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15 quotes to help you understand relationships

Relationships are often complicated; there's no question about it! Family, partners, and friends are those closest to us, yet they are also the ones we're the most likely to end up in arguments with. And sometimes relationships fall apart—without us even knowing why. Let's have a look at some quotes to help us improve and understand relationships better.

Maria Montgomery
· 8 min read

Relationships are often complicated; there's no question about it! Family, partners, and friends are those closest to us, yet they are also the ones we're the most likely to end up in arguments with. And sometimes relationships fall apart—without us even knowing why. Let's have a look at some quotes to help us improve and understand relationships better.

1. "When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are." – Donald Miller

With any friend, with any family member—with anyone at all close to us—there will be trouble ahead. This is why people get upset when they implicitly trust someone.

We all make mistakes. We're all misguided. We all hit points in our life when we are exhausted, stressed, sleep-deprived, mourning...there are times when our faculties are clouded. Even at the best of times, we might get misled by our ego. What youngster has not tried to prove themselves at some point or other and made a terrible judgement in the act of trying to do so? And what older person has not had a moment of self-doubt and therefore entertained, or committed, some act that made their ego feel good for a while, but possibly hurt those around them?

Have faith in people who have proven themselves to be good over time, but know that even they will make a mess of it from time to time. The difference is, they are willing to clean up their mess.

2. "What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family." – Mother Teresa

No relationship is easy. And rather than saving the world in a far-away land, look at how you can salvage your own relationships first.

3. "Home is where you are loved the most and act the worst." – Majorie Pay Hinckley

You put on your best clothes and your greatest smile and walk outside. Have you considered doing the same when coming home? Sure, we want to relax at home, but that does not mean we retreat into ourselves and shut out those around us. We have to put in just as much—if not more—of an effort to be polite, kind and charming to those we love the most. 

Don't take your loved ones for granted.

4. "Once the realisation is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky." – Rainer Maria Rilke

This is such a poignant quote. We are all separate from each other—we all have different ideas, thoughts and dreams. Yet, we can share our worlds with one another and choose to create realities together.

5. "In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by the number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit." – Marge Kennedy

Growing up, we might have thought all that was needed to create a happy family was some apple pie and hugs. Little did we understand the time and effort to bake those pies and hand out hugs when we want to pass out with a glass of red and a good book after a long day at work. It takes effort to do things and be nice when we are tired. However, the more we do it, the more we get in return and as a result, the more relaxed we become.

6. "A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." – Walter Winchell

Everyone runs into trouble. And at times, that trouble makes us miserable. Real friends stick around. That's not to say that they take sh*t from us though.

If a friend of yours needs support, give as much as you can without compromising your own life or happiness. Also, be honest. Tell them they are making a mess, while at the same time encouraging them. You have faith that they will get through this. That they are wonderful. That they will find their feet again. After all, that's why you're friends with them!

7. "A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be himself — to laugh with me, but never at me; to cry with me, but never because of me; to love life, to love himself, to love being loved. Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart." – Leo F. Buscaglia

Different people have different desires. If you love someone, you support them in living a life that makes them happy. And you set them free as you have faith they will do the right thing—there's no need to tie them to you in fits of jealousy. 

If you don't have faith someone loves you enough to be your friend or partner, then maybe it's time to end that relationship? As opposed to trying to hold the person tighter. Funnily though, if you let them go, you might just find that they become more devoted. When they feel you have faith in them, they might very well come to live up to it. It's when you doubt them that they eventually live up to that doubt.

8. "Relationships—of all kinds—are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto some of it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost." – Kaleel Jamison

This ties into the above.

9. "Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." – Jane Howard

When the car breaks down, who will give you a lift? When you're sick, who will bring chicken soup? When you're about to make a mistake, who will warn you? The people close to you are your safety network—and you theirs. So put the effort in to make it a strong network.

10. "Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten." – David Ogden Stiers

The above sums up how, in a great family, the mathematician is as cherished as the artist; the shy kid as appreciated as the outgoing one; the philosopher as treasured as the joker.

11. "Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city." – George Burns

If your differences are such you know you can't handle closeness, be smart about it. It's better to love someone from afar and meet up from time to time. No matter what you do to improve some relationships, not everyone will be willing to step up to your level.

12. "Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate." – Albert Schweitzer

Instead of blowing your fuse when someone does something to your disliking, approach the situation with kindness.

13. "Nobody can hurt me without my permission." – Mahatma Gandhi

We often blame others for our feelings; particularly those who are close to us. What they say and do is up to them, but how we choose to feel about it is up to us. There's no reason for you to feel pain because someone else is being a twat. Nor is there any reason for you to act on those feelings of hurt. Calm down before you do anything else. 

As the story goes: act, don't react.

14. "The greatest moments in life are not concerned with selfish achievements but rather with the things we do for the people we love and esteem." – Walt Disney

Walt Disney went down in history, but how well do you know him? How much do you cherish him? What do you enjoy about his person? Most likely, not much at all. You don't know him. You think "Mickey Mouse" or something! The people who truly cherished him were those who he cared for. 

15. "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." – Anais Nin

Appreciate the difference between you and your friends. Embrace the fact that they expand your world.

Maria Montgomery

Maria Montgomery

Maria has lived in seven different countries around the globe. While trained as an actor, director and producer, mainly she’s been paid for putting her words to pieces of paper. She also has an entrepreneurial streak and is the owner of Magique and That Woman Is A Woman Productions. Her blog, Confessions of a Dizzy Blonde, offers her life learnings, sprinkled with a large dose of humour…and sex!