Relationship Advice

The Three Kinds of Relationships

"I saw worlds going on between those two that I had never experienced."

line drawing of a horse by Lanie Frick

We might say there are three different kinds of relationships: empty relationships, amiable relationships and right halves. We would like to invite you to compare your relationships, past and present, to what we say.

Do this in the most honest and truthful way you can. Don't limit yourself to your own experience. Think about all the relationships you have seen…your parents…your friends' parents…your friends…the neighbors…your teachers…people at church…all the relationships you've observed or been a part of.

We have a friend named Lanie. Lanie owns a sign studio and does commissioned art work. Lanie sees with an artist's eye. Long ago we realized that even though we look at the same thing Lanie does, we don't see what she sees. Lanie's eye sees much more, and sees more clearly.

black and white drawing of a horse by Lanie Frick

When we look at a horse in a pasture, that's pretty much what we see--a horse in a pasture. But Lanie sees the color of the shadow under the horse's jaw, the shape of the ears, the light on the muscles or in the eyes. She sees the bending of grass from a barely felt wind. She notices the pattern of the horse's shadow on the ground. She senses an emotion on the horse's face, feels the season of the year. No detail eludes her artist's eye. Over time Lanie taught us to see what she sees, so that we see in a richer way.

That's what we want to do for you. We want to teach you to have a special kind of artist's eye, an artist's eye for relationships, an eye that allows you to look at people in relationships and know exactly what you are seeing. Is this an empty relationship, an amiable relationship, or is this a relationship of two people who truly belong together?

color drawing of a horse by Lanie Frick

We want you to see the difference between right halves and all the rest.

Richard, a friend of ours in his forties, told us about a couple he saw in a bookstore. He said, "I looked at them for about 10 minutes without their knowledge. I saw worlds going on between those two that I had never experienced. It was something I wanted desperately. Just to see the way they touched, the way she looked at him, the way he looked at her, and then the way she responded back…

"The connection between them was incredible. They were really together. When I left there, I distinctly remember feeling both angry and sad that I'd never known what that couple experienced. I wanted it immensely and wondered why I couldn't have it."

Richard told us about two other right halves he'd seen. Of the first couple, he says, "They seem to be so perfectly and evenly matched that they've lived their entire 20 year marriage joined at the hip in every respect. They are totally and completely happy and satisfied."

The other couple he mentioned was in their upper 70s. Three days after her death, he died. Their lives were so closely linked, that once she was gone, he didn't want to stay. Richard said it was hard on the family, but they understood. One couldn't live without the other…

(Adapted from Your Other Half by Wayne & Tamara Mitchell. Artwork © Lanie Frick)