Valentine’s Day – Can’t buy me love?

Valentine’s Day. A time of the year commonly recognised by most for its benefits primarily for the economy. Nevertheless, it is also a day that a lot of people can’t help but feel as though they need someone to love. Whether love can be bought is a notion that has been tackled by psychologists and scientists as well revered musicians and philosophers. The truth of the matter eluding each of them. But with it being Valentine’s Day and all it seems only appropriate for us at Borro to have our own attempt at establishing whether or not you can buy love using luxury assets.


Kings, Knights and all those in between who have blue blood running through their veins have been supplying dowries for their daughters since the dawn of classical civilization; the custom being most common in medieval times. It is the arrangement of the sum of money or assets brought by the bride as a gift to her husband upon their marriage. However, the practice is still alive and well today as the billionaires of China have demonstrated.

In 2012, Wu Ruibiao, a Chinese entrepreneur, offered a dowry worth £100 million for the hand of his daughter, including a Porsche, a Mercedes and 4 boxes of gold jewellery. The father’s offering of luxury these assets to assist in finding his daughter an appropriate match can be interpreted as a true showing of his love for her and his desire to find her a partner to grow a relationship with.

In a reverse of this situation a different Chinese entrepreneur gifted his future bride £909,000 which some have critically claimed to be an act of buying love. This could be viewed as a kind of dowry and a reversal of more traditional gender roles, where in which the husband is gifting an amount of wealth to his wife, but in that case, why would this man be accused of the act of buying love as the practice has been performed for women over hundreds of years?

Failed Attempts of Buying Love

Titanic (1997) is a tragic tale of romance, where in which the villain is often forgotten about. Cal Hockley, Rose’s most serious fiancé in James Cameron’s love story, attempts to win Rose’s affections through giving her the famed and fictional Heart of the Ocean diamond necklace. Mr. Hockley’s uncovers his failure to purchase his fiances love with this gift when he finds a naked drawing of her, depicting her posing with the necklace he gave to her. He was not the one to draw the picture.

Another example of a tale of a wealthy man attempting to buy love can be found in the popular television series adaptation of the Game of Thrones books. A merchant who proclaimed himself to be the richest man in all of the city he resided in known as Qarth, promises an exiled Princess, Daenerys Targaryen, half of his fortune in exchange for her hand in marriage. His loyalty to the Princess is found wanting when he is discovered in bed with one of Daenerys servants, as were his claims of wealth when the vault in which he kept his fabled riches is found to be empty.

In the Marilyn Monroe classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) Lorelei Lee is a showgirl with a passion for diamonds and who has gained the attention of Gus Esmond, the son of a wealthy businessman. Marilyn’s character outlines that her love for diamonds, lies in the fact that one of the few ways a woman could gain financial security in the 1950s was through acquiring a wealthy diamond selling husband.

Supposedly, you can buy love to an extent. This is achieved through an indirect means. The wealth of a partner can establish ideal conditions under which love can blossom, rather than the direct act of purchasing luxury assets and gifting them to the person you love. So perhaps, acquiring luxury assets can be seen, not only as a means to financial stability, but to establish the best setting for yourself to find love? The notion of the commercialisation of love is something that can be argued heavily for and against, but despite opinion, it seems that owning luxury assets can definitely assist in the quest for love. However, this stories show tell us that love will always be a feeling and never a number in a bank account.

About the Author:

Adam is a freelance writer that focuses on luxury asset trends for Borro Private Finance.