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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

Too hot, too cool, and just right?

I've been thinking quite a lot about that great/not great thing with respect to relationships. It's easy to fall into this pattern of evaluating things according to some sort of quantitative or ordinal scale. People look at each other and say things like: "You're not enough this or that, or you're too much one thing or another. The question is, too much or too little of what? Could people really rank their relationships according to some ordinal scale from most favorite to least?

People aren't machines. If you say that someone is too much or too little of something, by what criteria are you judging? People have complex sets of needs which relate to personality, beliefs, mannerisms, temperament, looks and physique, idiosyncrasies... I've tried to analyze mine, because if one understands the criteria the more one can have conscious input into the heart's decision-making. At least, that's my theory, and I'm sticking to it.

The gist is, you can't really rate people for relationship potential according to any kind of objective scale. It's almost entirely subjective -- even axe murderers can be valued by some perverse individual, somewhere. Two people are right for each other or else they're not. Sadly enough, that doesn't always go both ways, either. I've seen cases where I felt so damned good about someone, and they just aren't interested. Love unrequited is a well-worn theme in art, philosophy, and life. It's hard to deal with that, when it happens. Thinking about it, I wonder if anyone has ever felt that way about me.

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We do tend to evaluate our relationship partners casually using many different scales, some of which are completely orthogonal to each other. However, because we tend to be immersed in relationships, I believe it is possible to say something like "I enjoyed my conversations with Ms. X more than those I had with Ms. Y, but Ms. Y was so much nicer that the relationship was better" with some degree of confidence.

Attempting to satisfy Lord Kelvin and actually quantifying aspects of a relationship seems almost impossible. One substantial problem is that we're not automata, and neither are the objects of our affections. Other than certain physical characteristics, how can we do anything but guess at an evaluation metric? Another problem is that relationships aren't static, because their participants aren't. Compatible today, incompatible tomorrow?

I think that the best way to attempt a scientific evaluation of a relationship is to come up with the types of characteristics most important to us. Then, for each of those, we can suggest a desired optimum value, and a level of significance of that characteristic. The closer our person of interest comes to satisfying the most significant characteristics we seek at the levels we seek, the "better" he or she is.

What is compatability?

If we value someone for essential characteristics, then we value them for who they are. That doesn't change. The problem is that we often value for non-essential characteristics, which can be ephemeral.

I do believe there are certain personality types that have a better chance of making a long term commitment to each other than others. The problem with that idea though is that people do change relatively over time, and sometimes a big event can come along and change a person dramatically. More importantly, I think people's values change overtime, and one thing you found valuable in a person at one point in your life you may no longer see any value in later--in fact, it could become a detriment if they haven't altered to fit the circumstances. And what do you do when you try over and over to find new values in the person you once love, but find there is none? I personally think that some people aren't meant for lasting relationships, maybe various relationships at stages of their lives, but nothing lifelong. I think that's why I believe a long courtship is important for a real lasting relationship--the only kicker to that is you have to be willing to walk away. I think we've been somewhat conditioned to "never quit, never surrender," which isn't always a good thing. Why work incredibly hard to try and make a relationship work that can't?

*throws you and Dr. Neil Clark Warren in the ring for a cage match*

Huh? I don't think there'd be much of a battle.

I'm familiar with that guy. I'm not so sure that we would have that much over which to disagree.

Having suffered from discretionary judgments of me by others, I am reluctant to be too analytical. I suspect that there was a checklist in my mind and my ex's mind when we married 22 years ago. As we walked out of court last summer, those lists were probably still largely intact.
However, I do put a lot of stock in the Meyers-Briggs style delineator as a discussion starter and, when appropriate, finisher. To move on to more interesting points of discovery sooner rather than later seems ethical and efficient--and a lot more fun. Especially as what comes next is so confusing. Of course, nothing replaces discovering the pleasure of sharing a comfortable presence together.
One of the hardest won lessons for me remains some understanding how the demeanor of introspective NT or NF types is deceptively accommodating to the world. That it looks like calmness or assurance when it might be neither. If that is true for me, I have to assume it is for many others, too. Hopefully, this analytical approach releases me from having to apply any other "objective criteria".

It is a certain "je ne sais quoi" that beckons the heart. In all my years, I have never met anyone who first checked off a list and then fell in love. Isn't there a saying that says, "Love makes the strangest bedfellows!" That certainly has been true for me!:)

I don't have a checklist, per se...

I have tried to understand what it is though, that attracts me to another person. As I said above, "I've tried to analyze mine, because if one understands the criteria the more one can have conscious input into the heart's decision-making." It's a qualitative thing. I'm trying to figure out what I need, and with whom I would ultimately be compatable. Nosce te ipsum.: Know Thyself. I dread making the same mistake again that I made with my wife. Life is far too short to make a mistake like that twice.

i enjoy reading your ponderings... i'm sure someone has been ass over teakettle, as it were, for you at some point in your life... maybe, though, you didn't see it at the time, or you did and the feeling was not reciprocal.

all i know is i agree with your assessment about judging people as too much, not enough, etc. etc. all these things are very subjective and can't be measured, at least not in my own experience.

have a good weekend.

Thanks for the compliment. No, interactions with people cannot be quantitatively compared, but they may be qualitatively compared.

I agree, on many counts. First, unrequited love sucks. Plain and simple.

Second, it is totally subjective. In my last relationship people tried to "warn me" about the person I was involved with. I didn't listen. I'm not sorry that I didn't listen, it just turned out that the things they said were true, and I was not equipped to deal with those particular idiosyncrasies in the other person.

I've been having a hard time coming up with a quantitative list as it were. My friend asked me last night "What's your type" ... Well, the truth is, aside from some basic personality characteristics, I don't really have a type. I look at each person and determine what I like and don't like and if I can live with what I don't.

Relationships are weird. Being a hermit is so much easier.

Unrequited love may suck, to a certain extent, but I'd rather experience that than be unmoved by certain wonderful people. If one consciously values then it is practically unavoidable. There is a reason for this:
  1. We can choose our values to a very great extent (some are subconsciously acquired and harder to get a handle on).
  2. We can choose and have even greater control over our actions.
  3. We have little to no choice about how we will feel about someone who embodies the things we value when we encounter them.

you doubt yourself too much, you have to have objectivity when evalulating relationships. the objectivity is your own morals and standards.

Everyone needs objective standards for themselves. I agree completely. The point I was trying to make though, is that they are your own standards and values. They are subjective to that individual case. If you tell someone "You're too serious," what you mean is, "You're too serious for me. There are myriad ways for people to be incompatible without there being something flawed with them, per se. Often, it is very easy to forget that.

Stop analyzing. Start touching and being touched.

My advice for the day.

You're playing doctor with me now? Heh heh. Gives a whole new meaning to the term "patient man" doesn't it.

Seriously though...I'm way too sensually influenced. Once I start playing around like that I lose any sense of objectivity. I need to figure things out with someone before I dive right in, as it were. It'll happen, when it's right. ; )

This has very little to do with your post...

Happy Blogiversary! Our blogiversaries are only one or two days apart.

I decided to send happy wishes because when I read your userinfo I noticed you quoted Rush. The title of my blog comes from lyrics by Rush.

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