Unfortunately, people seem to believe that the relationship is somehow waiting “out there” for them, to stumble into with the right person.This then creates a further sense in the popular mind that good relationships are being enjoyed by everyone else, when the reality is that “relationship” is a simple word that has been twisted far beyond its scope or abilities.It is almost as though we have taken the people out of the activity, and this is where I think the definition runs into real trouble.Most anyone you would ask today would give you a definition of a relationship along the lines referred to.As I see it, the word “relationship” has taken on a strangely specific meaning, and people have a certain idea regarding what a relationship must translate to.It is very much like the word “change”; in modern life, change is viewed as a positive thing, but the reality is that change can be anything at all that is different.I think, however, that there is a danger in this kind of thinking because, again, an activity is being invested with actual value it does not inherently possess.The danger here with “change” is obvious; when change is perceived as a fundamentally good thing, it is turned to when things might be better unchanged.
Plainly speaking, men and women think about romantic partners all the time.
More importantly, especially in terms of modern usage, romantic interests went by the name of “boyfriend”, “girlfriend”, “fiancee”, or “that person I’m dating”.
This factor of other means of address immediately strikes me as an interesting part of the definition of “relationship”, because the older terms were all about roles people were playing.
It is the thing two people forge together, and it carries a weight in today’s culture no vague concept should have.
As a relationship cannot begin to exist until the connection between two people begins to take on its own, unique characteristics, it has no meaning at all until then.
Above all, the word is never used to suggest something not serious, unless it is identified as a “sexual relationship” or “business relationship”, or another way that indicates boundaries.