First, my friend admitted for the last year materialism totally replaced love, the void was filled with expensive clothes and meals. My friend was decidedly non materialistic when we met, a socially oriented type we all thought would quickly end up doing good things.
Because the marriage became all about keeping up appearances, appearances became the only thing that mattered. When it dissolved, it was easier to put things back into perspective. To think about moving back into the artsy 'hood and out of the glistening condo mecca. It became easier to decide on a career change.
It was an interesting perspective on how difficult it may be to get your financial house in order if there are things consuming all of your energy, and impeding growth, in your personal life.
Second, after the break up, my friend discovered a secret credit card with a multi thousand dollar balance on it. Interestingly, the ex was known for being frugal and running a tight ship, almost to the point of being cheap. This was really upsetting for my friend -- though they weren't happy, couldn't they have been honest? It was a type of financial infidelity not so easily forgiven.
If you make yourself unhappy enough, you will never have enough money.
Now, my friend is dating again. The most recent love interest was an engineer with an $80K sports car, not atypical among the single yo-pro single set. Our conversation:
Friend: I knew from the car that it wouldn't last. What's the point of that, even when you can afford it. Somewhere nice to sit in traffic every day, I guess.
FF: I just look at it like a lot of potential freedom. For $80K you could take an entire year off and live pretty well.
Friend: For $80K you could spend a year in Italy and drink a bottle of wine every single day.
FF: It would probably be the best year of your life.
And there we sat, on a balcony in the sun, contemplating that very fact.
A little test: after reading this, is my friend male or female?