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Unbroken's avatar

Can an analytical brain truly commit to another person?

Asked by Unbroken (10690points) January 14th, 2013

This question has been in the back of my mind for some time.

I have been considering it because I often when dealing with romance am the first person to play the entire relationship in my head and too often emotionally vacate it because I simply don’t feel the potential plays out well long term.

There is a theory that the longer one is single or the more partners one has makes them less likely to commit long term or in a meaningful way. I see that as a plausible potential factor but feel there might be enough to this to be its own factor.

Although I resist the idea and wondering without compromising integral parts of self and maintaining a meaninglfulness (i.e. more then convenience, habit, security) if this premise could be plausibly refuted.

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21 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

I consider myself to have an analytical mind and I am in a committed relationship so I would have to say yes. I know in the early days of our relationship I spent a lot of time second-guessing ‘what might happen if…’ but in the end I weighed up the pros and cons of being with the man I am with and decided the benefits were greater than the negatives. I know there were times in the early days when I was scared about making that commitment. I tried to keep this fear out of my thought processes. I was avoiding what I call ‘running for the hills’ because I was commitment phobic.

I believe my analysis was accurate because my husband is a wonderful person and our relationship is excellent. Of course, it could have gone the other way, and had with other people, when I weighed things up and decided the person was not a good fit for me.

jerv's avatar

I too am quite analytical, as may be expected from someone with any form of ASD, but that hasn’t stopped me from being in a committed relationship for nearly 20 years (the last 12 as a husband).

Based on personal experience, I say yes.

JLeslie's avatar

I consider myself very analytical and my husband as well and I feel we are extremely commited. It is an interesting question though. It sounds more like you are talking yourself out of being committed probably for other reasons. I am a firm believer in having a list of wants in an SO and sticking to them. If a person you meet is falling short of the top 5 must haves, they are not the SO for you. So, the question is, are you meeting enough people to find the right SO? Are you dating a person too long even when the signs are there they are not a good fit? Are you pursuing the wrong list of top 5’s? Are you repeating old behaviors or going to opposite extremes that are not going to work well, and you know it, but seem compelled towards the wrong men.

If you look at stats on marriages the people generally live longer, and have more wealth, there are all sorts of analytical reasons to be in a relationship, and once in to stay in. But, having said that, there are of course reasons to be single also. An old study about 20 years ago in America showed married men as the happiest people and married women the least happiest. But, our culture has changed somewhat in the last 20 years so maybe that has changed. I guess you are talking about a particular person though, and not being in a long term relationship in general.

Mariah's avatar

Also an analytical type here. Just because you’re analytical doesn’t mean you have to theorize and extrapolate everything to its end. Not everything can be predicted and I think love is at the top of that list. I just relax and live in the moment with such things. An inability to do that is a symptom of something other than an analytical mind, I think.

ninjacolin's avatar

I don’t expect you have much to worry about. Sounds like you just haven’t met your match yet.

Luiveton's avatar

If you really love someone you’ll commit to them without realizing it, that’s all there is to it.

marinelife's avatar

You running the relationship course in your head and then bailing is not analytical. It’s self-defense.

It leaves out your partner’s part in the relationship. There is no way for you to predict what they will do or say.

You are setting the relationship up for failure in advance. You could use therapy.

dabbler's avatar

I think @marinelife‘s analysis is astute. The parts you predict are not real, the negative possibilities might be intimidating but also might be avoidable or reducible.
Your prediction ignores a lot of unpredictable nuance, and probably ignores the power of intention in a relationship.

Commitment to a relationship is more than signing up for something routine like car payments.
It’s an active role that seeks to nurture and grow and support each other. The opportunity there is tremendous for two people willing to engage the process. There is no other way to get that kind of experience besides in the ‘crucible of the relationship’ as a wise fellow I know phrases it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

No analysis is completely accurate when you involve a human being. Let alone two of them. If you over-think and over-analyze everything, you will be alone forever.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

True pure love doesn’t follow any logic, so I don’t think analyzing it will make it easier or make sense. When you truly fall in love you just have to dive in head first and say baby, here’s my heart, don’t shred it please. Then it come’s down to trust, shared love and respect.

dabbler's avatar

@KNOWITALL “No analysis is completely accurate when you involve a human being.”
Quite so. I’d generalize though: No analysis is completely accurate when you involve The Future.
That’s where the analytical brain in the OP is going astray.

If you want to include The Future the best you can predict is a ‘cone of probability’ where all the likely divergences from current momentum are included and considered.
For a relationship the cone of probability for future outcomes will probably include some hells, and some heavens, along with the actually likely scenarios.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Sure, thus the ‘leap of faith’.

