Our relationships are either our greatest assets or worst liabilities, the environment for our making, or the quicksands of our undoing.
1. Incompatible purposes.
One person is in it for physical admiration, and the other is in it for serious business. In time, they struggle in the ‘mismatch’. One person is bothered by the pressure of sensuality, while the other is burdened by the seriousness of engagement. With dispositions constantly divergent, the center does not hold.
2. Conflicting interests.
Our interests continually define the quality of our priorities, the status of our values, the shape of our morals, and the position of our hearts. All of these details work together to determine the coordinates of a person’s life. Sharply contrasting and discordant coordinates can set two people at parallel stance to each other.
In biology we were taught about different types of relationships, some of which are,
i. Symbiosis: In a symbiotic relationship the organisms benefit mutually from each other.
ii. Commensalism: In a commensal relationship, one organism benefits, but the other is not harmed.
iii. Parasitism: In a parasitic relationship one organism benefits at the expense of the wellbeing of the other.
Once a relationship begins to tend towards taking undue advantage of the other person, the friendship bond begins to fail, and will eventually die. For your relationships to last long, try to avoid ‘overdrafts’.
Discretion is required to know how to handle relationships in the private and public space. If your friend holds a sensitive public position, wisdom demands that you accord them that courtesy in the public space basically for the sake of others, and the nature of office they occupy. Discretion is key.
5. Know how to manage privilege.
Some relationships are purely a product of privilege, and you must endeavour to remember that. An over-estimation of self will cause you to violate good judgment and misstep bounds. Again, discretion is key.
For our friendships to last, the purpose must be put in the right perspective, and we must seek to grow in a manner that continually justifies being in that ‘ship’ together.
I hope you find this love letter useful.