What are personal relationships?


Personal relationships would certainly include friendships, dating relationships, marriages, relationships between parents and their children, family relationships, sibling relationships, and even extended family relationships, e.g., relationships with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, or even in-laws. Even a mere acquaintanceship might be a personal relationship, if those involved have some degree, however minute, of familiarity with one another beyond a superficial level.

What would typically not be a “personal relationships” would be any relationship where the interaction between those involved is strictly based on the roles they are playing with each other. For example, interaction between a shopper in a grocery store and the person at the checkout counter would typically not be considered a personal relationship, even if they sometimes exchange pleasantries, or have brief discussions about food or the weather.


However, such relationships could become “personal” ones if, for example, the people involved regularly encounter each other in this location, learn each others names, discuss their families, jobs, mutual acquaintances, or have conversations with each other outside of the store. Or, in other words, when they start getting to know each other as individuals apart from the roles they play with each other. Such relationships would then be moving in the direction of friendships, or at least acquaintanceships. Of course, other types of role relationships could certainly develop into something more like “personal relationships,” and probably would be more enjoyable for having done so, e.g., teacher and student, employer and employee, caregiver and client, or doctor and patient.


Finally, the views of the parties involved matter also. In other words, if the people involved perceive their relationship as a “friendship”, no matter how superficial the relationship might appear to others, it is a “friendship”, and therefore a “personal relationship,” if only because people who see themselves as friends will likely interact with each other as friends. Even if the views of the people involved are not quite the same, e.g., one sees the other as their “best friend” while the other does not share that view, their relationship would still be a “personal relationship.”


Thus, the primary focus of this blog will “personal relationships” in all their various forms.

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