It was only a few sips into my drink before he came out with the bombshell that things haven’t been good at home.
I was flabbergasted, from the outside, his relationship portrayed your ideal couple. Photos of them on exotic holidays. at events, going out for walks with the dog would litter my Facebook homepage.
This was the real reason that he had asked if I wanted to go for a drink. It wasn’t to watch the football. He needed an ear to bend.
He told me the ins and outs of the past few months. Who had done what to whom. The arguments, the infidelity, it was Pandora’s box in relationship form.
On coming to the end of his rant I asked him the most pertinent question ‘do you still love her?’ His response was ‘well, yeah.’
I asked him ‘Do you still want to be with her’. His response, ‘well, we’ve been together for so long and we’ve got the house and the mortgage and everything.’
His whole standpoint for staying with her was that it was convenient. And he’d already invested so much time. And was willing to offset his future happiness on the basis that he had invested that time, energy and money.
He had fallen foul of the spent cost fallacy!
Which is where time money and energy you’ve already invested that cannot be recovered.
An example of this would be if you went to the cinema. Paid your money and halfway into the movie you decide it is awful. Rather than getting up and leaving or you think to yourself well I’ve paid the money I’m going to see this through. And then proceed to suffer through the rest of the movie. Knowing full well that another hour of your life will be wasted!
The thing to consider in this example is that you have already spent the money on the cinema ticket. That money is not coming back. and it should not affect your decision to walk out.
It’s like finishing a meal in a restaurant that’s terrible. A glass of red from the bar that is disgusting, a meal replacement shake that tastes like feet. A diet and exercise plan that isn’t working. More sunk cost fallacy at work!
The time, energy, effort and money is already spent! Try not to let it cloud your decision on future enjoyment. Don’t put yourself through, pain, ineffective fitness plans and poor wine in the future!
The sum paid in the past that is no longer relevant to decisions about the future.