Friday, July 9, 2010

On How We Figure Out if We REALLY Like Someone

Send me your questions! But until then, I leave you with another original post.

In my never-ending quest to figure out what distinguishes the relationships that end with minimal pain from the relationships that end in volcanic eruptions, I decided to take a look at the time in relationships when the foundations for future battles and reconciliations seem to be set up: the "getting to know you" phase.

In a way, we're always getting to know people and we never know people as well as we think we do. The phase I'm referring to is the early one where we figure out just how much we're capable of actually liking a person, and, whether we stay for that person for two more weeks, two more months, or two more years, our gut feelings about the person, in many ways, do not change all that much beyond that stage.

Let's take a look at an early-stages scenario, the emotions it causes, and the ways we can choose to act on those emotions.

Scenario: After sleeping with your partner, you wake up and drink coffee together. You show them a bizarre music video on YouTube, because that is the sort of thing that amuses you. They respond by saying, "So is this what you do when you're bored?" You say, "Uh... yeah. Actually, I do." There is silence. You feel a void develop between the two of you.

And now, I leave you with a host of Choose Your Own Adventure choices, and I leave you to judge which ones are the best. Because, frankly, I think I know what is the best way to go about it, but I really don't.

A) Break up with them right then, or a few days later, saying, "We don't have enough in common."

B) Recognize that you don't have enough in common, but see where else the relationship can go from that point onward. Assume that you're not going to really fall for this person and don't expect too much from them. Wait to see if you have other things in common that will make you feel that "certain something," but until then, don't commit or allow them to commit.

C) Recognize that they're missing a certain something, but push the person with all your might into being serious about you, and see if you like them then. Get them to do "serious relationship" things that they may have been hesitant to do before. If they fully commit to you and you find that they are still missing something, break up with them.

Something tells me that we all have done something like this; that, unless we've found someone who was perfect and didn't make us go "Hmm..." at any time during the early stages, we've all had to make the choice of "Do I want to stay with this person, and, if I don't know yet, how do I figure it out?" The four choices I've listed are the methods I can think of so far.

Readers: Do you have any you'd like to add? Which "techniques" do you use to make your choice?

Addendum: I originally made four options but then realized that the middle two were the same, so I combined them. B was originally B and C and C was originally D.


Mademoiselle Hautemess said...

OH Goodness, how I hate the "we don't have enough in common" excuse. The option that I would choose (altering the words a bit) is "C"- recognize that the person may not be the mirror image of you but try to understand if what makes you unique and what makes them unique matches up. If the important things are not a match, move on. But always be open to learning about and embracing the differences that make us special.

Ok- rose colored glasses off...if someone doesn't like looking at funny internet videos- LAME. Not having some hobbies in common is totally forgivable, but not having a similar level of AWESOME is a dealbreaker. Duhn, duhn, DONE!

Benny said...

Haha- clearly my example wasn't neutral enough. Didn't even mean to make the theoretical person sound lame!

I think C is best, but we can't always expect it, unfortunately.

Great(ish) Expectations said...

I think for me it's somewhere in between option B and C. I can usually tell by the first date if I can deal with his personality, so I don't usually have to do a whole lot to break it off. But if there is someone I'm not sure about, I really try to give them a chance until I'm certain it's a no go...
That was a really interesting point about the difference between the earth shattering breakups and the ones that leave us unscathed. I have never quite thought about it, but now it makes me wonder! Great post!

Benny said...

@Great(ish) Expectations- Your comment made me realize how similar B and C are, so I combined them into one. I guess I was trying to get people thinking about how we might set ourselves up for earth-shattering and non-earth-shattering breakups... because I think it's a whole lot more than just "how much we liked the person." And I think that we all have different methods of "trying it out" with people, and that perhaps those methods play a large part in how things turn out.

Marie said...

The way I can tell if I like a person in your given situation is that the video is NOT something I would watch in my free time, but I still think HE'S awesome for his love of uncovering a good song.

Marie said...
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