I have to say, I’ve seen some of marriages fail when analytical minds are involved, so perhaps those should have a longer courtship?

dabbler's avatar

Longer courtship helps.
But, despite clucking from the relatives, I heartily recommend living together for a year before deciding about getting, married in order to illuminate each other’s dark side.
Burps and farts and hair in the drain are just the start of the surprises. But that can also be the start of something grand and lovely.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I agree again. My husband and I dated for a year, lived together a year, then were engaged for a year before the great commitment. I probably should have waited a little longer- lol

bookish1's avatar

I am a very analytical person and overthink every situation, and I have never had any problems with commitment. Problems of judgment on whom to pursue relationships with, but not problems with over-analyzing a situation so that I’ve convinced myself that the best course of option is to run.

“Look, Mr. Jefferies, I’m not an educated woman, but I can tell you one thing. When a man and a woman see each other and like each other they ought to come together – wham! Like a couple of taxis on Broadway, not sit around analyzing each other like two specimens in a bottle. [...] Once, it was see somebody, get excited, get married. Now, it’s read a lot of books, fence with a lot of four-syllable words, psychoanalyze each other until you can’t tell the difference between a petting party and a civil service exam.”—Stella, Rear Window

burntbonez's avatar

My gut response was that an analytical person who remains solely analytical will not feel love. Love is not an analytical feeling. Then I read some of the responses, and I began to think that maybe it could be possible, but the person has to be able to put aside analysis in order to feel love at some point.

Then again, relationships could be pure business relationships, and those kind of relationships could be stable, even if love isn’t really involved.

There are many different kinds of relationships. Some involve love. Others don’t. Sometimes, as @marinelife says, you do use your analytical brain to distance yourself from love. You don’t trust love. You don’t trust passion.

Without that irrational element that we usually call “love,” I’m hardpressed to see how you could commit to a relationship. It’s not something a rational, analytical person would do.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@burntbonez I partially agree. Think Sheldon Cooper-like.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think our brains can be explained neatly into categories. It’s far more complex. I do share some of your qualities in terms of playing things out to infinity and ‘checking out’ way before the other person can even figure out where to take me on a first date. Saves time for me. I am committed to someone who is right for me, however.

Unbroken's avatar

Thank you @Bellatrix @jerv and @JLeslie for all the beautiful stories and personal experiences. It grants hope.

@Mariah you could be right but I am not the only person I know who feels so inclined. Sure a business relationship partnership but I want more then that.

@Luiveton and @Adirondackwannabe no offense but I have loved and still was unable to commit there is more to it then that. I don’t fall in love at the drop of the hat even irresistible attraction becomes more and more uncommon. So while I respect your view of love and romance I don’t share it.

@ninjacolin I like the positive think and I am most inclined to agree.

@marinelife Self defense is very plausible too. But I wouldn’t say that is always unhealthy.

@Adirondackwannabe and @KNOWITALL Quite humbled by the mention of humanity and the impossibility of prediction. I really am a romantic but human nature is over all predictable. We are made of the same components just varying measurements. Once you see the expression and some details of the beginning equation it isn’t too unreasonable to extrapolate from there.

@dabbler longer relationships seem the way to go. I tend to throw in the towel in a matter of months. I probably am picking wrong, but then I don’t pick the same type over and over.

@burntbonez love isn’t always irrational I would argue that it should start out as rational and then progress to irrational faithfulness and joy and sacrifice there is a proving ground.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It does save time but it is also very depressing. Glad you found your match.

I will have to put a little thought into processing all this and see if I can come up with a better outlook on process. But now that I am aware that it is possible it is not a defeatist effort. : )

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve always believed that it is necessary to balance the emotional and the analytical in life, whether we are talking about decisions about love or decisions about anything else. You can never analyze things to the end. There are always more and more permutations to play out. At some point, you have to stop, and when you stop, intuition and emotion take over. That’s what they were evolved for. To keep us from standing frozen like the proverbial deer in headlights.

People who analyze and analyze cannot commit. They will never be finished analyzing. So if you see a couple who are getting married, you know they have made an irrational decision. And if you see people who are single but who say they wish they were married, you know it’s because they never had what it takes to make that intuitive leap.

I am a very analytical person. But I have spent a lot of time developing my intuitive and artistic sides. I also know that successful business people are very intuitive. They have to make decisions without the benefit of exhaustive analysis because they just don’t have time for it.

We don’t have time for exhaustive analysis in love, either. Sooner or later, you must take that leap of faith if you want to live with someone or marry them. For me, I’d rather take that leap sooner. I usually know within a few weeks if a person is right for me. I knew I wanted to marry my wife in three weeks. I had one girlfriend who was a friend for more than a year before we got together, and I don’t know if any analysis could have kept me from doing that, but it was a mistake, although not one I would take back if I could.

Love is almost never a mistake, I think. It is too rare, in fact. Whenever it is possible, we should express it, unless inappropriate. I wish there were more love in the world. I think we’d all be a lot happier.

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