Love, Relationships, and Friendship

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Love is a singular thing while relationship requires two or more -- they are two different things that may or may not be entangled in each other.

Love is something you give -- without conditions -- without expectations -- without requirements. It is dependent only on you, not on another person. You do not have to like someone to love them, but it is more pleasant when those two go together. People have varying capacities to love -- a few almost none, many somewhat, and a few very much. It depends how grown up they are, how much they are dominated by fear, belief, and ego. Most people confuse need with love. They fall in need when they find a relationship that satisfies their needs and soothes their fears.

Relationship is about interaction. An interaction (relationship) needs to have value to all parties or the interaction will dissolve. If in a specific interaction with another you find limited value, then you must decide whether or not the relationship has enough potential value for you to invest the time and energy required to maintain it, increase investment to explore potential value, decrease investment to limit losses, or dissolve the interaction. Potentials are often more important than actual. Sometimes it is just business, and sometimes you care a lot about the health and welfare of the person you have the relationship with.

Relationship can persist under any level of commitment – commitment within a relationship is generally proportional to the perceived actual or potential value of the relationship. Unlike love, much about relationship is conditional. Relationship is based on mutual value which encompasses conditions, expectations, and requirements.

Relationships come and go, wax and wane, but love is more permanent. Like, as opposed to love, is an attribute of relationship. Remember, when entangling love and relationship not to confuse which is which – that confusion seems to lie at the root of many problems.

Tom C.

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