Money vs Real Love

By Greg Baer M.D.

February 17, 2017

Why People Don't Thirst for Real Love as they do for Money. 

I recently received a question that could benefit many of us: “In our society we seek money to buy our happiness—like money was our god. It seems we’ll do almost anything to get money. I personally get a buzz of safety and power when I manage to get more of it. So why do people not have the same thirst for Real Love, which brings us genuine happiness?”

Let’s examine some of the rewards of money versus Real Love, and remember that as I talk about money, I could be referring to the rewards of any kind of Imitation Love: praise, power, sex, food, drugs, and more.


The acquisition of money is familiar to all of us. Everywhere we go, we see people earning it: in every store, every advertisement, every service encounter. Money seems to make the world go ‘round, so how could it be a bad thing, right? It’s everywhere, and we actually do need it, so if a little is good, more must be better. And countless schemes are being promoted for us to earn more of it, so we are very familiar with money as a source and indicator of success.

Real Love, on the other hand, is so rare that most of us have never encountered it even once in our lives. Nearly all of us have experienced it so rarely that even if we did have a brush with Real Love, we would not recognize it. We have no shelf in our minds to put it on. We have no file to put it in. We simply don’t know what Real Love feels like, so how would we go about finding more of it?

Nature of the Trade

In order to get money, we have to buy it with things we are willing to give up. In exchange for money, we have to trade time, energy, and resources, and we’re quite willing to do that in varying combinations. All of society does it, and we gladly follow the pattern.

In order to get Real Love, we have to give up things that are MUCH harder to relinquish:

Being right

We have become quite attached to these characteristics, in part because they have protected us from pain all our lives—however superficially—and because we have come to believe that they are actually part of who we are, which is an enormous lie that almost everyone believes. In other words, it takes real sacrifice to find Real Love. You're not PAYING for it, just meeting the requirements for it, and avoiding the obstacles to it.


Money has a known cost. With sufficient energy, training, determination, cooperation of others, and yes, even luck, we KNOW how to find money. We know the cost of acquiring it. Overall, we know exactly how much effort, time, and resources we must trade to receive a given sum of money. The cost of money is, in fact, often published where everyone can see it. The same is true with other forms of Imitation Love. With experience we know what is required to earn praise, power, and safety.

Real Love is—by definition—freely given. That sounds like a good thing, but it introduces a potentially frightening element of unpredictability. People can choose to give us Real Love, but we can’t manipulate them for it, so they might choose to give us none. That can make us feel helpless.


When I go to work for 40 hours a week, I am immediately paid at the end of that period—or every two weeks, or whenever. When I am sufficiently entertaining, the reward of acceptance and praise is immediate. In other words, Imitation Love usually has an immediate reward, and oh, how we like that. We don’t like to wait.

We receive Real Love, on the other hand, when other people choose to freely give it. We can’t make it happen immediately, and often we don’t like that uncertainty.


Money can be measured. We can know exactly how much we have, which gives us the illusion of measured safety and power.

Real Love can’t be measured. We can’t show it off to others. We can’t point to a Real Love account, where our stash is proven by numbers.

The Difference between Money and Real Love

So, Real Love requires sacrifice, takes time, requires faith, and isn't measurable with normal instruments.

Money, on the other hand, is predictable, can be earned immediately, often requires little faith, has immediate rewards, and is quantifiable and can even be proudly shown to others. For these reasons, the passionate pursuit of money makes perfect sense, as the choices of people around the world overwhelmingly prove.

Money—as well as the other forms of Imitation Love—certainly has numerous seductions, but they’re all superficial and brief. The feeling of Real Love, though, is unspeakably powerful, life giving, and even eternal.

Real Love book

Replace your anger & confusion with peace and happiness.


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

Subscribe to our newsletter now!