Yin & Yang

The Setup (You need this) ...sorry, RBF inside joke - I've always wanted to write blog posts that dig a little into all that is Neal but I've usually chickened out and found something lighter to write about. In the past couple months I've had nothing to write about...since I went on vacation in May, so without further adieu...

About two years ago, during deer hunting (note for 3 years in a row, November was pretty much the low point of my year and therefore I'm in "thinking mode") I was watching Demetri Martin a lot. If you know anything about Demetri Martin, you know he loves to draw witty charts. Around this time I drew a chart of my own which I've thought endlessly about for the past couple years.

Happiness Over Time

Above is my version of the chart I jotted down on paper back then (although it looks a lot nicer using Google Charts!). The bottom axis represents time while the side axis represents my happiness. I was recently in a short relationship (I no longer am) but once the dust settled, there I was thinking about my chart again.


The single line on the chart represents my happiness/mood when I'm single. As you can see, life is less interesting but also less stressful. Each day is very predictable and I know exactly what I'm getting. I like to call this the safe route as I'll never really dip that low.

In a Relationship

The in a relationship line on the other hand is quite different than the single line. Life is full of excitement on this line. I liken it to riding a rollercoaster whereas the single line is more like walking from one side of the amusement park to the other.

The downside to the "in a relationship line", is of course, the second half of it. Unless you've found the person you're going to grow old and die with, all relationships have a start and an end.



It's always a gamble. It's like investing your money, and not just a little, but more like all of it. Relationships have a greater potential for return but are also extremely high risk. Single is a safe investment, but isn't going to pay off anytime soon but you'll never lose it all.

I could also relate it to Final Jeopardy. Do you risk your entire amount or just a little? It's a choice you need to make because only you know how much money you're playing with.



I titled this article Yin & Yang because there's another hidden meaning in the chart. You'll notice that if you were to add up the negative (-) and positive (+) for both lines, you'll find they're equal to one another.

It's all the same in the end

I interpret this as saying "It's all the same in the end". What this means is that neither route will give you more happiness or lack of happiness than the other. They're equal. This means that neither route is right or wrong but simply just is.

For every positive experience you have, you will have an equal and opposite negative experience

The quote above is another philosophy I've recently subscribed to. I think it fits nicely in the lens of single vs in a relationship. I'm sure not everyone would agree with this, but at least in my own experience this seems to hold true for me.

Obligatory Final Paragraph Where I Draw a Conclusion

Haha, okay this is blogging OCD on my part as I always feel like I need a final conclusion paragraph.


I think the gist of my post is it's ultimately up to you to choose what you want. Life too boring? Try a relationship. Need some stability? Go single. Both paths lead to the other eventually. My other point is of course its all a wash. Pick the path you think is best for you at the right time and roll with it.