Some of my friends came up with a relationship theory. It attributed to each person three qualities. They have a binary function, meaning you have them or you don’t. No maybe.

They are as follows:
1) Good Looking
2) Smart
3) Not a crazy loser

People have ‘yes’ or ‘no’ values in these qualities. Generally, my friends theorized, if people have equal numbers of qualities, their relationship can work. If they have unequal numbers, then it can’t work.

This isn’t to say both parties have to be good looking, but if one is good looking and smart, and the other is smart and not a crazy loser, there’s potential for success. If one person is good looking and the other is not a crazy loser, there is also potential for success. If, for example, one person is smart and good looking, but the other is just not a crazy loser, failure is in their future.

The assumption was is that there would be imbalance in the relationship–too much imbalance–if the people were of uneven relationship worth. Like all theories, this doesn’t hold in every case. I’m sure there are plenty of cases where it doesn’t work. I am trying to think of one, but I’m not coming up with very much. Affectionately, I would describe one of my parents as being good looking and smart, and the other as good looking and not a crazy loser, but the truth is that both of my parents are all three of these things because they are super people above and beyond normal man. So they’re not a good example. Two of my best friends are both good looking and smart (and engaged). They’re not a good example either.

The values of these qualities are entirely subjective. I find tall, lanky guys with distinctive facial features to be good looking. I generally don’t like pony-tail length hair on boys. I have friends who love long hair on boys and that gives like +5 to attractiveness right there. I think girls who are pretty are good looking. For some reason, “gorgeous” girls don’t seem very good looking to me. I can pick out the traits that say they are supposed to be, but the total image just isn’t appealing to me. So, for one of my friends, gorgeous girls are good looking. Some of my friends like full figured women, some like skinny girls. It’s all variable. ‘Not a crazy loser’ also offers up a wide variety of traits. I think most people are inherently crazy, but being able to recognize and deal with that is pretty important. If you can say ‘I am being crazy and irrational, I need to not do X right now,’ I’ll probably give you a check for ‘not a crazy loser.’ Not everyone agrees with me.

Today, unintentionally, someone proposed a similar checklist, but for projects and getting work done. Their checklist read like this:

1) Competent
2) Useful
3) Not a crazy loser.

There seemed to be a suggestion in this that depending on the project, the role, or even who was working, equal numbers of traits needed to be required. For example, I’m not especially competent, but I can be useful and not a crazy loser. I would be unable to work with someone who was just useful or just competent–in a small, selective kind of way–but if someone else had two of these traits, we could probably successfully work together. People “in charge” of you in projects have to have at least equal numbers of traits as you do. I could easily listen to someone who has all three of these traits, but I have more


One thought on “>Checklist

  1. >There's a lot of support in the love literature for the idea that relationships last longer when both people see their partner as being as desirable as they are. Partnerships where one person feels they've "married down" aren't likely to last.

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