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Despite what you may think, the Fat Ankle Syndrome is not a result of sitting in front of the television for hours on end, eating donuts.

It’s much, much worse.

The Fat Ankle Syndrome is a disease that can make you incapable of having a happy, healthy relationship with another person.

I first heard about Fat Ankle Syndrome from Renee Owen [link], a fellow JFK graduate. Her explanation of this syndrome helped me tremendously in the relationship arena, particularly in the realm of intimate relationships.

Here’s how it works:

You’re dating someone new. It’s going great.

Better than great, even.

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You have so much in common. You really get each other.

Finally, you’ve found someone you can love, who loves you back.

And then it happens.

One day, as your paramour is getting dressed, you notice their ankles.

Their extremely fat ankles.

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How did you never notice this before? How could it be that you’re in a relationship with someone with such ungainly, unattractive ankles?!?!

Try as you might, you can’t get over the fat ankles.

You know it’s petty. You know it’s ridiculous, but the fat ankles become a deal breaker.

Next thing you know, you’re single again, looking for someone new.

Someone better.

Someone with slim, supple ankles.

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I’m not saying we shouldn’t have deal breakers in our relationships with others.

Abuse, addiction, neglect. All of these come under the category of reasons to walk away.

Good reasons.

But the Fat Ankle Syndrome describes the tendency to focus on small, inconsequential “imperfections” in others.

Our minds blow up these “imperfections” to a scope that’s totally out of proportion to all the desirable characteristics of our significant others.

And it’s not just intimate relationships. We can “fat ankle” our kids. Or our co-workers. Or our boss.

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For a long time, my idea of the most desirable romantic partner was someone who was totally unavailable. Their unavailability was enough to obscure any potential fat ankles.

But once someone became available?

Watch out!

My mind was a keenly trained tracking device, looking for any small, inconsequential trait that would deem my potential paramour undesirable.

Good times!

When I learned about the Fat Ankle Syndrome, it allowed me to chill. It allowed me to get a little perspective.

Finally, I was able to look at the traits of others in a proportional manner.

Kindness. Generosity. A good sense of humor.

All on the top of the list.

Having chemistry with someone is also way up at the top of the list.

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But having chemistry with someone is totally different than demanding that your paramour be physically “perfect.”

A “perfection” which, by the way, is heavily influenced by the cultural mores and advertising standards of our time.

So there you have it!

Just say NO to the Fat Ankle Syndrome!

And watch your whole life be totally transformed!

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Have you ever been a victim of the Fat Ankle Syndrome? Share your comments below!

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