Saturday, June 28, 2008

Only 13 out of the 29 Dimensions of Compatibility

Before Carter left tonight, we pondered potential titles for this post, and this was his best suggestion. If you've seen the numerous e-harmony ads, it should make sense. After making what feels like a good effort, Carter and I have realized that we're just not matching up in enough of the 29 dimensions of compatibility.

I've had some reservations that I thought might be resolved with time as our relationship and feelings grew, but after more conversation we're realized that our personalities and preferences and strengths and weaknesses are just not lining up in a way that allow us to relationally thrive.

And if that sentence sounds really formal and analytical and without emotion...well in some ways that has been one of my struggles. We can both be overly analytical and intellectual, and somehow the way we fit together has resulted in what feels like a lack of emotional and romantic connection to have been dating seven months (I cannot believe it's been that long). My friend Chasie actually brought this concern up two weeks ago (that I didn't seem that excited about Carter and that she worried that Carter and I didn't share the playfulness and silliness that she enjoys with me), and I am so grateful to her for being bold enough to express her concerns. I love having friends like her, and I'm thankful that my brother-in-law and sister shared their thoughts about this same issue with me (even if I ignored it the first three times:).

On the upside, this has been the most mutual break-up I have ever experienced, and while I know I'll miss Carter, I am glad this is resolved and that I can quit thinking about it.

p.s. I'm grateful for the respectful and kind way Carter and I handled this break-up. There is so much I respect about Carter, and the way he handled this only reinforces my belief that he's a great person.

19 comments:

emmaenlighted said...

You're so mature about this breakup, it's something I kind of admire. I would be a blubbering questioning mess.

Bah.

anne said...

Wow this is amazingly mature and I feel like you should be extremely proud of yourself for handling it this way and for seeing clearly that you weren't meant to be. I feel like it is so easy for us to want to make something fit or make it right for the sake of having someone. So awesome that you were able to come to that realization. I hope you are doing well - regardless of how mature- breakups are always difficult.

Scotty said...

Friends that will really tell you what they think are great to have, its always good to have the opinion of an outsider looking in.

I'm confident you'll find someone that matches > 13/29 :)

Ally said...

Scotty: I hope so! One thing I've realized is that I don't want to get married enough to be happy with that ratio; I'd rather be single.

Anne: Thank you for your kind words. You're right--even in the best case scenario breaking up is hard. Carter and I have talked for an hour or more almost every single day for months, so I'm definitely going to miss him.

Emmaenlightened: The more I date, the easier break-ups seem to feel--in part because I'm not building my life so much around romantic relationships anymore; that makes it much easier.

Flat Coke and Flies said...

I'm truely sorry about the break-up. It's strange to say what a "nice" break-up but I believe that's the only way relationships should end. Even after my marriage of 8 1/2 years we ended on very mature and calm grounds. We never yelled or fought the entire time of the separate/divorce. It was all rational talking to one another. What's this 29 compatibility thing?
Hugs...and hoping you can put the past in the past, and look ahead to your bright future.

Scotty said...

I don't want to get married enough to be happy with that ratio; I'd rather be single

Very well said Ally.

Ally said...

FC&F: Eharmony commercials talk about how they evaluate 29 dimensions of compatibility to determine who to match you with--so that's where we got that; I feel like Dr. Whoever is on tv a lot (and I rarely watch television).

Anju said...

I've never heard of the 29 dimensions but I hope the rest of Indian society learns about it before trying to get me married off to someone I seriously doubt I'll get along with and whom I hardly know! I would actually be great to have a relationship and logically decide (without messy endings) if it will or not work out. So far, that is a distant dream to me!
Thanks for the comment on my blog :) I hope you find someone with the right ratio!

Ys said...

oh no i'm sorry to hear this news. you seem to be okay with it but it's still sad news. i'm glad you were both able to talk it through like adults. that's so rare to find. I hope you find someone who blows you away :)

Pam said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you guys broke up. While it sounds like it was a healthy separation, I know that it still must be hard. hugs to you!

ella said...

I am glad that you and Carter had a good talk about this and ended things amicably. I know that you've had your doubts for some time and I am glad that you are not settling. I truly believe that God meant this to be a learning experience. It was your first foray into Christian dating. Bravo for handling everything so well.

Ally said...

Ella: You're right--I've learned A LOT. I appreciate you always being so supportive.

Pam: Thanks.

Ys: ME TOO!

Anju: One of the great parts of better physical and emotional boundaries is that I've had so much more perspective. It's made this soooo much easier than past break-ups.

Susanna Rose said...

I'm happy for you! From all the posts you've written since being in this relationship, it has seemed you felt more anxiety than confidence and joy so it is good it has ended!

I was in this exact type of relationship a year before I met my husband...no real feelings and when we broke things off after what was thankfully a very short time, it was much like how it sounds like things ended between you and Carter. Very mutual and no doubts.

I think it is interesting you went through the 29 dimensions of compatibility with him too. As I think I've mentioned on your blog before, eharmony is how my husband and I met. Though some people scoff at the thought of these dimensions, I think that if gone through very carefully and thoroughly, they truly are helpful and will help show whether someone is the right person or not!:)

Pete Wilson said...

Praying for you both. I know this isn't easy.

Ally said...

Pete: Thanks. That means a lot.

Susanna: Thank you for sharing some more of your story. Oh, we didn't actually take the eharmony test or anything. We were just thinking about those commercials and figuring we'd didn't match up in enough of the "dimensions of compatibility":) But I think you're right....a little more thought and reflection could save a lot of heartache.

cdp said...

I have even more of a ridiculous amount of respect for you having read this.

Amy L Brooke said...

Sounds like you have a good perspective.

Thanks for visiting my little corner of blogland and commenting. It's always encouraging to hear from new people.

Jennifer said...

You sound mature, confident, and secure. I was nothing like this in any of my past breakups and totally admire you in your responses and attitude.

TC said...

Wow.

Next time I need break up advice, I'm coming to you.

I take it he reads the blog as the two of you discussed the title for the post? :) (That was kind of funny... I'll admit to laughing even though breaking up certainly isn't easy. Or funny.)