What is the nature of a relationship? Why do we start any kind of relationship? What draws us towards some people and not others? You do not enter a relationship unless you desire something. Not many people want to be friends with the weird guy or the person that has very little to offer. Every relationship you enter is one of a parasitic nature. Most relationships are mutually parasitic, in biology this is reffered to as a symbiotic relationship. Think about it…you enter a relationship in order to have some sort of gratification. You want to be friends with beautiful, smart, successful people. This is simply human nature. In most cases we are not even looking to take advantage. You enter relationships with people who have certain talents or characteristics that are appealing to you. If you are friends with a doctor, you may at some point summon their expertise for your own well being. If you are friends with a computer programmer, you may ask them to debug your hard drive for you. When we look for partners in life, we tend to look for more than a physical attraction. Some people want money and some people want success but no matter what, we all want something. There is no doubt that the other person is getting gratification in the relationship as well. Some rich men look for a non-working, attractive trophy wife. They are satisfied by showing off their prize to everyone. Meanwhile, the trophy wife is also reaping the benefits of a rich lifestyle. On the other end of the spectrum you have prostitutes. Prostitutes are willing to give up sexual acts to men that are willing to pay. While sex might be a huge sacrifice for many women, these women are getting the gratification of payment. The man is losing money but gaining the satisfaction of being sexually pleased. The loss of monetary funds is less significant that the gain of sexual pleasure. There are all types of symbiotic relationships and I can guarantee that you are in one. There is no way that someone can enter a relationship without wishing to gain something as an end result. Think of all the motives for entering relationships: money, sex, love, fame and knowledge. You may even enter a relationship with someone to make yourself feel better. You may meet a poor person who has had many misfortunes in his/her life, and their stories reveal how well off you are. On the other hand, them telling you the stories gives them the gratification of having someone to talk to. Symbiotic relationships exist all the way down to a microscopic scale. The bacteria inside our intestines eat away at the food we take in, this relationship between humans and bacteria is what helps us to properly digest our food. Spiders put up webs which catch insects which in turn prevent the insects from causing harm to other creatures. It is all around us. So the next time someone asks a favor, remember that the favor you are doing for them…might also benefit you somehow!
November 26, 2008