Relationship

Key Points

Quick
A relationship is any kind of association or connection between elements.
SERP_E-R-E
E = Element
R = Relationship

Complete
A relationship is any kind of association or connection between elements. Elements can be related in space and time, in thoughts and emotions, and in any other way. Relationship is more than just similarity. We often understand how elements are related by considering both similarities and differences. Descriptions can reveal relationships.

Each Defined by Other Two
Elements, relationships and proximities are woven together. In a sense, each is defined by the other two, and all three relate to situations. More details here.

Advanced Points
A few advanced points about relationships follow on this page.

Tip
Not Only Human Relationships – Sometimes the word relationship is used to discuss associations and connections between couples, people and families. Here we use relationship in a broader sense.

Questions

• What associations or connections are apparent? Suggested? Needed?
• What aspects of the related elements support or enhance the association?
• How can you use both similarities and differences to better understand the relationship?
• How are you describing the relationship? What does that suggest about possible changes?
• How flexible, continuous, or solid does the association or connection need to be?
• How does the relationship support or enhance changes in the relationship (or changes in the elements related)?

Examples

Driving
Driving is associated with independence and speed, but also with traffic.

Meetings
Meetings may relate elements of fun, politics, food, ideas and projects.

Docks
A rope keeps a boat connected to a dock, as well as to food and supplies.

Appointments
People scheduled to meet are related by etiquette and mutual interests. They are also related by clocks and calendars.

Markets
People or companies in markets are related through business practices, competitors, economics, negotiations, computers, phones, social groups, networks, etc.