The Ping Pong Theory

Have I ever told you about The Ping Pong Theory?  Yes, I have, but no one reads my blog religiously so I’m sure it’s okay if I re-hash my theory in more detail.  It’s a brilliant theory by the way. You’ll enjoy.

Personal explanation: I’m 15 years old and I had a new boyfriend.   Tall, dark, handsome and pretty damn awkward for a 16 year old. He had a pretty sweet car and was okay with wearing matching outfits.  He dumped me after he went to Spain for the summer when he realized he needed to date a girl that puts out.  Uh uh.  I collapsed on the floor of my bedroom wailing nonsenese “I’ll never find anyone that loves me again.”  My poor dad witnessed this but didn’t know what to say to me, other than calling me ridiculous.

SO what did I do to move on? PING PONG.  I started looking for traits in guys that were almost the exact opposites of my first boyfriend.  I’m about six relationships in now and the distance between the paddles has shortened significantly.

Scientific explanation: If you reflect on your relationships, what works and what doesn’t, then I guarantee that you’ve applied the ping pong theory to your life.  Rational people can recognize (most) of the traits in another person that make them happy/unhappy.

It’s natural to feel repelled from the qualities that lead to the break up (i.e. Bad temper, selfishness, lacks motivation, treats you badly, doesn’t know how to communicate, etc).  As a result, you tend to hone in on new targets that exemplify the opposite negative traits while maintaining the positive traits your ex managed to show.  Little by little, you start refining what you’re looking for until there’s very little wiggle room between ping and pong.

Not all people abide by the ping pong theory. I have one friend who never deviates from “her type” despite numerous failures and more recent lack of options (she’s picky). But, if you track the ups/downs of your relationships and approach breakups as an opportunity for self-improvement then you will use your past  experiences to inform your future decisions.

What’s next for me? I’m pretty sure I’m heading towards another break up. I’d give it a 10% chance of survival.  He’s a good guy, the relationship has been good, but it feel like its winding down.  I’ve noticed that being with him generates more upsets than happiness (lately). Although I hate endings, my intuition has a good sense of where I should ping pong to next:

  • Love the confidence, intelligence,  strong communication skills and chemistry
  • Love his sense of honor, loyalty.
  • Love his support of me.
  • Dislike his autonomous take on relationships because I’m looking for more of a partnership
  • Uncomfortable with his excessiveness. He’s either really hot towards me or frightening cold. He’s either obsessed with working out or potato couch.  He is either stone sober/anti-social or the most wasted person at a party.
  • Incompatible with his timing—I don’t see him settling down for another 4-6 years

I’m trying to grapple with things now, live the moment, etc.  This is hard to do once you know things are fizzling down.  We’ll see what happens next.