There is an inherent need in all humans to rank things.
Even in the most primitive of tribes, they have a system to adjudge the best man, the strongest warrior or the alpha female.
We need to know that we stand on scale and that there are people below us and above us.
Our whole world view is based on that. Our lives are a series of scales…examinations, entrance tests, endurance camps, medical checkups…relationships.
Look at how we express ourselves in our relationships:
– I love you more than anything in the world
– You have made me more miserable than ever
– I have never felt like this before
– You are the most wonderful boyfriend
– I will do anything to make you happy
All of it is a gradation- better or worse, more or less, deep or shallow.
This is wonderful in the larger scale of things i.e. the system.
To create a system which works, there should be a clear loser and a clear winner, and in order to have that, you must have clearly demarcated levels.
But, in the micro picture, in one-on-one relationships, it pretty much sucks.
Because a scale obviously is going to make people try and get to the top score.
This would also have been ok, if we were all in strictly monogamous, exclusive, non-overlapping relationships all the time.
But, we are humans, so we err.
Which is where the system beats us. We have a perfect person. Or rather, we think the person is ok. Until we meet someone else to put on the scale and…oh the dreaded word…compare. The worst thing is that since it is a ranking scale and not a rating scale (if I remember my statistics correctly), one person needs must be inferior.
So, objective as we humans are, it is still impossible for us to not magnify the faults of one and the perfections of the other.
And on and on it goes.
A winner and a loser.