Love and Order of Mathematical Operations (PEMDAS)

Do you remember PEMDAS rule? Maybe many have tried to forget this rule as an attempt to dump mathematical concepts in our unconscious mind. No one can blame that since many find mathematics as difficult, complicated and without use, although it is not. Now, since Valentine's Day, I will try to explain love and relationship through the PEMDAS rule.

PEMDAS stands for parenthesis, exponent, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. This rule guides on how to simplify equations, or get the answer of a series of mathematical operations. Say for example below:

4^2 + 2 ( 3×5 ) ÷ 3 - 3

Using PEMDAS rule, perform the operations inside the (P) parenthesis:

4^2 + 2 ( 15 ) ÷ 3 - 3

This is followed by (E) Exponents

16 + 2 ( 15 ) ÷ 3 - 3

Then, perform (M) multiplication operations.

16 + 30 ÷ 3 - 3

(D) Division follows then (A) addition and (S) subtraction.

16 + 10 - 3
26 - 3

The answer is 23.

The PEMDAS provides a strict guidance on how to solve mathematical problems. In the example above, if one do subraction first, then a Zero has been generated making a totally different answer. This is also true if the other later operations were made before the others. Now, how does this make sense in Valentine's Day!

First and foremost, in a love relationship, one must feel secure. It is like putting a (P) parenthesis between the people involved in the relationship or partnership. These people may start as friends, acquaintance or direct or courtship, but it is important to have the sense of security and "mutual exclusivity" before one pursues to deepen the state of relationship and harness the benefits of it. This, however does not mean a "social tag or status" be necessary, rather this only requires the emotion of belongingness and warmth being with each other.

Moreover, after doing so, every individual in the relationship must try to nurture himself or herself like doing (E) exponential operation. This means one must not to expect to grow totally dependent with the relationship, one must grow first within oneself. Many relationships did not work because one is expecting a major change will happen in themselves attributed to the relationship itself. They forgot that change must be initiated in themselves before the relationship would be considered beneficial.

However, (E) exponents can not be done before (P) parenthesis. In the same way, thinking of growing first within before making a move to carve the existence of real or perceived relationship. Perhaps, one heard before people saying one "must" be ready first within themselves before push themselves to a relationship and make it work. The problem in doing this is that no one really gets to be fully-prepared. It is just that one must have to "jump first into the ship and see later how things would work". Our hesistancy to engage socially makes it difficult for us to see ourselves growing with others, instead of only by ourselves.

Next mathematical operations are (M)  multiplication and (D) division. Multiplication in relationships means establishing a deeper connection between individuals and harnessing a unique "product" out of intermingling of independent and secure personalities. This product may exist in the form of feeling, benefits, new good habits, realization or lessons in life. On the other hand, division in relationships common interests to divide various aspects in life between the individuals. Should there be no common interests, life becomes complicated highlighting differences and increasing the risk of conflicts and disagreements, instead of harmony and simplifying oneself.

The next two basic operations, namely (M) multiplication and (D) division are closely related. Many mathematicians are not strict between which operation comes first as long as the operations are performed from left to right in orderly manner. In the same way, there is no rule whether finding common interests and getting obvious benefits come first in a relationship. This is because this two must be done simultaneously. However, it would still be better if the benefits are perceived first even not complete and so strong before engaging actions to "simplify" various aspects of the life of the participating individuals in a relationship. This suggestion is less complicated, like performing multiplication first before division.

The last two operations are (A) addition and (S) subtraction. In relationships, these operations highlight the need for compromise in which one need to "add" or "subract" in one's life to maximally realize potentials of the individuals within the relationship. This state is in inevitable because the personal differences between human beings can put strain to the relationship unless necessary personal adjustments be made. These adjustments maybe adding more time for the other, deducting habits that are destructive for the relationship or perhaps putting some priorities down for the relationship to work.

Now, what is quite interesting is why these operations must be performed last. This is because demanding an individual to adjust for the other is untimely and inappropriate; if he or she does not see and feel the potential benefits, or realize common interests, or feel safe in oneself or in the relationship. Many individuals have experienced being demanded to change first habits, religion, routine, culture and even personality; before engaging in a relationship. It is possible that some relationships that underwent this stage have succeeded, however, the foundation could be weak and this situation is similar to forcing one against his or her will for the relationship to work.

Another question lies why one must focus on addition first, rather than subtraction. The answer varies from one person to another, but to make it orderly and convenient, expecting one to add something is less difficult than in deducting something. It is good to note that before the relationship has even started a person has already thoughts, beliefs and aspirations in life based on a network of values, learned from the society he or she lives in. So, expecting a removal of one element in the life's person creates a significant effect in the individual and significant others, thereby making subraction the last of the operations.

Lastly, one may have just realized that mathematics and love can be made parallel. Although mathematics is pure, perfect and object, while love is the opposite; there are common points of comparison between these two concepts. The most important thing is both provides order in our lives, in ourself or loved ones and the relationship built between.


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