On katherines

13/05/2018: A really long one, where I reflect on yet another book of John Green. The Abundance of Katherines. This time, it is in the much needed sunshine of my final weeks in Plymouth.

I haven’t written anything about books despite the fact that based on recent measurements, all the clothes I wear last me between washes roughly the same time as reading two books. For that reason, I feel it would be reasonable to go back in time by about a month, to when I finished yet another book by John Green, that is the Abundance of Katherines, one of the older ones.

The protagonist is a lot like me, although I’ve never really given a damn about being a prodigy or a genius, which he does. I mean, it’s not like it makes much difference, because just like him, I have the exaggerated need to matter and often come up with associations that do not make any sense to ordinary people. Regardless, my approach to making use of my brain has been far more humble throughout the years. In spite of the fact that my measured IQ is somewhere at the 99th percentile, I just made my way through highschool without making it a big deal. I guess I had other things to worry about back then.

But similarily to him, girls were a big part of the picture. Because unlike some of my friends, who are also highly intelligent and skilled at stuff they do for living as well as in the free time, I do feel a need to share my life with somebody and be able to express my feelings. I had always been looking for that one person I will be able to develop an environment in which both of us will feel equally comfortable and in which there will be no fear, no shame, but support for the other, in the emotional way. Furthermore, up until about last year, I was always brutally needy for hearing expressions of love. When I loved somebody, I needed to tell them and I always needed to hear it from them. Because love is basically a term for this kind of environment and I was never sure if it was truly in place.

And so I ended up having a love life fairly close to his. No hookups ever, pick girls based on strict criteria (his were slightly more absurd than mine, but I totally loved that about him and the way John described him throughout the stories), establish the relationship over a long period of time, proceeding at a pace of a snail, and get dumped at the end.

This is where Colin’s Heureka moment comes in. He has devised an equation to simulate a progress of a relationship and mainly to predict who will break up with whom. The main variable at play here was dumper/dumpee differential, which was based on position within, assumingly normal (I argue against that), distribution of people based on their likelihood of being dumped or dumping their special someone due to whatever reason there might be. Further variables were added later on, because Lindsey was right that you cannot make a model of solid predictive ability from just one variable, unless you are working with finance. You can check out a simulation of the model he created below.

The two people have different attributes, based on which a relationship progress curve is created. If the curve is open downwards and crosses the x-axis, person A dumps person B. When open upwards, B dumps A. When the curve does not cross x-axis, the model fails, or just assumes that there is no place for a relationship at all. And I admit it kinda makes sense. I like the effort nevertheless.

Finally, both him and me have a thing to admit. A thing that sort of forgives all my ex-girlfriends. Not that I wouldn’t have forgiven them in some way already. I don’t want most of them back in my life regardless. You might read up on this in my reflection On Doorslams.

Dumpers are not inherently worse than Dumpees - breaking up isn’t something that gets done to you; it’s something that happens with you.

Of course the fault was mine and the relationship situations made far more complicated than they could’ve, mostly thanks to my own insecurity, but later also in result of my continually changing location within the boundaries of Europe. I think I finally realized the key thing everyone seems to have to realize on their own. When it happened, I even got to date a girl who was just perfect by all my standards. And it worked. It worked! Do you understand? And then we had to part. And even though attempts were and are going to be made to make our paths cross once again, I do not cling to the vision of getting there. I live my own life and look for the opportunities.

Nevertheless, in the single periods, comprising most of the time since, I have come to the realization that Colin Middleton had in the book, which John Green phrased in a perfect way.

You can love someone so much… but you can never love people as much as you can miss them.

And I frikkin miss her at these points of time, so much. But don’t tell her, because she does want me not to miss her, but to be happy in my life regardless of her. And so am I attempting to do so and wishing her the same. But I am moving rougly 500 miles closer next year. We will see where it goes from there and what comes by.