Friday, April 18, 2008

A dating theory.

This is my newest dating theory. I'm going public with it. (Remember, it's just a theory, meaning (a) it's not even "true," necessarily, and (b) even if is true as a general principle, as a rule, there will be exceptions.)

Relationships may begin because two people like each other's best behaviors, but relationships end because either one or both people do not like each other's worst behaviors.



Marissa said...

I had a similar theory for friends... that the things which might make us annoying are naturally tolerated by the people we become friends with. Therefore we tend to become friends with people who find the same sorts of things acceptable and the same things unacceptable. But isn't that limiting and kind of sad? I like to feel expanded by friends.
So this is a question... if your dating theory is true ... wouldn't everyone not like your worst behaviors? or does a relationship last because the two people are both pretty tolerant of each other's worst behaviors? or maybe they even like these worst behaviors... that kind of sounds also like you'd be limiting your growth... and would possibly be a little boring if that was the case. I guess I want to be challenged and am looking for a relationship as a motivation to become refined. But perhaps that's not the best.

Melissa said...

Thought-provoking. I think it depends on how behaviors weigh against each other and how bad/good the extremes of behavior might be. My tolerance levels are greatly influenced by my overall attitude about the person in question. Sometimes behaviors that I might find irritating in a stranger are perfectly acceptable coming from a friend.

Rebecca said...

I remind you of my John Rocker theory. Just another thing that has to e just right before it will work. Also, I remember in high school feel very moved ("how profound" I thought) by the phrase: we like because, we love although...

ken said...

It doesn't sit well with me, even if I can't find an argument against it. I think it makes more sense if you make a couple changes. I'd say it like this.

Bad relationships may begin because two people like each other's best behaviors, and bad relationships will end because either one or both people do not like each other's worst behaviors.

I agree with the people below. A good relationship is one in which your best behaviors are strengthened and expanded, while the worst behaviors diminish or are improved. Relationships should be more about growth and less about criteria.

amy said...

hi sarah, it's pamy. there, now i've introduced myself and i feel less weird about commenting.

i have heard a theory i like on this subject. the theory explains that we are attracted to those who make it possible for us to attain our highest progress by highlighting our areas of pathological belief (unresolved pain, usually learned during childhood). the theory explains that relationships terminate when we choose to maintain our pathological beliefs rather than challenging them and healing. areas of conflict in relationships stem from "crossing pathologies". for example, if i feel abused and insulted when you ask me to help you clean the house and if you have panic attacks when i neglect my housekeeping duties, we both have the opportunity to evaluate why the other's behavior elicits such a strong emotional response in us and perhaps modify our own beliefs to change the dynamic. this tends to explain the phenomenon of people choosing very similar dysfunctional relationships over and over; because they have yet to learn their 'lessons' they are unable to find anything else attractive. i think this is an interesting way of thinking about relationships and one that helps me to recognize when, in my own primary relationship, i choose to persist in an old, painful belief rather than confronting my own emotional patterns and perhaps relearning something i missed when i was learning about love the first time around, during my childhood.

i do believe that we choose to love out of a desire to heal and choose to abandon love out of a fear of what healing really means.

this was esoteric and im sorry for that. congratulations on law school. that is SERIOUS BUSINESS. i look forward to reading about you in all the papers.