22 December 2008


Earlier this year I introduced the the world to the life timeline. Its purpose was for remembering, analyzing, and just using the power of Excel to get some perspective on your life. Well, it's nearing the end of 2008 and I'm ready to drop another life spreadsheet on you. Introducing the Relationship Worksheet. The idea behind it is dead simple. By now, if you are around my age, you've probably had a few relationships under your belt. If you're exactly me, shit's gone wrong, patterns have emerged, issues have been fixed, then unfixed, and hopefully fixed again, but you're just lacking that overall big picture view. By taking just a few minutes I can solve this problem for you.

Open up a spreadsheet, use the template, and plug in your own answers. Then go take a break and return with fresh eyes. Take a look at your relationship worksheet. Notice any patterns? Do you always date emotionally withdrawn people? There it is, plain as day. Are all your relationships just long enough to last through a full calendar year? Afraid of commitment buddy, just admit it. Do you need to stop dating the nice, sweet, but ultimately boring guy? Been there, done that. Should you try dating older? Um, maybe.

Feel free to drop in some new rows with anything you feel might be relevant. Possibilities can range from things like "Did my friends approve?" to "Did we say 'I love you?'" Use your imagination and tell me if you hit on anything super crucial that should be part of the standard template. You don't even have to constrain this to honest to goodness relationships. Include some semi-serious dates, flings, grey areas, etc. I can't help you define exactly what a "relationship" is but maybe by putting everything down you'll figure it out yourself.

Another huge side benefit of this thing is that it makes it much easier to talk about relationships with your friends. I mean, I've recently completed this with a friend and now we have a fuller picture of each other's relationship histories and we can commence haterade-ing by talking about specifics. No more "Wait, which one was that again? When did you date? And for how long?" Cut that bullshit out and just refer to the spreadsheet. Use your valuable time deconstructing the failed relationship, not constantly rehashing the statistics of it.

I know, freaking genius, someone give me an award. Or just send me your worksheet so we can talk about it.

If you want to get real serious, I've seen this around in bookstores and always sort of want to pick it up: "Love Listography: Your Love Life in Lists." Who doesn't love lists?!