Friday, April 21, 2006

The Power Equation...

Ive always wondered about what drives relationships. What makes succesful relationships and what breaks them? The web of our existence is intertwined by a unending array of relationship threads- and they are certainly not similar. Familial relationships are god-given, friendships are symbiotic and work-related networking a bit like a temporary equilibrium- you strive to maintain that delicate balance between formality and bonding. Yet there must be something common to all of these- some virtue that applies to all, but in a different way to each?

During my growing-up days, my idea of a love story with a happy ending was based on the tenet of true love: you love your partner so much that you are ready to sacrifice evrything for him/ her. Everything else- status, compatibility, et al was just secondary. Indeed, fables and Bollywood (however senseless it may seem now, it surely had a subconscious influence) only reinforced those beliefs.

And indeed, when I looked around, it did seem true. I had, and still have, friends from various strata of society, with different mindsets, different perspectives to life. Yet all that matters for me to click with them is an agreement of core values- the basic things we stand for. Indeed, I do know of people falling in love, irrespective of vastly different social backgrounds and disparate views of life. And not all of it was puppy love- there were deep connections.

But did it all stand the test of time? Not really. As some close friends fell apart and lovers' tiffs turned to quarrels, I realized that true love didn't guarantee eternal happiness in a relationship. Something else was pulling the strings. My prime suspect- some sort of balance between the two parties involved. Something that is an innocuous bystander at the start- its meek voice is obscured by the din of love and caring. But as time goes by, it starts speaking to both, furtively, creating the fatal rift. I call it the POWER EQUATION.

So what is the Power Equation? Simply put, its a parameter of each partner's relative strength in a relationship "as perceived by each other". My theory- to be happy in a relationship, you have to get the power equation right. If that is not the case, irrespective of all the love in the world and all the caring, you will never be happy and contented.

So where does the Power Equation derive itself from? It could be as simple as how much each partner needs the relationship- that's Emotional Dependency, the most common player. Indeed, in my case, most of the times it was emotional dependency that led to unhappiness. The most common is also the most curable- Emotional dependency is perhaps the only thing that is within your control. In other less-fortunate cases, it could be rigid factors- Financial Status in some cases, Intelligence in some.

Again, the important part here is "As perceived by each other"- a couple may be living off on the fortune the wife earned by heritage, but if wealth is not an important parameter to the both of them, they could still be living happily. The relative perceptions also are equally important. The wife may feel that the husband is not giving enough time to their baby, though he may feel he is doing enough- it would result in an unbalanced power equation in the wife's mind. Most of the times however we see an interplay of various power equations- take the first example again- the wife may be richer but may be much more insecure than her husband- the two would then cancel out to create a harmonic balance.

A final word- not to imply that true love is a fallacy. Indeed, the hopeless romantic that I'm, I still believe in it. Just that the Power Equation is an important consideration too- a notion we often dismiss away under the guise of over-practicality.

Think about it. Does it help in a teeny-weeny way in solving those riddles that always racked your brains? For me, yes it has. And it's also given me a key to happiness- I now keep the equation balanced, and it keeps itself solved :)


prashant said...

Love, Friendship, Relationship all are interconnected with very thin line and margin of differentiation, I appreciate your concept of the "power Equation".

We can do modelling and simulation too with this, what is your opinion..?

Prashant Patel

Atticus said...

Hi Prashant,

Really thanks for commenting and more importantly, reading my blog!

Haha yeah we could model this too...but simulation could be a poblem, what say? Not much chance for multiple iterations, I say! :)

:..M..: said...

Emotional Dependency? That drives many to a relationship, yes. Although, that is the Worst reason to get into a relationship. Once the dependency is done with, you move on. Once you find someone else who fills another part of the dependency, you ditch the present one.

The Power Equation - I agree with you. But love is something that happens without words or an explanation. However, I believe alot of people base other 'rigid' factors like Intelligence, Financial Status for the sake of marriage.

Note: You'll never find me eulogizing love just because most people cannot differentiate love from the equation.

Sinful Strawberry said...

emotional dependency!!!!!! gud or bad is quite difficult 2 decide! i mean wen ur in luv do u really think oh im 2 dependent on dis person?? no, u dont or atleast i dont! n neither do i find it wrong!! it s acceptable if u ve a parallel life of ur own, if u ve other interests, other hobbies, other ppl, other friends n if u manage tht then thrs nothg like it!!! n wats d harm if u lean on ur partner? after all ur partner is thr 2 support u n sumtimes love does bcome a habit...

strawsnberry said...

emotional dependency!!! interestin question! thr s no rt or wrg 2 it. but i knw 1 thg never depend 2 much on a person bcos d minute he moves, u just topple down. everythg is alright in limits or so i feel. sumtimes in a relationship 1 person luvs d other person much more than d other person luvs him, so in tht case emotional dependency bcomes natural but with such depemdency arise iddues like self respect, self esteem, ego battles n so on which bcome very difficult 2 resolve which cause d whole thg 2 fall apart... so d lesson wd b always go 4 a person who luvs u much more than u luv d person :) its d simplest way out n such relationships wrk bcos d other party wants 2 make it wrk n is ready 2 compromise, just tht d ego of d person must b fed n tht wud mean happiness of a lifetime.. watsay??

Sinful Strawberry said...

hey dont u write anymore? :(

Atticus said...


shamefully sorry for not replying earlier to the posts :(

m, i do agree with you- love happens often without explanation- but does it stay that way forever? doesnt practicality matter at some point in the future?

"most people cannot differentiate love from the equation"- good point indeed!

Atticus said...

hey Sinful Strawberry,

I agree with you that emotional dependency is not a bad thing by itself- but it is a problem when it becomes the crux of your relationship and hampers your individuality. true- if someone can manage their own life and yet also be part of a strong emotional bond with their partner, then they have cracked the code to happiness!

Atticus said...

and yeah, im back :)