The Relationship Wall

By Kenneth Stepp

Relationships really make the world go round. I’m a small business owner. Without relationships, my business would become my old business. I have many relationships, they depend on different things. It really depends on the dynamics of the relationship. In business, my relationships depend on need, usability, and profit, for the most part. I have many friends. My relationship with them depends on mutual caring, the depth depends on the level we care for one another.

Then there are romantic relationships, or as I call them, entanglements. I say that with a smile of course. They are the most complicated of all relationships. They may not have begun romantically, they may have started as friendships. These are the best kind. To have a deep friendship that goes very deep. It really feels like magic…

Romance… What does that word bring to your mind? For me, it’s complex. It depends on where romance came from in my life. If I meet someone for the first time and it ends with a kiss, well, that went romantic immediately. For me, or in my experience, those do not last. Although my ex wife and I did and that lasted far longer than any other relationship. Give me a friendship that suddenly goes deep. That’s the prize.

Or a romantic relationship that becomes a deep friendship. Both of those relationships will forever affect your life. I’ve had both, and I still smile when I think of them. Relationships are electric. They spark something inside all of us. Business, friendship, or romantic. They all have the potential to change categories. How many times have you heard of an office romance? They seldom end well. But this is a shining example of business changing to romance.

Friends becoming lovers. It happens, it happened to me. And the depth was and is immeasurable. More intense and with a feeling of safety that I have personally never experienced before. And as amazing as those relationships are. The pain caused when they crash and burn is immeasurable as well. To have is bliss, to have and lose, well, let’s just say, it isn’t so bliss.  

Strangers becoming forever loves. This sounds romantic, specious and undoable though. Love takes time, strangers haven’t had that. This is love being complex again. A love relationship demands time, if it is to last. Patience, grace, and being a safe place for one another. I suppose if I wanted to describe a love relationship. These three things would be perfect examples of what it takes.

“Come sleep with me: We won’t make Love, Love will make us.”

― Julio Cortázar

The poet speaks truth. Love will always make us speak truth eventually. Love makes us hurt, be confused, and many times, regret. Love has the power to make us happy though. When I hold her, something happens to me. I, or we, become an island. The world cannot touch us at that moment. To say this brings me contentment would be an understatement. But it takes me somewhere, a safe place where only the two of us, when we are together, can go. I cannot go alone, nor can she. This feeling, at that moment, is why we search for love. For those who have never had love, we can look silly.

We will spend the rest of our lives trying to get back to it. Few will, but all will try…

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”

― Elizabeth Gilbert

Most of us will hit the relationship wall time and time again. For those who know what it’s like to have real love. We will continue our journey. Wall or not. Love is worth everything…


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