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Relationship Math

As I’ve grown older and witness more people start new romantic relationships, I’ve come notice that there are two different types of romantic relationships: Addition and Subtraction.

In an Addition Relationship, the new romantic interest becomes a new member of the family or group of friends. They regularly show up at family gatherings, they make time to hang out with their new friends, and your email mailing list gains one more address.

In a Subtraction Relationship, the new person is rarely seen. Not because they are not invited or because they live far away, but because for whatever reason, they do not make the effort to engage with their new friends or family. Sooner or later, you actually don’t even want to see them, because if you see them, it means something terribly bad has happened. A death, or tragic accident perhaps. But what’s worse is that, because this new person never comes around, it means that the friend or family member who is with this person, will also disappear with them. Hence the subtraction.

Experience has taught me that for friends and family, Subtraction Relationships are a very unhappy and bitter arrangements. It’s a double whammy really. First you lose a friend, and second, you feel that the person you love is now stuck with someone who is not right for them — because if they were the right person, why would they rip them from their friends and family?

The only thing you can really do is hope that they are happy where they are. Maybe they found better friends or family elsewhere. The alternative is that they are isolated from the outside because of their new partner — which is not a happy thought.

But all in all, I do not have enough evidence to conclude which type of romantic relationship is better for the people actually involved in the relationship — Maybe in a couple of years, tracking divorce rates, I can answer this question.