successful people suck at romantic relationships

Jon's romantic story began when he was 22 years old. Jon was a "natural" in business as a teenager. When it came to business his mind was working like a Swiss clock.

He could foresee whether a business would be a success or not. He always knew how to hire and manage the best talent available.

Very soon he started to earn a lot of money. He was hardworking, brilliant, and ambitious.

His first love was Mary. A good looking waitress from Idaho. Jon went nuts for her. In less than six months Mary and Jon were married, and almost six months after that, Mary got pregnant.

For the first couple of years, everything was going smoothly. And then the relationship hit a wall. It deteriorated that fast, that they got divorced in record time. Needless to say that, Mary got an alimony from Jon and the custody of their child.

But Jon didn't give up (what a persistent bastard he was), he worked on his business even harder than before, and before 35 he has earned his first million dollars.

This time it was Patricia. A 26-year-old hottie he met at some club. They quickly fell in love (you know how this works) and Jon got married for the second time.

Their life was only sun shines and rainbows, for a few years, and then boom! Wall again. Divorced again. Alimony (again).

At the moment Jon is 42 years old. An average looking guy with a net worth of somewhere around $4 million.

You could say that he does okay for himself. Jon is married to his 3rd wife Judith and they have one child together. They live happily at the moment (I guess).

Statistically speaking, the odds are against them to stay together, but let's hope for the best.

After reading a few biographies, and after observing many couples both in real life and over the Internet I made a realization. Many successful people when it comes to business, they're real rock-stars. But in romantic relationships, they suck big time.

Despite being wealthy, which equals to substantial value in every kind of society, yet they continuously fail to form reliable and fair romantic relationships.

Why is that you may ask? Mainly due to three reasons.

Let's try to explain below.

Too much social conditioning & little awareness

I've said it many times before. Bad social programming is probably the most important reason people are doing stupid things all the time.

Both boys and girls were brought up with this romantic image of a boy that meets a girl, they fall for each other, they get married and live happily ever after.

Bollocks.

Not even close to reality. A much more accurate model is this:

I give value; I take value.

She gives value; She takes value.

And so on and so forth.

This is what I call the value exchange principle.

As long as there's some kind of value exchange, be it monetary, emotional, etc. all relationships (not only romantic ones) stand. When one or both parties decide to provide less or ask more value, participants will have to re-negotiate.

If the new terms are acceptable they move on, otherwise, it's no deal.

It's as simple as that. Not a tiny bit more complicated. Everything was, is and always will be value based. People are value-driven creatures, and this won't change anytime soon.

What most people believe (including successful ones) is that love will prevail, and one spouse will stay close to the other because of a magic power that keeps the couple united.

Bollocks^2.

Oddly enough, sometimes successful people seem to be even more ignorant about this fundamental balance in human relationships. And they fail miserably.

One way to remedy this is by educating yourself. There are many books, that can explain EXACTLY, how human nature works. It's not rocket science you know.

Reading ten mandatory books in evolutionary biology, anthropology and human relationships will give you the 80% of what you need to know about the theory.

Then what remains is more reps. By reps, I don't necessarily mean more romantic relationships. But interactions with other humans in general. The more, the merrier.

Look at it this way. You buy a somehow complicated electronic device like a new high-tech washing machine.

Wouldn't you spend a few minutes studying the manual before you try washing your clothes?

If yes, then why would you start a romantic relationship without knowing a goddamn thing about how an uber complicated machine like a human works?

It's the same thing.

Read, learn, and then test.

Ah also don't believe what you see in romantic movies or novels. That's fiction you know. This shit doesn't happen in real life.

Rational in business, emotional in romantic relationships

To be successful in business, you need to be very rational. No question about it. But although most successful people are very reasonable in business, they lose all this rationality when it comes to romantic relationships.

You see, although businesses and relationships have many common elements, they differ in one fundamental way. 

They satisfy a different kind of need.

Being good in business is mainly about your social value. On the other hand being good in relationships is serving your replication value.

Also based on the belief system of each individual and how his or her brain is wired, we make many decisions triggered be emotional switches.

Let me clarify with an example.

Remember our friend Jon from before? Well, he fell in love and married his 2nd ex within a month.

This by default shows a purely emotional decision. Instead of having very specific criteria for his spouse, like health status, age, maternity skills, etc. Jon made an entirely irrational decision and got married in a heart bit.

This happens when our "love hormones" namely adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin take over and make us think we'll love the other person forever.

After the initial punch in the face, we then pass into the next stage of romantic love. This is where oxytocin and vasopressin make us do a few more irrational actions.

The average duration for both of those phases is about two years. This is the time needed in nature to give birth and raise a child to be somehow self-sustainable.

That's why we feel we fly in the sky whenever we "fall in love." Actually, a more accurate term would be "fall in hormones."

Romantic or not it's all about chemicals.

So my advice is this. Before you do anything stupid like getting married, make sure you follow these tow rules:

  1. You have a list of all the prerequisites your future spouse needs to fulfill. Make sure to also have some red lines. For example, I won't marry him unless he makes $100k a year.
  2. Give it at least a couple of years before you commit *for life*. Give these hormones some time to cool off. If after those two years you feel this person is your soulmate, then go for it.

Inadequate social skills

Like social conditioning wasn't enough, on top of that, some people are just naturally bad at interacting with other people.

Usually, they tend to be more introverted, shy, and not that easygoing. They feel stressed when they need to interact with others and often they exhibit a clumsiness. Their body language isn't open, and this attributes to them even more negative characteristics than the ones already have due to the bad halo effect.

There are many such examples, like my favorite entrepreneur Elon Musk. Reading his biography, but also having watched a few interviews of him, it's easy to tell that the guy just feels a bit uncomfortable talking to other people.

Of course, I assume due to his position, he has worked many hours practicing his social skills, but none the less, a trained eye can still see, that he severely lacks a higher competence in his social interactions.

He as well is a prime example of walking the church aisle only a few days after he met his second wife.

Bad social skills have the significant adverse effect of making the individual feeling low-confidence. It's kinda tricky because it's a chicken-egg situation. The less proficient in social interactions, the worst other people are confronting you and the lower the self-confident drops.

It's a tough situation really because what the individual needs to do, is reprogram himself. Little by little, with a lot of studying about how human nature works (see point #1), and by practicing hundreds or thousands of interactions it'll get better over time.

Since it's in our brain, social competence, is a muscle as well after all. The more you train it, the stronger it gets. 

The better you become at social skills, the better your chances not to fail at your romantic relationships.

Also make a note, that although becoming financially free is probably the most important thing you can do, that doesn't mean you should completely neglect your social interactions.

Many successful people are 100% focused on their success and they forget all about their social muscle, especially if your kind of business doesn't involve much human interaction.

By improving your social skills and your exposure to other people, you turn the odds dramatically in favor of meeting someone with whom you'll be able to have a calm, romantic relationship.

Remember, it's never too late to start sharpening this social muscle.

Also, share this article if you think you know a Jon of your own. It might help him a lot.