[Warning: Have you read Part III of the theory yet? (IWOs are freaking out right now) If you do not know what an IWO is make sure to check out Part III. It will work your world! (Or for the RHRs…maybe not) ]
Ironically, the end has a way of reminding us about the beginning. When e.j. asked me to finish this tag-team effort of theory producing, I could not help but think, “Why did we start thinking about this in the first place?” In order address this question, let us remember how e.j. most tactfully summarized the relationship-temperament theory in Part I:
” Those of the same temperament (not necessarily personality) tend to gravitate toward one another and share, in whatever fashion, a longer lasting relationship.”
A longer lasting relationship.
That was the part that caught me. It does not even take two-feet past the age of sixteen to witness (or even experience) failed relationships. How often do we see couples past the honeymoon stage consistently enjoy each other? When you witness it–in its most genuine tested-through-time-and trial form–it almost feels as magical as those 90 minute romantic comedies.
Because I can name a lot of couples who stand each other, but rarely that enjoy and do life together.
Now, am I saying that our relationship-temperament theory is the cure to our mediocre or tense relationships? Heck no. If that was the case, we would have taken this one to the publishers. We would be making millions! (You could finally open your pancake house e.j.!)
But we would be lying to ourselves if we never admitted that we deeply wonder why some couples seem to have it and others don’t. Nothing brings out our questions more when that “perfect couple,” the ones who were really going to make it….break-up. Or split. Or divorce. We tried not to hold them on a pedestal, but seeing them fall attests to how high we raised them. It’s baffling and disheartening.
So, I mentally lined up all those couples who made it over the 20 year mark, and seem to still enjoy each other. I know I have not seen all their trials or all the nights they almost gave up. But when I began thinking about it, I realize that though they were very different, they all seemed to have similar dispositions to each another. They could relax and stress together. Their range of emotion was similar. It was if they had similar disposition heartbeats to one another.
So, e.j. and I sat down with margaritas and sweet potato fries (does this bring down the validity of our theory? 🙂 ) and took a “temperament heart monitor” to different couples we knew that had and had (definitely) not worked. We found patterns, exceptions, and funny high school dating stories.
So, what this theory comes down to is:
1) Its a theory. Not fool proof by any means. Especially now that you know about the sweet potato fries.
2) I truly hope and pray you find or found someone who you can do life “with,” in a healthy sense of the “with” word. I do hope you relax and stress around the same range, because how much of life is spent between those two crests? When you have similar lifestyle rhythms, its easier to stay on beat with each other. Relationships are hard work (please repeat 10 times to let my point get across), so wouldn’t it be an advantage to wind down and address stress in similar ways? You might stop thinking you are a dating a crazy person, when you realize you do the exact same thing.
3) I believe relationships are worth the fight to find ways to do life together, especially/definitely marriage. As young people though, I also think we try to quickstep with someone who just waltzes. The quickstep is not better than the waltz, just a different.
Maybe…just maybe…we would stop stepping on so many toes if we were doing the same dance.