I know it sounds crazy, but this is the true story of how I used (and continue to use) the price of cryptocurrency to emotionally manipulate my boyfriend.
In a time not so long ago and a place not so far away, I had a new boyfriend. (kissy face heart-y emoji). He was warm, loving, and attentive… until he got a new hobby – researching cryptocurrency and its underlying technology, blockchain. To be fair, it wasn’t really a NEW hobby, but it was one that I was previously unaware of… until it took over his life and you could not have a conversation with him without talking about blockchain technology and/or cryptocurrency.
As his passion for the social and economic benefits he predicted would accompany the advent of blockchain and cryptocurrency into the mainstream economy grew, my time with him shortened. Working long hours at his day-job and spending late nights researching left him with very little free time. I had a choice to make. I could either: break up with him and walk away with a little less than a year in and relatively unscathed, or I could become reasonably well-versed in the subject matter.
I must have been really into this guy because I chose the latter, far more time-consuming option. I became “reasonably well-versed” (for a lay[wo]man) in all things crypto and blockchain. By which I mean, he and I could hang-out, and he would rammer on about how blockchain was going to save the world and retain more of the economic value of each transaction for consumers, and I would kind of know what he was talking about. While I enjoyed the dialogue, and I was beginning to see blockchain’s long-term potential, even the most enthusiastic of enthusiasts needs a break from all of the heavy financial and world-do-goodery talk once in a while, right? – Not him! This guy couldn’t make it through a movie without checking coinmarketcap.com or pausing to discuss how blockchain solutions could solve the protagonist’s dilemma in the not so distant future. After months and months of non-stop talking about crypto – and the price of crypto in particular – I had to make it stop!!!! But how?
I began to scheme. I noticed that on days when the market was generally up, he was happy and had a little pep in his step, and on days when the market was down, he was a little less gleeful and very firmly-rooted on the ground. I intended to exploit this weakness in exchange for attention and affection, not because I’m a horrible and manipulative person who wanted to control him, but because I am a human who needs attention sometimes and only really feels affection when the person who is giving it to me is also focused on me and not secretly thinking about what Ethereum news he might be missing while he’s kissing me. So, I casually quipped that the price of cryptocurrency was directly correlated with my mood, and he laughed. If you have a significant other who is into blockchain, cryptocurrency, finance, tech, etc and neglects you in favor of his blockchain lover, you might want to keep reading because this has been the most effective trick for capturing his attention in the history of love and war.
My joke went over well. My boyfriend laughed. He was impressed with the level of detail I put into it and surprised that I had been paying as much attention as I had to his rants. Over the next few months, he and I grew closer again. If the price of cryptocurrency increased significantly in a short period of time, he would jokingly call and ask what he was doing right so he could keep doing it. If the price dropped, he would call to ask what was wrong. We were both just kidding, but as we did the legend grew. Eventually, I created an elaborate scheme of how this coin represented this and that coin represented that. I could make the numbers look however I wanted just by timing and creating a story around those numbers that at times has been so compelling that he has actually considered the possibility that the price of cryptocurrency may be related mutually with my mood and general satisfaction with him as a boyfriend.
As time went on and my intricate ploy became increasingly complicated, my knowledge of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies grew as well. On evenings when he and I weren’t together, I was doing secret blockchain research (secret because I did not want him to know how big an influence he had on me and give him the upper hand). And guys, I fell in love. I fell in love with blockchain technology and everything that those who work in the field are trying to do with it to improve the quality of life on earth. I fell in love with my boyfriend too, but that’s not what this story is really about. Eventually my adoration of blockchain could no longer be contained in my subconscious. Late one night I suddenly awoke, desperately gasping for air with the urgent desire to purchase some cryptocurrency of my own.
The next morning, on Valentine’s Day, I text my boyfriend and asked him for recommendations on where I should buy it. He suggested Coinbase because you can purchase some of the largest cap (and most popular) cryptocurrencies there directly from your ATM card or bank account with very little delay. I wasted no time in investing the little bit of money I had saved in my favorite cryptocurrency, Ethereum. I set up accounts on multiple exchanges. My boyfriend was pleased, and he said he was relieved, “Now that you have your own money tied up in cryptocurrency, you won’t make it drop in value just because you’re upset with me,” he teased. “Oh no?” I replied, “You don’t understand. I don’t have conscious control over the price,” I elaborated. “It reflects my subconscious thoughts and emotions.” It’s a good thing I think quickly on my feet, or I wouldn’t have been able to come up with that response on the fly, and I would have lost my hard-earned advantage.
With skin in the game, my passion for and excitement about cryptocurrency began to develop at a faster pace. I started talking about it with people other than my boyfriend. I was telling my family, friends, and strangers I met on the street about how blockchain technology was going to save the world. I helped dozens of people set up their accounts to purchase their first cryptocurrencies. I fielded excited phone calls and texts when the price was on the incline and panicked calls and texts when it was moving down. And still with my boyfriend, I maintained my position: the price of cryptocurrencies was related to my subconscious emotions, and satisfaction with him had a major impact on my mood. What I didn’t realize until much later was that by saying that and by having my own money invested in crypto, I really was becoming tied to the price of it.
The months and years that have followed have been some of the most emotional and turbulent of my life. My boyfriend has quit his job to focus solely on crypto research, and in so doing, moved to Puerto Rico. His long-distance move and the subsequent crash in the price of cryptocurrency that immediately followed only added to his fear that I might be right: Somehow, the price of cryptocurrency might be tied to me. The fact that his early return to the mainland United States (due to the devastation brought by Hurricane Maria) coincided with a recovery in the price of many large-cap cryptos exacerbated his panic. And as time has continued to march on, I have used many large and small-scale events like that to add fuel to the fire. While he knows that the market value of cryptocurrencies isn’t solely determined by my mood, he is more considerate of me and my feelings in general with each passing day. My joke evolved to do much more than impact my boyfriend’s treatment of me, but the ways in which the price of cryptocurrency began to inform my understanding of humanity, myself, and market psychology is a story for another day.