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However, when an idea is given a shape or form independent of actual circumstances, it becomes something of a goal, even though the actual making up of it cannot be known until it happens.It used to be that a man might be unhappy because he did not have a girlfriend, and that is perfectly human and natural.It has no definition, really, because it is a changing, unpredictable result of whatever two people are sharing at any given time.
When asked to go into detail, they can usually give a fairly clear idea of what their romantic ideal is, as a person.
This is vastly different, however, from the popular mentality of desiring a solid relationship because, ironically, that concept requires nothing more than a vague ambition to be happy and fulfilled with somebody else.
It seems to me, based on what I have heard from older people and what I have learned about society in even the recent past, the concept of the relationship is a fairly recent one.
That is, the word itself was not often used; people had friends, family, business associates, and romantic or sexual partners, and all these types of relationships were usually identified specifically as to how they figured in a person’s life.
They would say that it is a meaningful connection between two people, and one with potential for a lasting future.
That potential is also a large part of how relationships are perceived today; people still date, but when they begin referring to being in a relationship, it means that one or both concerned parties are thinking in terms of a future together.
It seems to be the thing people are in that is beyond a dating connection, and something removed from friendship.
It is clearly something that many people aspire to have, or be in, and yesterday’s complaint about not having someone special is now expressed as a desire to “be in a real relationship”.
More importantly, especially in terms of modern usage, romantic interests went by the name of “boyfriend”, “girlfriend”, “fiancee”, or “that person I’m dating”.
This factor of other means of address immediately strikes me as an interesting part of the definition of “relationship”, because the older terms were all about roles people were playing.