opportunity cost analysis

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein1 Comment

I want “more.”
Oh dear god, you’re asking to be dumped.

New Yorkers are picky and accustomed to getting things their way. We haggle. We talk people into things and try to own power—the ability to get others to submit to our wants. Sometimes we walk away from a sale, only to awake the next day, kicking ourselves for letting a good deal slip. We put our name on a waitlist for the next time a new stock arrives, but there are no guarantees. You know you won’t make the same mistake again… well, you hope and tie a yellow ribbon.

Of course I’m not talking about a mint-condition, vintage, Chanel handbag. Everywhere else, people marry off in their mid-twenties. In Manhattan, you add ten years and still have to have “a talk.” Which brings me to David.

David was once married, so we know he’s capable. But he’s recently been goaded into a decision. Step up or step on out (my euphemism for shite or get off the pot). Dave flushed and stepped on out.

Dave and I met on Match.com well over a year ago. We were destined to be friends (he’s very much a guys guy, preferring to ignore feelings about anything but the ref’s mom.) Dave and I wrap mostly via IM about everything from concerts to blowjobs. And when I meet a good guy, I tend to compare him to young David. It’s because David is a good fcuking guy, kind of a male Stephanie without the creative talent. He can chill, dress up, knows from shirts and shoes, can rock out to good tunes, and he definitely knows good food… working on the wine. He’s just a kick ass guy…but he’s commitment phobic. Ahem.

I know they aren’t all commitment phobic. Sometimes it’s the girl. Maybe it’s not love. And you get to a point, early on in the relationship, when you have a strong intuition that the relationship isn’t going anywhere. You know s/he isn’t “the one,” but you stay because it’s easy, comforting, and the seex is dirty and often. You have a date for weddings, someone to reach your hard to reach buttons, a dishwasher and garbage takerouter. You’re set, except for the nagging feeling that this person just isn’t it. You know it. But you ignore it because it’s easier to stay. Then it gets messy.

The tilt on relationships: you’ve always got some remorse. Seller’s remorse. Buyer’s remorse. With seller’s remorse, you kick yourself for selling too early and wonder if another amazing opportunity will find you. You rose-color the past, and rinse with listerine twice hoping to extinguish the bitter taste of your perceived mistake. Buyer’s remorse, you second-guess yourself, staring at her while she sleeps, wondering if you’ve made the right decision… what if there was something better around the corner? You should have held out longer. Buy, sell, or trade, you’re basically fcuked.

Relationships force you to analyze the cost of passing up the next best choice when making a decision. How do people do this? How do they risk and make themselves vulnerable when there’s a very high probability it is going to crash? I’ll tell you. Despite the difficulties that arrise in arelationship, I’d rather be in one than be dating. That being said, I’d rather be alone than be in the wrong relationship.

In a relationship, you get through the games and the two IMs and an email don’t equal a phone call expectations, and then you’re in it. You cruise. You dig one another and smile like dorks. You order in and watch a lot of movies, you fold into your life. Time moves and shakes, and suddenly someone wants something more. I’ve never known any relationship where both people were on the same page at the same exact time. Someone is always wanting more, especially in New York. Decisions fall upon you and you can’t get off the bowl. The stress has given you ‘rea. I’d rather make relationship decisions than stand still and have to date idiots. I’d rather be alone than be married to an idiot. And that’s my sunk-cost analysis.


  1. Stephanie – I'm stunned that I'm your 'measuring stick' and flattered just the same. Thank you for your thoughtful words. Being in a relationship that works, only to see it end just sucks. Sux, sux, and sux!

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