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The why to your heart - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
The why to your heart
A one-question poll to start the week. No quibbling: how you interpret the question is part of the point. It's just something I've been thinking about, & I'm interested to see what the wisdom (or otherwise) of LiveJournal has to say.

What are relationships for?

Edited to add: I was trying not to influence the answers by over-explaining the question, but perhaps I went too far in the opposite direction: so, just to clarify, I'm talking about interpersonal relationships rather than the abstract concept of the-state-of-relatedness-or-otherwise-of-things-to-other-things.
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filecoreinuse From: filecoreinuse Date: April 10th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure I understand the questions. Relationships exist irrespective of reasons. All pairs of objects have a relationship even if said relationship is 'has no interesting relationship'. Similarly two objects may have multiple relationships ('are both foodstuffs', 'are both fried', 'are both parts of brunch' for 'bacon' and 'eggs' for example).

I would say they are 'for' defining the relation between things but that is in actual fact just not answering the question as posed.
j4 From: j4 Date: April 10th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay, you're the first person AFAICT who hasn't assumed that I was talking about interpersonal relationships (I was, but I should have probably been more explicit)...
simont From: simont Date: April 10th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I went further and assumed you were talking specifically about interpersonal relationships of a romantic/sexual/related type. I think, in retrospect, the reason I assumed this was the use of "heart" in your subject line.
j4 From: j4 Date: April 10th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was thinking of romantic/sexual relationships (and yes, the subject line does give that away), but couldn't think of a good word for them, and decided to just see what people would assume. :-) I mean, it wasn't a trick question, as such, but I was interested to see how people would interpret it without any explanation/clarification.
pseudomonas From: pseudomonas Date: April 10th, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm aware that this is (or is becoming?) the predominant sense in which people use the word, but I'm a) antipathic to this in principle, b) pedantic, and c) generally ornery.
j4 From: j4 Date: April 10th, 2007 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is there a single word or phrase which people could use for interpersonal-alliances-or-understandings-which-are-likely-to-be-(or-be-interpreted-by-others-as-being)-of-a-romantic-or-sexual-nature
to avoid irritating you?

To be honest, the-abstract-concept-of-relationships-between-things is not something I'm likely to find myself talking about very often, and I suspect I'm not alone in that bias. I also suspect that trying to persuade people to use longer disambiguating terms for the things that they talk about all the time, and reserve the shorter words/phrases for things they never talk about, is a bit of a lost cause.
pseudomonas From: pseudomonas Date: April 10th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I use "relationship" quite happily to mean "interpersonal relationship". I prefer "romantic relationship" for the case that you describe.
j4 From: j4 Date: April 10th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do you think context makes any difference here? If I talked about "my relationship with Owen", for instance, would I have to specify "my romantic relationship with Owen" or would the fact that O & I are, in the popular parlance, "going out with each other" fulfil the same disambiguating function there? Or is it less about disambiguating and more about an irritating with society's assumptions about relationships-in-the-broadest-sense-of-the-word?

And... if it's not a rude question... do you find that you're less irritated by the use of "relationship" to mean "romantic relationship" when you're in a "romantic relationship" yourself?
pseudomonas From: pseudomonas Date: April 10th, 2007 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. I know you and Owen are in a romantic relationship - if you spoke about this I'd take it for granted. The antipathy is, as you say, largely based on my dislike of the assumption that non-romantic relationships are so much inferior things. I realise that this asssumption isn't implicit in the way you're using the word, though, and I'll admit that "friendship" is a pretty useful word for many relationships.

The latter question - I don't know. I think possibly less irritated but still not happy about it.
j4 From: j4 Date: April 10th, 2007 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I certainly don't mean to imply that non-romantic relationships are inferior to romantic relationships. And if I was going to start being ornery I'd be objecting to the implication that "romantic" and "non-romantic" was the only sensible line along which to divide one's relationships.

But it's apples and oranges, innit. Are apples inferior/superior to oranges? I'd venture to suggest that mouldy apples are inferior to non-mouldy oranges, but that may not apply if you really don't like oranges, though in that case the question's probably a bit pointless.

My original question was intended to be open-ended: there wasn't a "right" answer.
keirf From: keirf Date: April 11th, 2007 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Apples are better. This is a fact. They don't need peeling before you eat them, and you can turn them into cider.
j4 From: j4 Date: April 11th, 2007 08:28 am (UTC) (Link)
But you can actually eat orange peel, or use the zest in cakes and stuff, or make it into candied peel, whereas apple skin is just something to make your gums bleed when it gets stuck between your teeth.

Also, whoever heard of duck à la pomme? That'd clearly be rubbish.
keirf From: keirf Date: April 12th, 2007 09:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Duck a la pomme. Mmmm.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: April 12th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
By a curious coincidence, a roast duck with apples, potatoes and carrots roasted in the same tin in the fat coming off it was what I had for dinner last night. It was delicious.

Then again, I don't like oranges much.
sion_a From: sion_a Date: April 10th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I made the same assumption, although not necessarily for the same reason.
covertmusic From: covertmusic Date: April 10th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Me too — it didn't even occur to me (and I rarely read post titles, only checked this one after reading the comments) that it might be about anything else …
filecoreinuse From: filecoreinuse Date: April 10th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
My point still stands I think. For example the interpersonal relationship between myself and Hitler[1] is 'we do not know each other'.

I'm still not sure of the question though. Are you asking, for example, why people try to form 'closer' inter-personal relationships or what people believe a 'close' inter-personal relationships is for? I've implicitly assumed (reading the context of other comments) that closeness is in some sense implied.

[1] Godwin's law!
j4 From: j4 Date: April 10th, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm really not sure what your point is, to be honest.

If you're not sure about the question, or you think it's a meaningless question, don't feel obliged to answer it. It was meant to be open-ended; I was interested to see what people said without strict rules about the scope of their answer. I will say that I'm not particularly interested in your relationship with Hitler, but beyond that, I'm not going to tell you what answer I want you to give. It's not a compulsory question. You don't get any marks for answering it.

Maybe it's made you think along different lines about relationships, or about questions about relationships, or about how stupid other people can be, or about Hitler: if so, great. Go and blog that.
ewx From: ewx Date: April 10th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

not particularly interested in your relationship with Hitler

But I am. I require JPEGs.
1ngi From: 1ngi Date: April 10th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just got back in and read this lot of comments and just ended up giggling at the idea that even after you had said 'how you interpret the question is part of the point' there was still a desire for specificity.


Anyway - dying to know what you found out.
mpinna From: mpinna Date: April 10th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
(I'm writing this before reading what anyone else has said)

They aren't for anything. Neither are we. But as humans we need to relate to other humans because that is what evolution made us.
redbird From: redbird Date: April 11th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC) (Link)
The problem with a free-text poll and results viewable to none is that I don't remember what I said.
pseudomonas From: pseudomonas Date: April 17th, 2007 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
The "Fill out poll" link will give you your text as a default.
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