A few days a week, I teach an undergraduate Interpersonal Communication class. About a week ago, I asked my students to complete the following metaphor for homework: "Relationships are like ____________." Additionally, they were told to provide an explanation for their metaphor. This semester, I had numerous creative responses. Below are some of my favorites...
"Relationships are like a game of chess. It's important to try and keep the relationship pleasant and conflict free. So, just like when you're carefully choosing each move in a game of chess, picking your words and actions carefully in relationships is vital to your success. Also like chess, close relational bonds are tricky and can be difficult to understand. However, as your relationship grows (or as you play chess more often) it becomes much easier and you become more comfortable interacting with your partner (or more comfortable playing chess)."
"Relationships are like a game of football. Sometimes you need to be on the offense, while other times you need to play defense in order to become a great team. Like a football team, romantic relationships also take time to build trust and unity. There isn't a single football team that comes together and wins all of their games without a great deal of practice. Likewise, all relationships start from scratch. You try different techniques, make mistakes, learn from them, and grow stronger just like a winning football team."
"Relationships are like riding a roller coaster. They have their high points and their low points, but they're always a lot of fun."
"Relationships are like a new pair of shoes. When you first get a new pair of high heels, they can be really uncomfortable. But, the more and more you wear those shoes, the more comfortable you become in them. Also, like relationships, most people can decide whether they are going to wear those shoes ever again after 1 or 2 tries."
"Relationships are like chocolate chip cookies. In order for them to be successful, you need the correct ingredients. One wrong measurement or missed ingredient, and the cookie is not as good. Even if you have made some mistakes in the recipe, however, you still have a chocolate chip cookie, just not a very good one. So, like building relationships, making yummy cookies requires that you pay attention to the rules and give them enough of your time and effort."
I think there are a few love lessons we can take from my students' wise love words:
- Relationships don't just happen overnight; they take time.
- Relationships aren't easy; but instead, they're actually hard work.
- Relationships have rules; and breaking these rules can sometimes hurt a relationship.
- Relationships are comprised of specific components that make them successful.
So, the question is: what are relationships like to you?
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