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Relationship Chess

October 8, 2015

I was talking with my therapist about things with certain people that I can’t help but mention a lot and I made the comment that every relationship has a game-like component to it and he compared things to chess. I can kind of see the analogy, but chess is a pretty brutal game and I’m one to side with the belief that anyone that sees the game of chess as a simulation for real life shouldn’t be running things and maybe is a little nuts. No, while chess can somewhat be comparable to things, I never really liked the concept of winning and losing. If it were a form of chess it’d be like the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Peak Performance.

In that episode Data plays against a master strategist (see: prick) and he loses. Then the next time he wins by getting the guy to rage quit. His solution: don’t play to win, that’s a quick way to lose, but play just not to lose. And that’s a better metaphor for how I see relationships. Yeah, I’m not saying, “We all play games,” or that we all need to think of it as a game of Strategema. But in any relationship you’re always playing not to lose. It seems rather shallow to boil things down to such a basic element, but it’s there. One wrong move and you do lose it all. It slips away so quickly and half the time, even if you can repair it it’s never quite the same.

Your relationship with the person is forever changed or forever marred by what happened before. Sometimes conflict can make you stronger friends or stronger partners…but most of the time it just creates a rift that, while it heals, never goes away completely. And that’s kind of how I see this thing–even if they do come back it’s never going to quite be where it was. Maybe that’s a good thing, because there was so much animosity. Maybe rage quitting was needed to reboot things. I dunno.

The amount of time I spend thinking about this and talking about it does annoy me, though, but I’m working through it much to my chagrin. The real miracle will be if anything does change on this front. I hope it does, because while I had a jaw tooth yanked at the beginning of this year, this whole friendship/relationship mess has hurt worse than that. And that was 2 hours of crunching and needles in my gum.

But anyway, I think there is a game aspect to any sort of relationship or if you wanna call it give and take, fine, But really, you’re just planning your moves out to get to a place where you’re both happy and can agree. It doesn’t mean emotional manipulation or fucking with someone for funsies. No, you’re just trying to keep up or get ahead of things, that’s all. Anyway…I hope this makes sense to whomever is reading this, because I get the sneaking suspicion I’m not articulating it as well as I did when I was thinking of the words to this entry in the shower.

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