Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

What makes a relationship truly unique?

Last Sunday, a friend – whom I have never even met – mentioned to me that she is “beginning to understand that there can never be 2 same or similar relationship. Each is different. Or maybe it’s just what I had with you that is unique”. I answered her the following: Each and every relationship is different in several ways. Some you miss and most you don’t. I think you only miss the ones that genuinely touched you. How these relationships touched someone may also be different but I suspect it does relate to a deep sense of “intimacy”.

She agreed with me and came with an interesting definition of intimacy: “Intimacy is the experience of emotional closeness. It occurs when two people are able to be emotionally open with one another, and reveal their true feelings, thoughts, fears and desires. This can only occur when both people are able to genuinely trust one another, and feel able to take the risk of being vulnerable”. (Mensline)

For several days, this very same topic has been on my mind too. Most of the women whom I have known did not make a lasting impression on me – for very different reasons. I do not even miss the person whom I have briefly though intensely loved late 2012. I still have no clue who she really is. Probably because she is a compulsive liar. On the other hand, I sometimes still miss the woman with whom I had a struggling relationship of nearly 5 years and who used to be my best friend.

So what makes a relationship or – perhaps better – a bond between 2 persons truly unique?

In my 15 July 2015 and 10 August 2015 blogs, I have mentioned the four key ingredients of a viable relationship: communication, intimacy, respect and trust. Mensline: “Men often confuse sex and intimacy. Sex and intimacy are not the same thing. Sex without intimacy can be very unrewarding, just as sex with intimacy can be deeply passionate and fulfilling. It is also possible to experience intimacy without sex”.

Mensline: “Many men have been socialised to appear to be strong and in control. This perceived need to hide any weakness can interfere with their ability to experience intimacy, since real intimacy always involves some degree of vulnerability. Men may abandon relationships and intimacy because they fear that they will lose their sense of being independent. True intimacy is not about giving up your independence. It’s about balancing the sense of yourself while still being connected with another. Note: Italic markings are mine.

Initially, I suspected that the uniqueness of a relationship relates to the rare situation in which the 4 key ingredients of a relationship are perfectly balanced: communication, intimacy, respect and trust. Some would probably call such a person a soulmate. Also see my 14 July 2015 blog.

Given the aforementioned, I feel that a truly unique relationship has 3 more key ingredients on top of the other 4 key ingredients. Togetherness (rather than (in)dependence) and also vulnerability seem additional ingredients to me. However, ‘forgiveness‘ may actually still be the Heart of the Matter. 

The Heart of the Matter (1990) by Don Henley
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

There are people in your life who’ve come and gone
They let you down and hurt your pride
Better put it all behind you; life goes on
You keep carrin’ that anger, it’ll eat you inside

I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore

R.I.P. Glenn Frey (6 November 1948 – 18 January 2016)


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