Relationship As A System


A system is “an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole”. Look around, everything is a system on its own or within a system: the 3 system of government, the cardiovascular system, reproductive system etc. (a whole lot).

A relationship works like a system because there is an act of trying to make 1 out of 2. There is the attempt to combine 2 different individuals, most likely with different goals and ambitions, different genetic make up, different upbringing, etc. (Dang, no wonder relationships are hard to maintain). Any system set in place is meant to work, but anytime a system fails, it is usually the people who are within the system who are the cause of the failure of the system. The same principle applies to any sort of relationship. If a relationship does not work, it is because the members involved in that particular relationship failed at adhere to or do certain things which as a result crumbled the systematic aspect of the relationship as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, it might not be both people involved, it can be one person not willing to understand the other, one person not willing to make the decision to be in the relationship, one person not willing to work to sustain the relationship, one person being selfish, etc. (you know it, name it).

In a relationship system, when something goes wrong, something has to naturally kick in to help save it from tearing apart. I call this the check-and-balance. The moment the checks and balances are not adhered to, it creates a lot of confusion in the relationship. Example: Communication as a key check a balance in a relationship: The moment a couple get mad at each other about something, there is the sense of not wanting to talk to each other till “time” calms it down. Well, in this situation Communication as a check-and-balance was not adhered to. In my opinion, to make a relationship stronger, I feel like anyone involved in the relationship should have the right to express their truthful opinion about what they believe is hurting the relationship at any given time and what they believe can be done to help the relationship. (more to come on checks – and – balances)

Relationships (bf/gf) are very easy to get into but very hard to maintain. I have a theory: 25% of your energy is basically used to find the girl or boy of your dreams, but you need the 75% to help maintain it and keep it healthy. Everyone wants a healthy relationship, but only a few are willing to put in the work needed to have 1 or maintain one. Its like the man with the huge potbelly who is always talking about having a six pack, but all he does is drink a case of beer every single week. Catch my drift?

We should all see relationships as a system, and we are the people upholding that particular system to work.

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One comment

  1. Joe,

    As usual your analysis is on point. I agree with the majority of points raised. However, where I differ is on the point of “waiting to cool down.”

    Yes, both people in a healthy & successful relationship should (& typically do) have the freedom & comfort with voicing their opinions. However, while other parts of a system (heart, motor, computer) perform their tasks in a consistent way each time, regardless of the circumstance.

    Yet with people, their emotions can affect how they perform basic relationship functions (listening to their partner, support, verbal communication, etc), even outside of what’s logical.

    Therefore, sometimes a “cooling off” is the better & more appropriate action, rather than acting based on one’s emotions. As long as the person goes back & addresses the issue…

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