Relationships – Part 1

bleeding heart

What is a relationship? (I’m talking about between people here, people!)

Merriam-Webster defines relationship as:

1 : the state of being related or interrelated
2 : the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship: as a : kinship b : a specific instance or type of kinship
3 a : a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings <had a good relationship with his family> b : a romantic or passionate attachment

Wow, that’s a pretty dry definition. It’s also pretty static. But are relationships static? Can you be in a stale relationship with someone?

I don’t think so.

I believe that relationships are constantly changing. They are always in a state of flux and never still. Let me use a little illustration and imagination here to try to explain.

Imagine there is a line or path connecting you to the other person. I’ll use a husband and wife as an example. Now imagine the husband and wife are constantly walking but they can only go in two directions: toward or away from each other.

Every step that each one takes corresponds to a decision that the person has made. Each day we must make decisions:

  • Some are deliberate, obvious, everyday decisions with simple answers (What colour shirt am I going to wear today? What am I going to make for dinner? Do I need to stop and get gas?)
  • Some are more bigger, more involved processes (Should I invest in that stock? Is it time to move? Should I marry this person? Are we ready for another baby?)
  • And some are not even decisions we are aware that we are making. These are the ones that are usually relationship building or breaking.

Every decision that is made is either for or against the relationship. So the husband and wife are constantly moving toward or away from each other. Sometimes wife is walking away while husband is walking towards. Sometimes husband is walking away while wife is walking towards. Sometimes they are both walking away. Sometimes they are both walking towards. In only one of those four possible scenarios are they actually getting closer to each other. The other three are actually leading them apart, sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly.

Is this a maverick idea? Does it make sense yet? This is just getting started, folks. Tomorrow we’ll examine some real-life situations and look at how our actions affect this fluctuating relationship.

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