Now this is convenience.

Now this is convenience at its best.

This past week while I was takin’ my hiatus from blogging, I was havin’ one of those all too familiar conversations with one of my boys. We were discussing factors that go into a relationship that often go unmentioned because nobody really wants to admit them. What I’m going to talk about today is something that allows many relationships to succeed (though potentially for the wrong reasons) and also allows many to fail.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you may remember me posting a question last week about how much the element of convenience plays in a relationship. Of the 30 people that responded, 29 agreed that convenience plays a larger role that folks admit. Quite honestly, though I agree, I was surprised at the landslide victory that convenience took in the poll. I honestly expected that there would be a good number of people on each side of the fence, but most were willing to call it how they saw it.

I thought about my own past relationships going from high school through college and onward into my post-collegiate professional life. I look back at why a lot of those relationships lasted as long as they did and why damn near all of them failed. Convenience played an unspoken but substantial role. In high school I lived near the girl or went to a school close by so it was easy to hang out and do the things that high school kids do (with protection of course). Everything was peachy with the chick I was dating when I headed to college, but within 6 months or so of me being there, sh*t went downhill. Most people would say that I was pulled away by college commitments or that there was no way I’d have been able to behave given what was availability to me on campus. That may be true. But the realness of it is that it wasn’t convenient anymore. Neither of us could have certain needs fulfilled whenever we wanted. It required work.

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Similar things applied with the next couple women I dated. Everything was great and peachy until one person got busy with their schedule and then things just tumbled to their demise. Even when I graduated and continue to date a girl from college and we had the distance thing down, things were great until schedules began conflicting and trips to see each other weren’t as regular. Insecurity and immaturity grew uglier heads indeed, but within all that was the factor of inconvenience. Both sides didn’t want to pull their own weight because the convenience was no longer there.

I’ve been in and out of a couple things since then (pause). In those situations, there came a point where the relationships were challenged and for a variety of reasons they failed. I can say that convenience/inconvenience may not have been the largest factor, but it was there nonetheless. And as I think about this a bit more the general context, I can’t help but to think about another word—settling.

The moral of the story is that most people are selfish, no matter how much they claim to be giving of themselves. And more importantly when ish hits the fan and things are no longer a walk in the park, people fold. Not as many folks are up to the challenge as they claim, which is evident in divorce rates. Not quite a happy ending to this post, but honesty is honesty. Nonetheless, what do you think about this idea of relationship convenience? Do you agree or disagree with it’s prevalence? Challenge me. Agree with me. Share your thoughts. Let’s get it poppin’!

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Conveniently Yours,

slim jackson