Relationship Mathematics

September 22nd 2012

Story originally written and experienced: September 12th 2012


“Heyyy! Omg how are you? Man…I haven’t seen you in forever! Are you still with that (guy/girl)?

Oh shit.

I’m sorry…I didn’t know.

How long were you guys together?”


It had been a while since I had seen Leah.


My definition of a while being like



3 weeks.

Which is entirely too long for a same-city staple friend.

And anyway.


I patiently waited at the chinese joint in Murray hill sipping on my complimentary/hope you didn’t get stood up water when she came


>>>> soaring through the door. 


“Ahhh I’m so sorry I’m late. I was at this bakery, ordering this cake for this thing, and then they messed up, ugh whatever, not important. How are you???”


I was good. She was good. I didn’t mind that she was late just like she never minded when I was late. Maybe it’s because our friendships was 8 years and counting. Or maybe because we both truly didn’t give a shit.


We ordered our szechuan fried rice and chicken lo’mein and as the steam radiated off of our plates it served (pun intended) as the perfect cue for conversation. Her work was fine. But she’s kind of over it. Apartment hunting is stressful.


But whatever


At least she’ll be living in a place that she likes, you know? But actually the most annoying this happened the other day. And she feels like this happens all the time.


“I’m sitting at this party and this  kid that I had met a while ago, maybe like college time or something, I don’t think you know him, comes up to me and does the whole like “Heyyy how are youuuu?? Mannn I haven’t seen you in forever!! Are you still with Neal?? Type deal…


“Oh shit.”


“I know…right? Like who ever approved that as an appropriate “feel good” party topic. Ugh. So anyway. I told him ‘oh you know like 2 years’ and then he said oh yeahh that’s a while I guess….you GUESS? I don’t know it just annoys me sometimes to wonder if my relationship was measured by the time limit. Or the things that went down while we were in it. Sure maybe it was 2 years. And yeah okay it wasn’t something crazy like a committed 10 + years or a heated fling of 2 months but sometimes the way I look like it is: we were together 2 mobile devices, 3 family vacations and 64 arguments long, you know?”


What the hell?

Wait a second, never mind. I like what you just said.

I told her I guess I had never thought about it that way before and naturally, made it my personal vendetta to make this one. statement. just little more complicated before our fortune cookies hit the table.

Challenge accepted.

Let’s think about this.

So you were in a relationship for 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 10 years.


And it didn’t work out.

And that’s fine.

But then you start to wonder.

How the hell did that last so long?


Where the hell did you go?

So then you get to thinking, again. 

About the things that happened.

 And the things that didn’t happen.

And how they were the reasons that you stayed.

And the reasons that you >>>> walked away.

Are you following me?

Alright good because things are about to get weird.

Let’s do a little math:


I like your face


138 tagged pictures


3 Family vacations




Hey, thanks for being there, again.


No one’s ever done this for me before


6 sentimental gifts


18 romantic dinners


Thanks for always listening


277 compliments


12 Acts of jealousy

33 Arguments

21 disappointments

18 “No no it’ s different when it’s just the two of us”

Sorry I’ve been busy

You’re acting different these days

Is everything okay?

I feel like you don’t try anymore

There might be someone else

My feelings are changing

Which basically translates to

 3 “I don’t think this is going to work”


 2 “Nevermind yes it will!”




learning experience


1 more reason life just got al little more interesting








 “Geezus Olive you’re being emo.”

Ugh I know. But I’m just trying to help you out. Because if you tell me that you never think about these things, well, then I just don’t believe you.

My point is this:

Sometimes we want to fall back on what’s comfortable, or underrate something incredible simply because the solution didn’t add up to what we thought it would be. And I guess if you break it down, and if you really think about it, it all adds up…doesn’t it? The mathematics of what really happened and how the weeks, months years were just a capsule of real numbers in between.  And how you:

Started for a reason

Lasted for a reason

Ended for a reason

And how easy it is to forget that it all added up exactly how it was supposed to.

Fortune cookie?