The first and most important statement, I believe, is that interpersonal relationships are "opt in". Relationships require consent. You cannot force someone to be in a relationship with you. This leads us to the second important realization, which is that interpersonal relationships are established through mutual agreement. Another important realization is that relationships are not necessarily permanent. This simply means that consent is not only required to start a relationship, but consent is also required for the continuity of the relationship. So if at a later point of time one does not want to be in a relationship, the relationship would be forfeited.
After realizing that no person can be coerced into a relationship, we come to understand the contract-based nature of relationships. For two people to be in a relationships, they have to both agree to be in a relationship. If any of the parties of a relationship don't agree to have a relationship, then that relationship is forfeited. Mutual agreement is the answer to the "how". How can two people be in a relationship, the answer is: By mutual agreement.
Now that we know "how" a relationship can be established, the question that begs itself is the "why". Since relationships are optional, why would someone choose to be part of a relationship. The answer to this question can be complex, but one word suffices: Benefit! Any relationship needs a motive, a motive can be a simple "I want someone to chat with...", or maybe just sex. Sometimes this motive can be a more complex emotional need like someone who wants love, or another who needs someone to rock their world! At other times, the motive is less direct, like wanting to establish a family... This leads us to the third conclusion which is: Whatever the motive is, Relationships need a motive.
Going back to the previous statement, relationships need mutual agreement, for this reason if one party has a motive to establish a relationship, but the other does not, then no relationship would happen. This leads us to the fourth conclusion: Relationships need mutual interest. So if we ask "why" relationships happen, the answer would be: Mutual interest!
This last conclusion is a really important conclusion. Without mutual interest there is no basis to establish a relationship. This means two things: First, unbalanced relationships are doomed to end. That's to say, a relationship where one partner gives too much, while the other contributes nothing to that relationship, that relationship would be on the self-destruction sequence. No-one is ready to take another's crap forever for free. It's that simple. Second, we can conclude that relationships need nourishment. It's cause-and-effect: Relationships survive upon mutual interest. Once one of the partners loses interest, that relationship will cease to exist!
An important factor in relationships, I believe, is communication. Even at the most basic step of initializing a relationship, communication plays an important part. How else than communication can two people reach mutual agreement?! But since relationships are not necessarily permanent, mutual agreement should be reassured at several points in the time-line of an ongoing relationship. The word "Relationship" means a bond, and communication is the tool that binds.
At this point I just want to compile a list of the statements and conclusions I have discussed about relationships that would sum all up:
- Interpersonal relationships are opt-in. (ie. consent is required)
- Interpersonal relationships can be opt-out. (ie. are not necessarily permanent)
- Relationships are established through mutual agreement.
- Relationships need a motive.
- Relationships need mutual interest.
- Unbalanced and\or abandoned relationships would deteriorate.
- Communication is a key element for the continuity of a relationship.