The general interpretation of the quote “Time is Gold” is that a certain monetary value is lost when time is spent inefficiently. To earn money, we need time, and to make anything worth our time, it needs to be transmuted into money or any of its equivalents.
In the same way that money controls international trade, time controls relationships. The amount of time you give to a person you care for is directly proportional to the success rate of the relationship. May it be relationships with family members, friends or with a significant other, the success rate depends on how much time you spend with them.
Constant communication and proximity, elements of a good relationship, are by-products of time. A relationship will work if two parties mutually understand the necessity of communicating with each other. It will also turn out to be a successful relationship if the two parties agreed to be physically available for each other.
Most long-distance relationships do not work because of the little time spent by the lovers with each other, and not the actual distance that separates them. When lovers live in different locations, far from each other, the amount of common time they have dwindles.
For example, the amount of time spent on talking on the way home, assuming they live in the same vicinity, is spent with other people who live in the said area, and instead of eating lunch with the person you love, it is spent with casual lunch buddies.
The aforementioned scenarios both point out one thing, if you want to make the relationship work, you need to put aside time for the person you love. It does not necessarily mean that you devote all your time to the person you love, the time spent with him or her should be special.
A good relationship does not need constant physical presence for it to work out, in the same way a house can be built with other construction materials aside from bricks.
However, you will not opt for playing cards instead of buying bricks; you look for another material that has similar durability and utility. In the same way, spending time playing video games or going out with friends is not the solution when the person you love is unavailable—it is simply counter-productive.
However, unlike money, you cannot make time. Time investment is a tricky business, you can give it up and share with others, but you cannot keep it. No matter how hard you try, there are only 24 hours in a day—that is 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds—regardless of what time you woke up or what time you went to sleep. Time is fixed and like an incessant time bomb, it will keep on ticking until it reaches zero.
When you invest money in any financial intermediary, your money grows, but when it comes to time, it does not multiply, worse, you cannot get it back. Like buying gift checks at department store, it cannot be exchanged back to its original form—money—and it cannot be resold to other parties to regain the amount spent on it.
However, like all investments, what makes spending time with another person worthwhile is the gut feeling you get that reassures you that your eggs are in the right basket. Stay away from investing your time in a relationship that you feel is doomed to fail.
Do not keep on devoting your time in something you do not like anymore, just because you liked it before. Inversely, you do not stop investing time with the person you love just because you are afraid that it will be unreciprocated.
When you invest time in a relationship, you do not just invest time, you put yourself on the line. You invest a part of you into the relationship, some intangible and horribly unstable part of you goes with every second of what you invest into it.
Whether you like it or you do not, investments on relationships do change you. You remember every romantic dinner date memory and every heart pounding emotional distress; these things would not go away.
At the end of the day, there are two people involved in a relationship. No one should act as the investee or investor because the relationship is not bound by a contract, but of mutual understanding. Time is unlike money as love is not like the stock market.