resulting in the onward march of humankind (whether you procreate, adopt, foster parent, or anything else!). Pretty big return for what, in the end, is not too big of a risk.
- Source(s) Used to Answer Question:
- The Free Dictionary http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/investing
"Risk-Return Tradeoff." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity, Jr. 2nd ed. Vol. 7. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 255-256. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 24 Apr. 2012.
"Investment." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. Ed. Thomas Carson and Mary Bonk. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1999. 495. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 24 Apr. 2012.