The $2,000 Kiss

A relationship expert argues that expressing affection can replace shopping.

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While I was interviewing Bonnie Eaker Weil, author of Financial Infidelity: Seven Steps to Conquering the #1 Relationship Wrecker, for a story on her book, she mentioned an intriguing concept: "pop shots," which she defines as "pissed-off purchases," usually made after a fight or falling out with a romantic partner or spouse. According to her survey, the average pop shot is $486, and people average three to four a year. That adds up to almost $2,000 a year—a lot to spend because of a few fights. I am somewhat skeptical of that number—are so many people really so unhappy in their relationships and willing to blow so much money because of it?—but Weil stands by the survey results.

She also has a solution to such conspicuous consumption: Hug or kiss your partner. "That high that you're looking for [when you spend], you can get that from your partner. If you hug for 20 seconds, you get a dopamine high. If you kiss 30 seconds, you get a dopamine high. You can actually have an affair with your partner—you don't have to shop until you drop," says Weil.

Are you convinced?