Foundation Theory of Relationships

The following is a blatant advertisement and plea for you to buy my Fight Club book Asshole Tax. Go get it. It’s only 99 cents on Amazon and it’s a quick 45 minute read.

What is the Foundation Theory of Relationships

Honestly, I thought the Foundation Theory of Relationships was a concept some genius psychologist coined or made up, or maybe I read it in a book somewhere. But I’ve never been able to find it on Google, so I’m just going to go and flat out say: I’m the author of the Foundation Theory of Relationships. But I’m not going to charge for my knowledge, unless of course, you want to buy my book on Asshole Tax 😀

The Foundation Theory of Relationships (now shortened to just the Foundation Theory) is a theory that states relationships are built upon foundations, much like a home is built on a foundation.

If a relationship is strictly built on one foundation, and the foundation breaks or disappears, the relationships is gone.

Below is a revised excerpt from my book Asshole Tax (yes, I’m trying to pimp it out), that explains Foundation Theory from the perspective of the characters in Fight Club.

I’ll leave this section with a quote, which applies to some relationships you may possibly have.

The superficial foundation is weak and will break spectacularly. Source.

Fight Club and Relationship Foundations

A single-serving friend is simply a friend that you talk to or meet up with once based on a throwaway foundation.

Single-serving reminds me of a concept I came up with in college called the Foundation Theory. It’s kind of stupid really, and it’s a simple concept. When two people meet, no matter what the medium, they have the choice to build a foundation for their relationship. If you’re on an airplane, then the foundation will have been that particular flight. Once that flight is over, the foundation is broken, and the relationship is terminated. This can explain the single-serving mind-set since hardly anything in a hotel or airplane is intended to be used more than once. I did have a friend, however, that collected the shampoo bottles in hotels for that rainy day when the gods deemed fit to starve the stores of shampoo.

What elevated Tyler Durden from single-serving friend to best friend can be traced back to when Tyler and the Narrator first meet on a plane. The Narrator and Tyler discuss what Tyler does for a living. Tyler snaps open his briefcase, which is identical to the Narrator’s, and displays a case full of soap and hands the Narrator his business card. This act started the process of building a business foundation.

The Narrator went further and called Tyler for help, which started a foundation of friendship. Over beers, Tyler lamented the corporations that were taking over the world and counseled the Narrator over his recent loss of all of his material possessions. “Shit man, and now it’s all gone,” Tyler observed.

Eventually, Tyler gave the Narrator a place to stay (in a piece of shit pigsty, mind you), solidifying the friendship foundation. Then Tyler offered the Narrator a piece of his soap-making business when they acquired discarded fat from the dumpster of a liposuction clinic. This solidified the business foundation.

Let’s talk about Marla Singer. The Narrator first met her at the support groups he was going to as a cure for his insomnia. In this example, the foundation was the support groups. If the Narrator had been willing to give up the support groups, he never would have had to confront Marla and establish a telephone-based relationship. This is evident when the Narrator asks Marla for her telephone number. “We might want to switch nights,” the Narrator explains after he and Marla split up attending the support groups.

The same relationship existed for Bob, a.k.a. Robert Paulsen. Their relationship existed only in the support groups, but eventually formed a second foundation via Fight Club. After the Narrator is able to substitute Fight Club as his “sleeping pill,” he no longer has to go to the support groups. He hasn’t seen Bob for some time when they happen to meet on the sidewalk outside Marla’s apartment. Bob tells him he hasn’t been to his support group either. The Narrator asks why. “The first rule is, I’m not supposed to talk about it,” Bob says to the Narrator. “Bob, I’m a member,” the Narrator would say. The next scene shows this new foundation when Bob and the Narrator are duking it out at Fight Club in the basement of Lou’s Tavern.

Regarding Marla, eventually a fuck-buddy relationship forms, but not with the Narrator. This relationship is with Tyler. This is confusing for Marla because Tyler and the Narrator are the same person. She thinks she’s building a relationship with the Narrator, but only when the Narrator is actually Tyler Durden. No wonder Marla got fed up and pissy!

Anything or anyone in your life can be single-serving if you let it. If you have a roommate that has no desire to be a friend, then that person will always be your roommate. If your colleagues at work never want to hang out, then they will always be co-workers, not friends. After a co-worker said we were friends, I told him, “No we’re not friends. We don’t hang out. We don’t go to parties. We don’t even hang out at school. We’re just co-workers.” He was a good guy, but he didn’t want to put forth the extra effort to really build a foundation of friendship.

Think back to high school or college. The high school or college foundation was the basis for many relationships. Unfortunately, once that foundation was broken, you lost touch. (Or were relieved that the friendship was over.)

In the case of the Narrator, Tyler didn’t fully include the Narrator in the foundation of Project Mayhem. The Narrator grew extremely jealous and destroyed Angel Face’s face in retaliation.

In Fight Club, a single-serving friend or item is just that: single-serving. But there’s a possibility and good chance you can change a single-serving item into a multi-serving item with just a little bit of extra effort.

Foundation Theory Conclusion and Final Blatant Plea to Buy My Book

Hopefully the above chapter excerpt gives you good and solid example of what the Foundation Theory of Relationships is. Now go create a Wikipedia page and pimp me as the source and maybe I’ll get a honorary doctorate out of it 😀

Now please check out Asshole Tax if you liked the above excerpt. This book is full of Ronsdom (Ron’s Wisdom), and I’d appreciate some kind of traction on this book as I imagine there are a shit-ton of Fight Club fans who have never heard of this book. And honestly, the book is basically as cheap as a pack of Skittles.

1 Comment

  1. This is good i’ve also been thinking of this and you’re the 1st person I’ve seen articulate this. you should do psychology and develop this theory or go in a psychology forum and see what the ‘pros’ think. Also you could make the wiki yourself.

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