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The Lifestyle Mesh Problem
That is, with whomever you choose to fuck
It doesn't matter how compatible you are with another human being. If there is a fundamental mismatch of lifestyles, there's no hope. You may work well together and be physically enamored with the person. Still, if one partneris incapable of waking up early and making their bed or if one partner is incapable of seeing the mess on the floor, there's little hope the relationship with survive. No amount of compromise, rationalizing, or collaborating will save you from that nagging feeling that this person is utterly insufferable.
When selecting a partner, we're faced with a massive amount of information and feelings. Some are hard to recognize, some we acknowledge subconsciously, and others are nearly impossible to bring to conscious reality. Physical attraction is usually the first to bubble to the surface; before even making contact with someone else. We felt and consciously recognized this aspect of the other. We feel pulled toward someone. Often physical appearance is the thing that drew us to make contact. This stage of getting to know someone is important as well. It kicks things off, keeps the flame going, gets guys to shut the fuck up and listen to someone else, and visa-versa. Suppose there isn't a mutual physical attraction between two people. In that case, there is no hope that they can foster anything beyond a fleeting acquaintance. It's true; we don't even want to be friends with utterly unattractive people. Regardless, there are even more critical sub-currents below the large emotional swath of being around someone physically attractive.
Attraction is built from evolution and pheromones. When someone is attractive, your brain is saying, this person is healthy. When the pheromones are just right, your brain thinks, we're going to have good chemistry. Before one of the two people even makes contact, there's typically a whole calculus at work in our subconscious minds. Your brain asks, 'is this person healthy,' 'will we get along,' 'is the sex going to be good,' 'do they look like someone I can converse with?' These are essential questions worth considering for anybody you plan on knowing for more than a few hours. Fortunately, our brains are good at subconsciously working on these before we even figure it out ourselves.
Unfortunately, our brains are not very good at dealing with reality after the moment of possible conception. We're not wired for marriage, polyamory, or anything long-term; we're wired for procreation. This is where we need to start using our brains and also typically where we shut them off. We try to keep it simple, "we're having fun; no need to consider the long-term. We're just living in the moment." False. People get attached, and if a fling continues to anything lasting longer than a week, we need to consider some things. Someone may catch feelings, or both of you may. Then what? Did you ever think about whether you can even stand the other person? Or, can you only put up with them when you're pumping with hormones, sweating with anticipation of fucking another human being for a few short moments?
You could get lucky. By random chance, people occasionally bump into someone they don't hate. Fall in love, and everything meshes really well. The chances of this are slim, they do happen, but would you want to leave things to random chance when there are better ways to hedge your bets? You could also have bumped into a maniac, or worse, a maniac that's an absolutely stunning 10/10. Then what? You could be the one getting your heart broken; you could also be the one being pursued against your will. Holes in condoms, marriage, and stalking are all possible. They happen all the time. You may just have to block a phone number, or you may need to go into a witness protection program.
Maybe you like each other quite a bit, but some foundational issues arise. This is the worst situation and is entirely avoidable. In a foundational issues relationship, both parties set differences aside for love. One of you is not up to the others' standards, and many of these issues are concurrent. For example, the dishes aren't finished, so you plan to meet in the middle. One person sleeps in longer than the other, and it bothers one or both of you; it's brushed off as unimportant and ignored. This thinking continues until everyone is increasingly entangled and increasingly frustrated by the little things. Eventually, there's a snap, and someone gives up. It could get messy, and both lives could wind up being restructured. What a shame. Completely avoidable.
The thing is, one, or both of you, need to start using your thinking cap early on. When you find yourself in the budding moments of a friendship or fling, look at the intricacies of the other person's life:
Do they have similar standards of cleanliness?
What do they eat?
When do they wake up?
Is this person hot but actually insufferable if they weren't?
Consider these questions before someone catches feelings. Fuck their sake, but for your own rational self-interest. Trust me, you don't want to deal with a romantic partner's anger towards you. You don't want to move out of somewhere you live in a rush because you realize that you can't stand the people around you.
We should get one thing straight as far as my use of words like relationship or partner is concerned. I don't use them in an informal sense; I use them in a way closer to the dictionary definitions. When I use relationship, it applies to anything from a weeks-long friendship to a years-long marriage. In the context of this essay, it's generally used to describe romantic relationships of any variety. A partner, in this context, is also a generally applied term that may refer to a one-time sexual partner or a person with which one would like to build a life. Do with that what you will.