Saturday, March 7, 2009

Goal substitution

In class recently we were discussing goal substitution theories. Looking at the graphs and hearing the description wasn't making much sense. Someone in the class asked for an example. Apparently I wasn't the only one who couldn't wrap their head around it. The professor explained that the best example involved relationships.

If you loved someone but could not longer have them, if they died for example, you would most likely fall in love next with someone who was very similar to that person. Your original goal was no longer available and so you would substitute a goal that was almost the same thing. But if you were in a relationship that was very bad, your next one would most likely be the exact opposite. You would substitute a completely different goal for yourself.

I'm sure the entire class saw the light bulb go off over my head. The boyfriend is almost the exact opposite of the ex in every possible way. I knew that wasn't the best relationship I could have at the time, but as time and distance have separated me from ex and brought me closer to the boyfriend, the contrast is just amazing. Of course I would find someone like the boyfriend after being with the ex! And of course the closer I get to the boyfriend the more I will realize how the ex was definitely not the person for me for all of eternity.

And there's even an academic theory to explain it all. Who knew?


Jinxie said...

I wonder if there are ways of explaining management like this, and, if so, will my professor please use them?