Relationships Matter – Love and In Love

Sometime Love is holding hands.

Sometimes a simple reminder to ourselves can help appreciate our relationships. (Image:

“What is the difference between ‘love’ and ‘in love’?” is a frequently asked question. The answer is different for each individual and based on:

  • Their emotional, mental and physical makeup
  • Their upbringing and background
  • Their current beliefs and values

My current answer is that being ‘in love’ is all about intensity; the highs are dizzying, the lows debilitating. Being ‘in love’ may be non-sexual or sexual. ‘Love’ is much more stable and comfortable; it generates a secure, constant, warm, fuzzy feeling. It is possible to ‘love’ without being ‘in love’ and vice versa.

Relationships Matter – Introspection

Self introspection has a gradient area. (Joe Grez/Joup)

Self introspection has a gradient area (Joe Grez/Joup)

Introspection used to be a word that only referred to people. It is now used in software development to describe a capability of some object-oriented programming languages to determine the type of an object at runtime; this ability is called ‘type introspection’. As I am writing about people I have used ‘self-introspection’ to describe our examination of our own behaviour, drivers and motivations and ‘other-introspection’ to describe the same examination of other people which is more commonly known as a form of empathy.

Self-introspection is something we should all do regularly. Unfortunately only the emotionally, intellectually and morally courageous amongst us actually do. Most of us are intellectual, emotional and moral cowards. Having said that all of us are capable of developing intellectual, emotional and moral courage; it just takes a desire to do so and a willingness to bear the discomfort of bad feelings in order to acknowledge and accept them as opposed to ignoring and suppressing them.

Relationships Matter – Transition


Like a sunrise, all relationships transitions are unique. (Joe Grez/Sesame)

Like a sunrise, all relationships transitions are unique. (Joe Grez/Sesame)

1. Ending

Transition begins with letting go of something. William Bridges believes that too often we forget this axiom, believing that the transition begins with the third stage—New Beginnings. What may be most disconcerting is that endings are being thrust upon us as a result of circumstances beyond our control such as a crisis. Many of us find ourselves increasingly anxious because of our apparent lack of control over circumstances. Acknowledging reality, even if it seems harsh, is the only way to gain control over the circumstances. During the Ending stage, we must consciously identify what is ending and then choose to let go.

Relationships Matter – Dealing with Loss

Reflections (Joe Grez/sesame/joup)

Reflections (photo: Joe Grez/sesame/joup)

Relationship loss is an inevitable part of our lives. The first relationship we lose is the total dependency we have on our parents around the age of 2-3. When we start kindergarten or school, we lose the relationship of the constant presence of our parents as we spend more time separated from them. As we move on through life, in addition to family, we lose relationships with friends, teachers, partners, work colleagues etc. Many of us treat losing relationships as an awful thing. While it may feel bad, losing relationships is an essential part our development; it is character building by helping in learning how to deal with that loss. An interesting aspect of relationship loss is that a relationship may be gone without losing the person with which that relationship started. For example, when a work colleague becomes a friend, the previous relationship is lost and a new relationship (friendship) starts.

An Ending in Grace: Relationship Conclusions

Relationships - not necessarily black and white.(

Relationships – not necessarily black and white.(

Relationship loss is an inevitable aspect of life. We lose relationships all the time due to circumstances beyond the control of ourselves and those with whom we have relationships. There is also a type of relationship loss that is deliberately initiated: the termination or break-up. This occurs when one or more participants in a relationship decide that the relationship is over and should be discarded. The discarded relationship may or may not be replaced by a new relationship. For example the board members of an organization may decide to terminate their relationship with a badly behaving high profile sports person or celebrity, but may rectify a personal relationship with this person in the future upon improving their behavior.