The LOVE MODEL AND the BUSINESS MODEL – Do you know THIS Crucial Relationship Secret?

To have a better understanding of the one of the dynamics and potential conflicts in relationships, I have developed a theory called the Business Model and Love Model.

In the Business Model, the emphasis is on achieving the goals of the organization. People contribute according to their roles and responsibilities usually in a fair and equitable way. Employees can be more easily replaced and there is less emphasis on relationships.

On the other hand, in the Love Model, the focus is on nurturing the relationship. There is less focus on keeping score and most often people go above and beyond to do things lovingly for each other.

However, relationships can go into the Red Zone when these two models are mixed. I remember a friend who, in spite of my warning, sold his car to another friend. For the first few weeks both were happy but when the car broke down, the friendship also broke down. This would not have happened if he had sold his car to a stranger. In this case, the Business Model and the Love Model clashed and a long standing friendship ended badly.

Mixing the Love Model and Business Model can also cause complications in family relationships. Let me share a story that highlights this point. A mother once told me that she was going to rent her basement apartment to her son, who was a university student.

“That is not a good idea?” I warned.

“Why not?” she was curious.

I explained that she was mixing the Love Model and the Business Model. She said she had never heard of that model and it did not make sense to her. She told me that she used to rent her basement for $800 a month to strangers and now she was going to rent it to her son for $400 and save that money for his tuition fees.

For the first two months everything went well and he paid $400 responsibly. She was proud to tell me that her arrangement had worked. But the third month he only paid $200. When asked, he told his mother that since he was dating, he was staying with his girlfriend half of the time. The mother was not happy and some tension developed between them. When he continued to pay $200 a month she became resentful.

Then the relationship between her son and his girlfriend ended and she was happy because she thought things would go back to normal and he would begin paying $400 again. But that did not happen and when she asked him, he told her that he was not eating her food anymore as he had become a vegetarian and bought his own food. After six months she was so angry that she asked her son to leave the apartment. She then told me that she finally understood my theory of the Love Model and the Business Model. Unfortunately, by that time some irreversible damage had been done to her loving relationship with her son. She wanted to help him but it had backfired.


Dr. Sohail

6 thoughts to “The LOVE MODEL AND the BUSINESS MODEL – Do you know THIS Crucial Relationship Secret?”

  1. Great explanation and definitions. I can relate very well to these definitions with my own experiences. When I was a young woman I worked at a small office where my immediate boss was smitten with me. Though I was fond of this man the feelings were not reciprocated. I began to get phone calls each evening at my home where the caller would not speak when I answered the phone. This was well before call display services were in place. Though I had no proof I felt certain that these anonymous calls were coming from my boss. So, one day at the office I spoke across the office to the receptionist (an elderly lady) as a ruse to let my boss know (his office was between her desk and mine) that I knew it was him who had been calling me. I said “You know that person that calls my home every night and never speaks?”. The receptionist didn’t understand what I was talking about but I signalled her to play along with me. She said “Oh yes”. I said “Well I have reported the caller to Bell Canada and they are tracing those calls”. More dialogue followed between us but the gist of it is that the mysterious called stopped that day. A love interest with this man was never going to happen and in the end it was better for his sake more than mine.

    Years later I worked in a very large office where one of my married female co-workers was having an affair with one of my married male co-workers. Though they pretended that nothing was going on between them it was clear to everyone in the office that they were carrying on with one another. Eventually her husband found out and the affair ended as quickly as it had begun much to her chagrin. Her reputation was soiled. His reputation had already been soiled years before when he had an inter-office affair with a woman and so it went.

    Bad business all around. Inter-office personal, romantic relationships between co-workers are doomed from the start.

    I agree with the other submissions that inter-family dynamics where business and love are concerned are most often also doomed from get-go. In the end, feelings are hurt, trust is lost and disappointments abound.

    1. Thanks Georgina for sharing your stories and insights. I am sure it will help other women to be careful about their interactions with men at work. You are so wise. Stay in touch.
      Dr Sohail

  2. Dear Dr. Sohail

    I thank you for your insights and comments that are complex but straight forward, the 2 models hold true for a multiple of relationships. Being clear in out intentions, desires, expectations as well as how we contribute and contaminate the relationships in our lives both in Love and Business Models will potentially allow us to navigate the fragile nature of relationships. Healthy relationships takes years to form with the solid underpinnings of communication, unconditional love and regard, sacrifice and gratitude however they can fail very easily if we do not step with wisdom and caution. The old saying “never mix business with pleasure” although simple speaks volumes for what creates confusion, resentment and ill will.


    1. Dear WC, Thank you for your insightful comments. As children most of us learn the languages of Sciences and Arts but do not learn the language of emotions as it is not taught in most schools and homes. My co-therapist, Bette Davis, feels that Green Zone Philosophy focuses on the language of emotions. Once we learn that language, it helps us to communicate better with our dear ones and also helps us resolve conflicts. Thanks for your ongoing interest in our Blog.
      Dr Sohail

  3. Dear Bernard, Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that as parents we need to set limits and say NO. When done with love children appreciate it sooner or later. Stay in touch.
    Dr Sohail

  4. Love model and business model very well explained and as a parent we have also to practice tough love.Being able to say No to our children and it is tough but it is right. Thanks Dr.Sohail. God Bless

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