Let’s look at some Relationship Math.
Relationships use multiplication rules.
0 * 0 = 0
You don’t get something from nothing.
1 * 0 = 0
If one person isn’t present, then there is no relationship.
1/2 * 1 = 1/2
You cannot find wholeness by being with another person who is whole.
1/2 * 1/2 = 1/4
When both people are only partially in the relationship, it falls apart quickly
Strangely we need about a 75% (3/4) to 80% (4/5) connection in our relationship for a bond to be strong enough to last.
4/5 * 4/5 = 2/3
Actually, .64 but a .02 difference between friends is acceptable. So close enough to 2/3 for paperwork.
More commitment than that causes people to burn out from the relationship (not enough space for oneself). Less than that means not enough cohesion to keep things moving through the hard times. Larger scale studies and my personal experience with working with so many people seem to prove this point out.
But be aware relationships oscillate with how much space we need. At times a partner needs quite a bit of space and at other times deep reassurance. So that 75% to 80% is an averaged out number over time. The bigger challenge is that often times our partners and us can be at opposite extremes of what we need, and that can quickly break apart a relationship.
1 * 1 = 1 ?
Wait a second isn’t relationship = 2
If both people are full of themselves, there is no room for each other.
1 could represent a blended wholeness. As I warned earlier, we always need some space to be ourselves.
Relationship Math Dynamics
I have been teaching my daughter 5th-grade math this year. Of course, in my day to day work, I have been helping people in their relationships. As a result, my mind blended the two for fun.
Now relationships are not only about the math. People who focus too much effort on pushing their relationship to fit a model will be more likely to force themselves into a broken relationship. So be careful when looking at any relationship cookbook or teaching guide that tries to give a perfect answer for your relationship.
An important truth I want to stress from this: we shouldn’t push for our own personal completion through our partner. This is a hard truth. As social beings, we don’t feel complete often until we are in a relationship. So this sets us up for a contradiction that can break up a relationship. Our partners can help us grow, but they should never be used to complete us. If a partner completes us, then it becomes a relationship of consumption. A relationship of consumption is a co-dependent relationship which over time decays and fall apart.
It’s great to feel complete with your partner; just don’t use your partner to define your completion.