I've recently read that there are quite a few metaphors describing relationships between humans that are taken from the financial sector. However, examples were very scarce.

On my list I have "invest" or "to value", "priceless". Relationships can be "bankrupt". I have a hard time coming up with other examples. Any suggestions?

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  • AS you say, they are metaphors. You get to make up the image you want to convey, and the test is whether it resonates with the listener. Let your first original metaphor be your IPO! – bib Aug 22 '13 at 18:04
  • The point is I want to talk about the kind of metaphors that might exist for relationships, not make up any. Thank you very much, though. =) – Franz Aug 22 '13 at 19:44

I've heard of transactional relationships, of people keeping a ledger of slights, of banking goodwill, of having a negative balance in the trust bank. Stephen Covey, who wrote "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", popularized the notion of an emotional bank account when characterizing leaders and using influence to motivate others.

Covey's Emotional Bank Account blog posts


Does jewelry count?
appearance: golden hair, sapphire/emerald eyes, ruby lips
character: [he/she is] a rare gem/find, a diamond in the rough
relationship: their love appreciated/depreciated

One date and he was sold.

You could probably be clever with some phrases from this glossary of financial terms, e.g. Baby bond, Backdating, Big uglies, marketing one's looks...

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