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By: Gabriela Yareliz

In “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” we see a Jennifer who is telling us she prefers someone’s presence to the material gifts he can offer. She can buy her own stuff. In the beginning of the video, she receives a call from her partner where he says he can’t make it (again, apparently), and she tells him she wants his presence not another bracelet. I mean how many bracelets can a girl have, am I right?

Released in 2000, this song is considered one of Lopez’s biggest, in regards to commerical success. (Source) Her dance skills are beautifully featured in the music video.

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The memorable line that stayed with all of us is: “Even if you were broke, my love don’t cost a thing.” I love when she straight up tells him, “Your heart’s a mess.” She doesn’t hold back. Jennifer Lopez is less poetic in her music. The poetry gets an F, but her directness gets an A+.

She goes through a list of things that she doesn’t want to do, almost like she is clarifying this for him, (“Think I wanna drive your Benz? I don’t.”)

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This song makes me think a little about love langauges. If you don’t know what yours is, it’s worth checking out. Sometimes, people only know how to express things through giving a person gifts, and this can be unfulfilling for someone who isn’t interested in the material but finds his/her needs met in another way. This may be the love language of the giver or, also, it’s clear that sometimes people resort to the material because if they have the money, it’s easy, unemotional and convenient.

She sings, “Baby, credit cards aren’t romance, so you’re tryin’ to buy what’s already yours.” Some of us can agree that a gift, a trip or money can never replace what we seek in relationships, which is intimacy, fidelity, respect, genuine care and vulnerability.

I think this is an interesting song, as I don’t think everyone can say that same. Some people would never marry someone who isn’t wealthy. There are many women who lead lonely and expensive lives. We’ve seen them on Instagram and Bravo. They have the jewelry and clothes, and some women marry into a relationship knowing this is how it will be. This is the arrangement/agreement. This is what they are getting out of it. The other day, I saw one of these wives on Instagram sobbing and pouring her heart out about something so personal. I couldn’t help but wonder why she was online doing this with strangers instead of with her husband. Where the heck is he? Many stay in these relationships and act like it’s enough, but I can’t help but wonder (Carrie Bradshaw moment)– is it really enough? Do they feel like that postcard in the music video that says, “Wish you were here”? (Maybe they don’t wish their husband was there, but maybe someone else?) Are we all hardwired to want the same things? Gifts, even thoughtful gifts, can only go so far.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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