Relationship Perspective.Given the current definition of a relationship’s successful end—meaning marriage—it’s true that most relationships don’t ultimately workout; but maybe we’re all looking at it wrong. Maybe they did workout. The concept of relationshipis a branch of step two—identification—which in this context can be defined as the interaction of individuals for a specific intent. The Self-made intent is spiritual fulfillment, as the Spirit Murdering intent is predation. As with other concepts, we have to work with the concept, collecting knowledge for its application through experience, and then move on for better relationships down the road. Relationships are the mediumthrough which we seek such fulfillment, not the goal in itself. Fulfillment is the goal, and like self-esteem, is tied to every interaction; another variablein life. Fulfillment indeed, is the socialequivalent of self-esteem. We should not seek to fix or solidify our associations with others. We evolve and others evolve in so many ways and directions over the course of a lifetime, how can we notexpect variation? How can we assume that our mutual development will flow together, and why should it? As in science and technology, we cannot and should not, commit to an outcome beyond our own vision. Like it or not, relationships will remain in flux, but with moral clarity, it will add—not to our fear, but to our exhilaration within them.

A perfect lifelong relationship with a soul mate may be ideal, yet most of us are in and out of relationships, hoping to find the right match. Out of those who do marry, how many actually found a soul mate? How many just settled for whoever was available and willing? There is so much to learn in life, I can’t fathom giving away the right to pursue knowledge, even if that possibility is presented through the person of another. Most live within a state of repression, and I don’t want to be one of them, which brings us to my ultimate relationship rule:

Warrior Note:Don’t plan for eternity until you can see that far.

Time is precious; there is no forever in the context of human life. The one you will be with longest is yourself, and your happiness is the proper focus of your thinking. Relationships are pockets of time, isolated from the world as a private celebration of life. They allend eventually, through breakup or death. The essential is to bring to them and extract, an equal amount of joy. A relationship isn’t successful because it lasts a long time, it’s successful because of the feelings it generates and sustains, and the growth and fulfillment it imparts to those involved.

In the simplest language, we establish relationships to be good to each other, and must commit to this for its duration. I’ve learned as much from bad relationships as I have from good ones, though they are never to be tolerated for long. As long as I wasn’t killed, there was something positive to carry forward—new facets or new armor. There are plenty of wonderful people out there who aren’t complete, ourselves included. Compatibility doesn’t have to be mathematically perfect every time; you learn as you go, trying not to repeat a lesson already lived. Even if you’re ready to settle down but your mate isn’t, there’s no need to push it, and certainly no reason to end it. For example, imagine as thanks for some activity in which you were involved, a business offers you one of their Lamborghinis for a day. Would you decline because you couldn’t keep it for thirty years, or would you experience its magnificence to the fullest, and then cherish the memory? Cedar Pointe is great, but you can’t take it home with you. Just think if the wonderful opportunities you’ve had to love and to beloved, were taken away. I have cherished and will cherish, every encounter. They have shown me how wonderful people can be.