Michael’s Relationship Theory (A Semi-Mathematical Investigation into Interpersonal Relationships)

12 05 2008

Watch this one, it will one day end up in the textbooks! Remember you saw it here first. Ha ha ha.
Ok, so the theory is this: when you first meet a new person, it is awkward. Why? Because you know nothing about that person, and they know nothing about you. Thus, the first meeting is essentially an interview, with questions being asked to determine common interests, activities and the person’s personality and character. However, as the relationship progresses, you will learn more and more about this person. Or, at least, that’s how a normal relationship progresses. Therefore, a normal relationship can be represented by the equation Relationship Strength = Time, and also by a linear graph thusly:

Time vs Relationship Strength Graph

However, this represents an ideal representation of a relationship, where both parties are totally honest with each other, with no ulterior motives and absolutely no complications. However, since we live in the real world, this idealised form of relationship is so rare that is is almost non-existent. Therefore, we introduce another variable to the equation, thus making Relationship Strength = Time / Complications. On a graph, we get the following linear representation, where A represents a relationship with few complications and B represents a relationship with multiple complications (EDIT: I realise that this graph is flawed as the lines both represent an increasing number of complications in each relationship. I am working on a proper graph which accurately portrays the relationship, besides a standard Relationship Strength vs. Time / Complications graph. If you can figure it out before I can, you are welcome to submit it) :

Time vs Relationship Strength vs Complications

(Edit again: I have come up with another graph that sort of represents what I am trying to get across here, but again, it is far from perfect and if you feel that you have a better one, please submit it. Here it is:Time vs Relationship Strength with Complications)

Are you still with me? So the more complications in the relationship, for example one party not being honest (1), both parties not being honest (2) or an ulterior motive for the relationship in addition to both parties not being honest gives the following table:

Time 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Complications 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Relationship Strength 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Time 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Complications 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Relationship Strength 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Time 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Complications 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Relationship Strength 0.333333 0.666667 1 1.333333 1.666667 2 2.333333 2.666667
Time 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Complications 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Relationship Strength 0.25 0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5 1.75 2
Time 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Complications 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Relationship Strength 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6

Thus we can clearly see that as the number of complications, whatever they may be, increase, it will take increasingly longer amounts of time for the relationship to grow.

However, at some stage, most relationships are destined to never go beyond a certain level of Strength. Therefore,  if we use the initial linear graph for Relationship Strength vs Time, we can draw the following graph, which represents a complication free relationship that has reached its maximum level of Strength:Max Strength

Relationships can also begin to decline after time, either as a result of a Complication (For example if  one party in the relationship is caught cheating) or simply through a lack of contact or effort being put into the relationship. I’m still deciding if a lack of contact or effort being put into a relationship constitutes a Complication or not, but regardless, here is a graph of a relationship that has begun a linear decline as a result of a Complication:

Linear decline in a relationship

Therefore, the healthiest, fastest growing relationships are those that have the fewest complications, and thus the most honest people in them.

I hope that wasn’t too boring for you, I just had a random idea that I thought some people would be interested in, and I figured that I would post it here on my blog. If you liked it, found it interesting or enjoyed reading, please leave me a comment telling me your thoughts.

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5 responses

14 05 2008
Brian

Hi, this blog really intrigues me. I will check the graphs and try help next tuesday. LOl\L

18 05 2008
Kelly

oK THANKS That is so helping right now… ok so next time in a club my pick up line would be??????? hmmmmmmm *thinks*

20 05 2008
calia77

This I like. Makes sense, although it took me a little while to figure out the numbers.

8 07 2008
Caroline

Absolutely brillliant, you had me laughing at the absurdity of trying to formulate a perfect relationship, as well as the absolute truth of it all.

12 07 2013
Time – and relationship – management does not come easy - Baltimore Post-Examiner

[…] Do you buy this? From Michael’s Relationship theory. […]

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