Archive for July, 2011

The Ron & Hermione Theory

July 15, 2011 3 comments

Through my failed experiences with the females that I have dated and witnessing the fruitful, wholesome, healthy, blossoming relationships of friends and their significant others, I have developed a theory on romance – one that I hope to dedicate myself to for the future. Named appropriately after characters from the literary series Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione represent a couple that got it right in consummating their great friendship in a lifelong loving partnership.

The theory that I am positing is that romantic relationships work out best when they start out as friendships. The friendship serves as a screening period for you to get know a person as an individual; it is an opportunity for you to understand what they are like as a companion, their tendencies, habits, flaws and strengths. However, the friendship cannot be tainted by sexual tension or a past history. The reason why Ron and Hermione worked out so well is because they developed their friendship on numerous levels. They started at Hogwarts not so keen about one another; but through trials, adventures and triumph, they cultivated a strong understanding of the other’s tendencies, faults, strengths and character. And these qualities are exactly what you need to see in a prospective partner before you decide to engage in a relationship with them.

In my past, I have dated girls whom I did not have a long-standing friendship with beforehand. I deluded myself into believing these girls were people that I wanted them to be, projected great characteristics upon them that I had never seen surfaced and ultimately set myself up for disappointment when they turned out to be different people than I had thought them to be. This was really no one else’s fault but my own. I used to make the mistake of liking girls before I knew who they really were. This was a problem when I would like a girl, and like her a lot before I could give her character a legitimate chance to surface itself. Because, to be honest, how a person responds to conflict, how she communicates her feelings, how she handles disappointment and accomplishment are important things to know before you decide that you really like a person and that you may want to pursue something more with them. I want to know what kind of emotional baggage the other person is carrying with them on a daily or monthly basis; I want to know that I can trust this individual inherently; and I would like to know that I find that person beautiful for who she is before the complications of romance, sex and (pre)nuptials get involved.

There is this play in Texas Hold ‘Em Poker called “straddling” where the player behind the big blind is able to raise the minimum bet before the cards have even been dealt. Though that player is raising the stakes, he couldn’t be doing anything stupider than betting on cards he has yet to see. Had this player not decided to straddle, then he would be able to see his cards for free and then decide whether or not he chooses to play with the cards he has in hand. Dating an individual you are not familiar with is like straddling in poker—you’re committed to playing before you even know what you’ve got. It’s a sucker move.

While watching Harry Potter 7 Part 1 last night, I realized that what I had been watching and reading for the last decade of my life was a truly rare breed of relationship taking shape. Ron and Hermione grew up together, going to the same school and in a dynamic trio bonded by their fateful friend Harry Potter. It wasn’t until Ron hit puberty and did some inner reflection that he realized that he liked Hermione. There was a moment where he knew that she was not only a beautiful individual, but a stunning young woman that he wanted to be with. After all they had been through, he knew he could count on her; he knew she could support him; and he knew almost everything about her background and past. Their friendship also confirmed and assured Hermione of the feelings that she developed for Ron as well. She had met the Weasleys, and they were more than fond of her; she found Ron funny, awkwardly cute and adorably tactless at times – and this is what she grew to love about him. They built a solid track record of accountability and support. They had gotten into fights before and learned to resolve them without the gravity and complications of romance implicated or involved. Ron and Hermione founded their relationship on wholesome building blocks long before they ever kissed each other or confessed that they had feelings for one another; but when they did, it felt right for both of them. The transition from friendship to your-my-lover-and-best-friend was completely organic.

Before I go any further in celebrating this fictional, yet oh-so-real and possibly ideal relationship, I have to bring attention to the fact that Ron never entered his relationship with Hermione with any intention of ending up with her. For the friend-to-girlfriend transition to take place and work for you, you cannot have it planned. The whole process of a growing relationship needs to be organic. If you think that you can try to be friends with a girl that you’re interested in, you are just fooling yourself. Ultimately, you have ulterior motives, whether they are to get with her or make her your girlfriend. Therefore, your approach to the entire relationship is mired with intentions that are in some way compromised. For the Ron & Hermione type of relationship to happen, there can’t be any planning. Ron never sought out Hermione; he never had some grandmaster plan for how he was going to get her. He let his character and their friendship speak for itself, as a testament to how great they would be together. And for her, it was a no-brainer. Throughout the course of their adventures, besides Harry, there has not been any individual as steadfast, as consistent and as great a friend as Ronald B. Weasley. The same can be said of Hermione J. Granger. And nothing is as fortifying in a relationship as a foundational friendship.

Because there is no real formula for attaining this type of lifelong love, I can only suggest an adjustment in the way you view others. Instead of perhaps feeling out prospective girls or constantly being on the look out for that next someone, try focusing on valuing people – getting to know others in a real and genuine way, reverting back to the prepubescent version of yourself when sex, looks and carnal needs had no hold over your life. What happens when we enter into a relationship with people we don’t know is that our need for companionship, sex, physical and emotional intimacy pervades and interferes with our senses. We succumb to those needs and wind up in a foreign place with a stranger. If while reading this, you are running through a mental Rolodex of friends you could potentially see yourself with, then you’re off to a bad start. The whole point is to shed that mentality of constantly looking, searching and hoping for that Mr. or Miss Right to be someone at the next bar, at your next job, sitting across from you on the train or your lifelong friend who you’ve never seen in that way. In essence, the way to achieve this higher order of relationship, you have to give up the search. In fact, stop looking at others as a potential anything. Allow relationships to form, invest in people that you find interesting for who they are, grow in the bonds that you have with people and value those who treat you well, those you can trust and those that interest you. And don’t be surprised if one day, you have a Ron/Hermione moment when you realize that he/she is the most beautiful person you have ever seen and that is exactly who you want to spend your life with. Love someone because you know who they are and let that knowledge of them fuel the flame even more.

Though Harry might have been the hero to defeat Lord Voldemort, he didn’t get to end up with his best friend as his lover and dream girl. Instead, he ended up with his best friend’s little sister. Ron and Hermione had the right idea, whether they knew it or not. For that, I wish them a happily ever after.

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