Thursday, 16 June 2011

Relationships are like bridges...

Hey Bloggers,

Have you ever wondered where you go wrong in building a relationship?  Do you attach yourself too quickly?  Do you not allow yourself to attach at all?  Do you prefer to deal with things by yourself and therefore feel you need no one else?

'Relationships are like bridges: overload them and they will break; don't bother to maintain them and they will rot.'

Every time someone asks me about relationships, I always use my bridge metaphor - I like metaphors see.  Although many people sigh and pull funny faces when I start to use my metaphors - especially this one - I think it is easier to see the problems and strengths within a relationship.  So, what I thought I'd do here is tell you guys the bridge theory and see if it helps you to step out of the picture in your relationships and see them more black and white.  Read on if you're interested.

The phrase building bridges with people is often used to describe a relationship.  So, I decided to take that idea and expand on it a bit.  Imagine each of us is an island and we all have a select amount of workers.  We also have a select amount of resources.  Are islands are quite cool though because they can move around but, they can't move close enough to another island to allow our workers to just jump across.  If we want our islands to be linked, we have to build a bridge.

To begin with, I'll use a stable example.  The workers from my island decide to through a rope over to the workers on the other island - we'll call it B.  So the workers from B decide to accept the rope and they fasten it down to a stake they quickly knock into the ground.  Workers from island B then decide to throw another piece of rope back so that the bridge is slightly easier to get across.  Now the islands are linked - a relationship has been formed though a very weak one.  At the moment, island B does not really do much to enhance the bridge but, I want to enhance it.  So I decide to send over a gift with a worker.  Though remember the bridge is only made of rope so I can only send a small gift with one worker otherwise, the bridge will break!  I decide to send over a few pieces of wood.  It takes a while to get the pieces over though, they get there in the end - and the worker is exhausted.  Island B decides that I am useful to them - maybe I have things they want or seem like a nice island - so decides to improve the bridges structure so we have an even more stable relationship.  They use their own materials and do not ask me for anything ; I am flattered they have decided to improve the bridge.  You see what I am getting at here, the bridge will become stronger and stronger or it may get to a point where it is just maintained.  What if the bridge is not maintained though?  Perhaps it will break?  The bridge is left made out of wood for a few years and no efforts to improve it are made.  However, I decide I want to improve is so send over some metal to enhance it.  Though, I want it to be done quickly so, I use about 100 workers.  So much stress it put onto the bridge that it completely snaps.  Now there is no connection - the relationship is dead.

This idea can be applied to someone who is prone to obsession also.  They attach to people too quickly and the other person is not yet ready for it.  So one island, instead of throwing over rope to begin with, throws over steel which hits a few of the workers on the head seriously injuring them on the other island - they were not ready for this.  Therefore, the island puts up defences against them; they do not want to have this dangerous island as a friend/ ally.

I think the application of the metaphor could be to describe a relationship between anyone and anything.  Also, I think some people's islands are harder to reach than others; some people's islands have to higher expectations and want only the best resources; some people's islands are not fussy at all and accept everything however, they are unable to form strong allies.

What do you think?  Helped at all?  Let me know in the comments below your ideas and follow me here or on Twitter@


  1. Hey. I've just recently become a follower of your blog and I wanted to say it's excellent. Anyway I just read this post and it hit me hard. I realized that I've been affected by both of the references to the bridge - not maintaining it or overloading it - and I wanted to say thanks for making me realize this. I'm currently struggling to keep friends (overloading) but they are just pushing me away (not maintaining). Again, thanks. (my blog is

  2. Jack Blake AKA WatchImpact2 July 2011 at 11:11

    Hey there Brook,

    Thanks ever so much for following and I am so glad it was able to influence you and perhaps make things clearer for you! If as little as one person aids from my blog, that is an achievement for me! Glad to be of help!

    If you have any further questions, remember to email me directly at