Relationships as Far as the Eye Can See

It occurred to me that these days the word ‘relationship’ is mainly used to refer to an intimate, romantic or sexual relationship and I wanted to find out whether that had always been this way. When I looked it up, I found that before 1944 this had not been the case and it made me wonder how they got to the exactness of that date?

I also learnt that the word ‘relationship’ comes from the Latin ‘referre’, to bring back.

‘Relationship’ standing for a one-on-one and mainly intimate relationship reminds me of the word ‘drinking’ which, in its modern-day usage, refers to drinking alcohol. When someone says they have stopped drinking, we all know that they are not referring to water, tea, juice or any other of the possible options. Drinking has become synonymous with drinking alcohol.

Likewise, a relationship now denotes a degree of closeness as indicated above, meaning it is either romantic, intimate and/or sexual. But don’t we have relationships with many people, and many things/objects even?

I certainly have a relationship with the people I share my house with; I have a wonderful relationship with my butcher up the road, one that is built on trust and my love and respect for his amazing dexterity, the awesome service, his skills and forever willingness to engage and explain and advise. Nothing is ever too much for him and his staff and I get the same treatment whether I spend $15 or $85.

I also have a relationship with a lady at the local market; together with her son they grow the most wonderful vegetables. There are times during the summer months when I don’t buy from them as what they grow is not what I eat but come the colder months, I stock up big time. We always have a chat, whether I happen to be buying or not.

I remember a conversation with a taxi driver in Sydney – just a short trip to the airport but when I asked him about his country of origin he completely opened up and I learnt more about Afghanistan and the war that was being waged there than any newspaper or other media outlet had ever reported.

Relationships: don’t people have them with their soccer club, with a singer or movie star they admire, with their favourite brand whether that be their beer, a label or favourite sports gear?

What makes us assume that a connection only deserves to be called a relationship when it is intimate, romantic or sexual?

Is it a fact that we are in relationship with many, many people and many things – not only every day, but every minute of the day?

And how supportive are then our relationships? And if they are not, what is our responsibility here? Have we allowed familiarity to creep in, a certain fatigue and boredom? And if so, have we not deserved better and more?

And on a final note – as to our relationships with people, what do we feel when hearing that the root meaning of the word ‘relationship’ is ‘to bring back’? Could this meaning have something to do with the fact that deep down we know that, when it is all said and done, all our relationships need to come back to the truth that we are all one?

By Gabriele Conrad, Goonellabah, NSW

Related Reading:
Relationships Re-Defined
Serge the Friend
Love and Relationship Audio

764 thoughts on “Relationships as Far as the Eye Can See

  1. And maybe because we have made relationship an exclusive thing we do not understand it’s true meaning anymore lest live its truth.

  2. The opportunity to learn something about ourselves would be something we embraced if we were not so used to being critical of ourselves, and therefore afraid to consider we might have something to learn.

    1. We regard our lack of perfection as failure and ignore that perfection in physicality is unattainable and that there is indeed, always more to learn.

  3. If we’re committed to being honest and transparent in our relationships, then they have the potential to restore us and others to who we truly are: they offer us the knowing that we already ARE everything we need to be, and a pathway back to that. With the reflections that relationships offer us, everything that isn’t truly part of us is highlighted and can be discarded, and everything that is, can be appreciated, cherished and celebrated.

  4. Whether we like it or not we are constantly in a relationship with a large number of people. It is up to us to determine what we want the quality of those relationships to be.

  5. By being our loving selves with all whom we come in contact with and with all that we do ensures that all our relationships have a foundation of truth, and if we happen to stray from this then we have a strong foundation to support us to bring back harmony into our living way.

  6. It is interesting the tendency with which we have to reduce the meanings of words to correlate with humanities declining quality of living. It would seem that this hides the extent to which the quality of our living and state of our health has actually fallen.

    1. Changing, watering down and falsifying the meaning of words is corruption at its most basic and persuasive and where it gets us all, right from childhood through all education channels and right to the end.

  7. It’s really worth appreciating the quality of all our interactions, as in the quality that we bring to them, not seeing any as more or less important but of equal value.

  8. Years ago I observed how funny it was that there were relationships that were labelled close, not by the actual quality of connection, but by virtue of the relationship defining an assumed closeness – for example a husband and wife, a mother and a daughter, a father and son etc. It’s the openness to connection that makes a relationship and not necessarily the longevity or the definition of what kind of relationship it is.

  9. Once we start to deeply connect with ourselves, and still that radiating presence of that inner connection, it becomes very clear that we are in relationship with everybody and that they are in relationship with us.

  10. Awesome Gabrielle – reading the true meaning of “the root meaning of the word ‘relationship’ is ‘to bring back” brings an openness and warmth to my chest – a beautiful reminder that, as you say, in essence, we are all one.
    “Could this meaning have something to do with the fact that deep down we know that, when it is all said and done, all our relationships need to come back to the truth that we are all one?”

  11. There can be a wide range of relationships in our lives, from our kids, colleagues, neighbours etc. The only constant can be us. Even though the amount of time and things we do with these relationships varies we can bring the same quality to each. We are trained from young not to do this and give preferential care to our closest relationships. Yet knowing our true nature where we are all one, this selectiveness cannot be natural or bring harmony, as evidenced by all the harm that occurs in families.

    1. Harm not only in our families but in the wider world, man against man, woman against woman and bullying from an early age. This model is not working and if we were a company, humanity would have long ago gone bankrupt.

    2. We are trained to do that in our families, in our communities and in our countries – always look after your own first. It separates so badly and is the reason we can even contemplate war.

  12. We literally can never be truly alone because we are always in relationship with someone, even if it is with the person we say hello to as we walk past.

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