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Are Your Relationships Modular?

December 6, 2013

Modular relationships are interchangeable. They are pre-defined roles that different individuals fill. Business relationships are often modular, but personal relationships usually are not – with the notable exception of romantic relationships.

We expect that one romantic relationship should replace another, that we can’t have more than one at a time, and that a romantic partner will complete us. This attitude is evident in the oft-used consolation after a break-up: “Don’t worry, you’ll find someone new.”

This consolation is not only shallow, it is also ineffective. Heartache is not cured by replacing a defective part, or fantasizing about doing so. Heartache is due to the loss of a bond with a particular individual. Only the most superficial connections, like the ones some people have with their pets, or relationships centered around the exchange of commodities, can be replaced. Each true human connection is unique and irreplaceable.

  1. rodney permalink

    Great blog. You make VERY keen observations.

    Certain people DO treat sexual partners as interchangable because to to them they ARE interchangable. Some people have little more to offer than a warm body, and so are interchangable. Others are in “sexual” relationahips little for the sex and more for the goods and services that the other person provides in exchange- this certainly makes the other person “modular”, i.e., any person who provided the desired goods/services would do.

  2. Gives me something fresh to think about. I have pondered this, but have yet to see anyone make a comment on it outright.

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