Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The XYZ theory on love, relationship and commitment - and why arranged marriages cant work

(This matrix can as easily be a 4-d space with sex added as the fourth dimension. However, after much deliberation I realised that sex is actually independent of the other three dimensions and hence can be settled separately. Moreover, a 4-d space will be much harder to visualize).
(This is a gender-neutral post. So if anywhere I have mentioned a he, it means it. Or whatever).
Imagine a normal 3-d space with the x,y and z axis. A 3-d coordinate is represented as : (x,y,z) (For the non-mathematician, the order of x, y and z is important).
Any single person out of love lies in the (0,0,0) point of the 3-d space. Being a mathematician myself, I will call this the origin. He has no love, is in no relationship and has no commitments. A person stranded at this particular point is looked down by his in love, in relationship and committed peers, who have already climbed up the ladder to reach the coveted (1,1,1) position. Let us call this the destination, for want of better names.
Now, as any person who knows the word "entropy" and the third law of thermodynamics will tell you, the natural order of the transportation from the origin to the destination, is through the path (0,0,0)->(1,0,0)->(1,1,0)->(1,1,1) (For those who donot understand coordinate geometry OR vector space, why are you reading this? :D.) It basically means that first people fall in love, then get into relationships and finally get committed. That is the natural way to get to the coveted destination, and the more honourable way to get laid as well. This is how love works as well, and love marriages follow this route - which is the more natural route. The concept fails, however as the three jumps are difficult to make for certain "losers". So while, theoratically, love marriages are a great concept they often fail, as i) some people fail to fall in love, OR ii) some of those that fall in love, fail to get into relationships with the persons they fall in love with, OR iii) most of the couples in a relationship fail to get into a commitment, mainly due to family issues or just because love is transitory. So this awesome concept, fails in the practical world.
And so Indians, being a practical and jugaadu species, have developed the concept of arranged marriage,which, however, follows the opposite route. The final aim again is to reach the destination, but the path now taken is (0,0,0)->(0,0,1)->(0,1,1)->(1,1,1). (You reach into a commitment first, then into a relationship, and then find love in the relationship). This is not entropy based, and as even a child can tell you, highly unnatural. These jumps, while impossible to make in the normal way - for example, the third jump is not possible theoretically as familiarity breeds contempt, not love - have flourished under Indian society. These conditions are basically the continuous conditioning of the girl child to make arranged marriages work. All the onus is on the female half of the marriage too make her marriage work - and it is her failure if it fails. It is she who has to make all efforts to make the guy jump stages and pretend to do so herself. However, with the present generation being influenced by the western world, and women no longer ready to do anything to make marriages work, the future of the arranged marriage looks bleak.
So if both the marriage techniques available are either impractical or theoretically impossible, what do we do? Let us look back at the different positions possible on the x,y,z space for people in different stages.
(1,0,0) is an unstable situation as either a person in love falls out of it, or else takes it to the next level. The situation where (1,0,0) is often tricky and is often accompanied by large intakes of alcohol with the wondering question of (she/he loves me, she/he loves me not). The earlier the person is out of it, the better.
(1,1,0) while being a pretty good state to be in, is also unstable. Over time, and in the conservative society that we live in, commitment becomes important. So either people break up if commitment is not forthcoming or else take the step up to the destination. I would personally prefer this state as it is the happiest.
(0,0,1) is a bit of no-state actually. It almost necessary translates to (0,1,1) - its analogous in chemistry would be the nascent compounds, which are formed and broken almost immediately.
(0,1,1) is the state most people live in throughout their arranged marriages, or jump to (1,1,1) in case of really successful marriages. This is a relatively stable state, but definitely not a very happy one. You always have a feeling of missing something.
Which leaves us with the origin and the destination. Is the origin such a sorry state to be in? Maybe not, as this has been described as, among other terms, as the ""Khulla Saand" stage. This is the time to explore. Countless people dwell in the origin and are happy doing that - for eternity.
And is destination the happiest place on earth? I am not too sure, or so many love marriages would not end in divorces. Maybe, the thing is love itself is too far overrated, and hence it decreases over time. Love is just the beginning, but another things, like money, are the deciding factors. And maybe we could have a fifth dimension here. That of money. But more of that later.


Atish said...

so what about the "It's complicated" status in Facebook. And I would assume that often the question is are you in love or you think you are in love. Then there is also the question of is it truly love or do you just want to have sex. And then there are the committed people who are committed because the (1,1,1) state is way more cooler than than the (0,0,0) that they have spent 24 years of their life in but are really thinking that maybe the khulla saand state wasnt bad after all?

the long and short of it, great hypothesis... now can we extend to to the realm of fuzzy logic and not restrict it to a binary 0,1 state ?

zubin said...

@Atish: Fuzzy Logic!!! Dude, now I wish I had paid more attention to ANY course during my IIT days :D. And as for your pointers, thanks! Too many loopholes at the moment, but now that the framework is in place - we need further work on it. As for the in complicated stage, well its a (1,0,0) state thats not going anywhere. High time people like you - and I - admit that. :)

Robert Frust said...

Awesome! You should explore this further - add other intermediate stages and so on. This is publish-worthy stuff!

tarun said...

super awesome...
wot abt adding a new state - friends for benefit....guess tht could be the happiest state for many???

Instinctivecuriosity said...

@ Zubin

You are a genius. I love an outsiders view to such touchy topics. Or atleast a detached insider :P

@ All Above

Yes, totally publish worthy.
Where is the Friends with Benefits? That might require the Sex Dimension defined and in place.

Rhythmn said...

pray, why so much of maths..
it confuses me!!

Witness said...

Very insightful:)but somewhere maybe a comfortable companionship that lasts long enough like a marraige lies in these vectors...I wont call it marraiage or love...we need to figure that out:)

zubin said...

@Shalabh: Thanks!! We need a lot more work on it before publishing it :)
@Tarun: Thanks!! Isnt it the same as the (1,1,0) state? Or are u talking about the (0,1,0) State? And does it ever work out?
@Nainy: Thanks!! And is it such a touchy topic?
@Rhythmn: LOL!! It is not really that mathematical. Just imagine love, relationship and commitment and there presence/absence as 1/0. Hope it makes everything clearer :).
@Shweta: Isnt this the hypothetical (1,1,0) state that we are talking about? If only... but I think this stage is very hard to reach

Naina said...

awesome!!!!! well thought,written and said! applaud

zubin said...

@Naina: Thanks!! Amazing blog U have started.. Nice nice :)

Phoenix said...

Very interesting post. As shalabh says, redraft it with some more detail and this could be a published paper. What is interesting is if there's a way to go from one step to other, or go back. That would be interesting to explore. :)

What is, for example, the right condition to prevent (0,0,0)-> (1,0,0) from being a reversible reaction? :)

sudhir said...

Your thesis on relationships keeps on getting better and improved.Keep it coming Zubin!!

arts said...

A lot of sense for a change :)! Kudos.