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Henny Youngman’s quote “You can’t buy love, but you can pay heavily for it” means that while love itself cannot be purchased, being in a loving relationship often requires sacrificing time, energy, and resources. Youngman is suggesting that maintaining love and keeping a partner happy can end up being quite costly, even if love itself is not something that can be bought from a store.
The “cost” he refers to is both emotional, such as compromising or dealing with arguments, as well as financial costs like sharing living expenses with a partner. So while love itself is free, being in a loving relationship may require “paying heavily” in other ways to make it last.