The Anatomy of a Relationship

There are three major variables in a relationship:  Timing, Situation and Compatibility.  How far a relationship will go is determined by the strength of each of these variables.

Timing: Timing is everything in life.  Marriage is something you will have an appetite for once you’re done getting to know yourself, done being selfish and investing solely in your career/friends/life.  Women are often “ready” to commit before men are.  Maybe it’s a biological nesting thing, I don’t know.  Regardless, the timing has to be right for both of you if you want the relationship to go the distance.

Situation: Sometimes, the timing is right but the situation is not.  Maybe he just went through a layoff and has to take a job in another city.  Maybe she is preoccupied because her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and she can’t fathom dating anyone at the moment.  I would say that situation is a tricky variable.  For example,  high-stress periods often create situations that are not conducive for a long-term relationship…sometimes high-stress periods bring out the best in relationships.  It depends.

Compatibility: This is obvious, but compatibility is at the crux of a long-term relationship. However, it’s worth noting that there are several degrees of compatibility.  There’s relationship compatibility, where you simply get along with the person and have a good time.   Then there’s life-long compatibility, where you and that person compliment each other in a way where you are both equipped to face the trials of establishing a home, raising a family, and supporting each other through severe challenges (i.e. illness, unemployment, etc).

The best relationships have an abundance of good timing, situation and compatibility.  Bad relationships have severe deficits of the three variables. However, the most dangerous scenario is when a lack of compatibility is masked by incredibly good timing and situation.  Too many couples get ready because that’s the next logical step in their relationship or they are at an age where that is expected of them; years later, they find themselves staring at divorce because their compatibility was only sufficient in the context of a specific time frame or situation. Put in a different way, the couple were not compatible enough to grow together long-term.

Me…my own timing was off until quite recently.  While I would have had a mini panic attack at the thought of marrying someone 5 years ago, now it is something that I actively crave.  Not the marrying part, but the part where you find a partner and can trust that you’ll work through whatever issue comes your way because there’s no doubt that you’ll be together x years from now. My timing is on.  My situation was off until recently too. Actually, if I’m really honest with myself, I’d say it is still off…I’m in business school, about to transition yet again, move yet again, find an apartment yet again. My situation isn’t exactly welcoming to others.

As I said in my last post, I just ended a really phenomenal relationship.  His timing was off (mine on); his situation was worse than mine; our compatibility was good for now but not enough for the long-run.  I’m sad.  The funny thing is that I don’t think I’ve ever been so close to perfectly calibrating the three variables.  My timing was on.  My situation, though not perfect, was manageable.  And I found someone that I was almost compatible with….

This post rambles on quite a bit…so, I’ll save my typing fingers for a more lucid post a few days from now.  All you have to remember is that timing, situation and compatibility are important variables in a relationship.  By the way, I just found this blog…I like.


Otra Vez (again)
November 13, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Gender Fights

I’m writing again and you all know what that means….breakup time!!!!

Blurb on the last 9 months:  Dating G.I. Joe (pseudonym) was a great experience. The relationship taught me what it’s like to have a partner.  We got along like best friends and had the best.chemistry.ever. The communication was crystal clear and we never had any bad fights.  It was a healthy relationship.

But: It ended. Too soon.  Although the relationship ran it’s course and I’m 100% certain that we had no future together after business school, I didn’t expect such an abrupt ending.  Things had become noticeably cold since recruiting started for him.  Things must have reached boiling point internally and within 3 days he decided to break up with me.

After Shock: I resent how he ended things in 20 minutes. A longer conversation that allows for mutual agreement is a much better way to go….I learned that now.  Also, I hate that I have to go through another breakup in the fishbowl that is my MBA program.

Some hope: The breakup has been an opportunity for me to see just how awesome my girlfriends are. I can’t tell you how supportive they have been. Also, guys have already started flirting again….looks like I’ll have.  Finally, women seem to take breakups as an opportunity to improve themselves.  I’m a pretty self-aware person so I think that is true.

Anyway. I’m a sad panda again.