The 50% rule of life:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;

My girlfriend is what I’d call an emotionally energetic person. She gushes over puppies and babies, she cries for the lost, the hurt, the hungry and the sad creatures of the world. She loves me with a warmth that surprises me and has given my life new meaning. But she seems to have no common sense whatsoever and that scares me.

I’m very practical. My idea of an enjoyable break time activity is solving sudoku and crossword puzzles. I like to figure things out by rational deduction and creative reasoning. I haven’t done anything on impulse since I was five years old. I am cautious with my emotions and I hold back until I have a reasonable sense of where the lay of the land is.

I guess my question would be, is my girlfriend all wrong for me as far as a long term relationship like marriage? I have a hard time with her emotional approach to life because it goes against every practical bone in my body. But at the same time, I feel complete and happy when I’m with her in a way that I never do by myself.

What is your guess for our future?


Dear Ralph,

I can’t predict your future but I can talk about balance and appreciation. You have described the duality of human nature: we are both heart and mind. What is true for the heart is not necessarily true for the mind and vice versa- yet they can both at the same time be absolutely true. I call this the 50% rule. In any situation if you go past 50% heart truth you start to loose head truth and as you go past 50% head truth you start to loose heart truth. A contented life has to be a balance of both. This is why opposites attract. It isn’t a game of who’s right and who’s wrong- you are both right and you are both wrong. The rules of the game revolve around learning to be open and appreciate the qualities in another of which you do not have yourself. If you appreciate your girlfriend for who she is and find value in the way she sees the world then you will not make the typical mistake of trying to change her. You have to find your girlfriend forever amusing and fresh or you will instead find her ever more annoying.

Heart truth lies in empathy and head truth in data. Think how lucky a child would be to be raised in appreciation of both. But more commonly, opposites are attracted to each other then spend the rest of their lives in a silly competition trying to change or “beat” each other.

If you can step back and appreciate your future will be content.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: any relationship relies far more on the tests of time than on initial attraction. Yet if your partner bores the crap out of you, why bother?

I am guessing that you and your girlfriend are still fairly young with some maturing ahead of you. You seem like a dependable and solid citizen, albeit somewhat emotionally empty. She sounds like a sunny and sweet person with a good heart, albeit somewhat unfocused.
But life is what brings us all into focus. You may be surprised at the hidden strength your girlfriend might display when confronted with a threat to her family or loved ones. You may surprise yourself by learning how to be playful and warm.

None of us knows what we are capable of until we are tested through experience. Your relationship has the potential to be a life long journey of love and learning…or a codependent nightmare that ends like one of these bad Lifetime movies of the week, with some jilted sobbing bonehead climbing into the tub with a toaster. The picture that grows will be the one that you paint. For best success, take a few lessons if you feel uncertain of yourself. Then get to it!


About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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2 Responses to The 50% rule of life:

  1. S.H. comments:

    I view it more about questioning if a couple are intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually compatible, in addition to physical/sexual attraction, as well as being able to be friends and paying attention to compatible values. One needs to decide what are their priorities in areas of compatibility. If one person is for example, extroverted, and loves to socialize, go to cultural events, go to parties, dance, and their partner is an introvert, likes to stay home, does not like going to parties, doesn’t enjoy dancing, nor attending cultural events, though they may be opposite in time they will both get lonely and will not be well matched, wishing to have a partner and companion who will attend social events away from home vs. staying home together. One may not agree nor be completely compatible in all areas but there needs to more happening than not to have good match. And then there is karma which is a whole other area to not get into…. Basically it is for two people to sort out and find a balance to their heart-mind. They are not separate but are interconnected and ONE in alignment when one knows themselves. If there is separation of the heart and mind, it is my belief that one is conflicted not only with their relationship with the person but also are somehow conflicted with their relationship with themselves. It is my experience and understanding that when one is at peace with themselves the heart and mind flow together. In Asian countries their beliefs and understanding do not have a separation of heart and mind. A Tibetan person for example, my point to their heart when asked what they think…….

  2. Ken Bryant says:

    Dear Ralph,
    I would first look at any long term friendships you have had, male or female. Were they planners and organized like yourself? If they were, how have things worked out? Were you satisfied with friends that plan the way you do or during that time did you feel there should be more to the relationship? If you were satisfied with friends much like yourself, I would proceed cautiously with someone so different than you. Try to elaborate on the new meaning she has given your life, You see this as an advantage. Can you be more specific? Start a journal on these specifics and reflect on them daily. Tell her how she makes you feel differently, Better yet, act out that difference, bonding with her in activities.

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