Thursday, May 27, 2010

Relationship Stalemate

My friend K has been in the single and mingling state for a bit now. The last time we chatted, she told me about someone who was "at least 90%" right for her. Before I could get too excited about it she added "but it's not going anywhere - hasn't for months". When I asked her why so she explained she was also only 90% right for him and for this man that was not good enough. He refused to "settle" no matter how long it took him to find exactly what he was looking for. "So you are saying that he acknowledges that you are 90% of what he is looking for and yet that does not close the deal ?" I asked incredulously and K confirmed my understanding of the situation to be correct.
As we talked some more, it turned out that the offending 10% that had put their relationship in stalemate mode and even threatened to end it had to do with the one thing that was non-negotiable for both of them . Whatever it was ( I thought it imprudent to probe for any detail), K was one side of the issue and the man was on the other - there was no middle ground where they could meet. And without having this sticking point resolved, movement forward was impossible.
I asked her if this perhaps a way for one (if not both of them) to avoid closure because it was too scary to be seriously committed and God forbid get married. "You know, I have asked myself that very question. I don't think that's the case for me. I feel irritated that he is so stubborn about something that is not so very important in the first place. He can easily come around to accepting what I want and not have lost that much. Instead, he wants to let everything go over it. That's stupid" she said with more than a tinge of anger in her voice.
I wondered if that was not exactly how the man felt as well - she was stupid to let it all go over something relatively trivial. I asked her if she was ready to move on and K replied that was hard because when you come to 90% of all you desire finding equal or better is virtually impossible. "What's the deal with him ?" I asked. "Looking around and I hope he keeps looking until hell freezes over" she replied.
It seemed to me that they both took perverse pleasure in impeding the other's ability to move on and yet did nothing to bring their own relationship to fruition. Knowing K the little that I do, I know she will be over him very quickly if she met someone new that interested and excited her. The problem appeared to be that this 90% guy had made that quite difficult for her and was causing her much aggravation. I had to tell K that this resembled a staring contest to me - each waiting for the other to blink, settling on a balance of power that favored them over the other person. Could ability to trust be an issue perhaps ? "Maybe" she admitted. They have both been through some pretty rough relationships in the past.
Since she was looking for some friendly advise on the situation at hand I suggested she ask this guy what if it took him another ten years to find that elusive 100% he is looking for today only to discover that he does not care about the 10% which has become a huge show stopper between them. As for her, I encouraged to her move on in sober earnest and get over all this percentage nonsense as soon as possible. There are many "right" people for any one person. To choose one over the other is not "settling" but being wise and prudent. It demonstrates the ability to recognize a kindred spirit - just as flawed and imperfect as we are ourselves. I hope she will be in a place of peace and happiness instead of being in a state of limbo where she is right now - believing as she does that some day the man will have the sense to see that 90% is good enough and want to spend life the rest of his life with her.

1 comment:

Gioca alla Roulette said...

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