I need help saying something profound.
February 20, 2014 7:36 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a quote that says, essentially, in a relationship the road is a two way street. That it requires effort from both people.

Preferably not a romantic quote. Thanks!
posted by Unred to Human Relations (15 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
As little as I care for the fellow, here's one from Anthony Robbins:
Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something. They're trying to find someone who's going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.
On a more personal level, my mantra with my partner's family is "Don't mistake love for respect".
posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 8:02 PM on February 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Love is a game that two can play and both win. ~ Eva Gabor

Love is the word used to label the sexual excitement of the young, the habituation of the middle-aged, and the mutual dependence of the old. ~ John Ciardi

In a great romance, each person basically plays a part that the other really likes ~ Elizabeth Ashley

Men always want to be a woman's first love. Women have a more subtle instinct: What they like is to be a man's last romance. ~ Oscar Wilde

Being unhappy alone isn't all that much fun, but what's even tougher is playing one's part without forgetting one's lines, coping with other people's compassion, their comments, being there with the right line when they give the cue. ~ François Maspero, Cat's Grin

Strange to say what delight we married people have to see poor fools decoyed into our condition. ~ Samuel Pepys

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more. ~ Erica Jong
posted by blob at 8:04 PM on February 20, 2014 [6 favorites]

It takes two to tango.
posted by kinetic at 8:12 PM on February 20, 2014

"I offer myself faintly and bluntly to those whose I effectually am, and tender myself least to him whom to I am the most devoted." - Michel de Montaigne.

"I wish that friendship should have feet, as well as eyes and eloquence. It must plant itself on the ground, before it walks over the moon. I wish it to be a little of a citizen, before it is quite a cherub. We chide the citizen because he makes love a commodity. It is an exchange of gifts: of useful loans; it is good neighbourhood; it watches with the sick; it holds the pall at the funeral; and quite loses sight of the delicacies and nobility of relation...the end of friendship is a commerce the most strict and homely that can be joined; more strict than any of which we have experience. It is for aid and comfort through all the relations and passages of life and death. It is fit for serene days, and graceful gifts, and country rambles, but also for rough roads and hard fare, shipwreck, poverty, and persecution. It keeps company with the sallies of the wit and the trances of religion. We are to dignify each other the daily needs and offices of man's life, and embellish it by courage, wisdom and unity. It should never fall into something usual and settled, but should be alert and inventive, and add rhyme and reason to what was drudgery." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friendship
posted by the thing about it at 8:17 PM on February 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

from chairman mao: women hold up half the sky! also true in relationships.
posted by bruce at 9:29 PM on February 20, 2014

In a relationship the road is a two way street. It requires effort from both people.

Why not just say that? It sums up what you wish to express quite nicely.
posted by Pudhoho at 10:06 PM on February 20, 2014

"You're a rotten driver," I protested. "Either you ought to be more careful, or you oughtn't to drive at all."
"I am careful."
"No, you're not."
"Well, other people are," she said lightly.
"What's that got to do with it?"
"They'll keep out of my way," she insisted. "It takes two to make an accident."
posted by one_bean at 10:15 PM on February 20, 2014

"Most people get married believing a myth that marriage is beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for; Companionship, intimacy, friendship etc … The truth is, that marriage at the start is an empty box, you must put something in before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage, love is in people, and people put love in marriage. There is no romance in marriage, you have to infuse it into your marriage. A couple must learn the art, and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty."
posted by weston at 12:23 AM on February 21, 2014 [12 favorites]

Probably not quite what you were looking for, but that one exchange from Lost in Translation always got me.

"What about marriage? Does that get any easier?"

(Long pause.)

"That's hard."

posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:57 AM on February 21, 2014

“The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.” - Rilke
posted by garuda at 5:04 AM on February 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

"It's not always rainbows and butterflies but compromise that moves us along." -She Will Be Loved by Maroon Five. Best I got ;)
posted by Saebrial at 6:50 AM on February 21, 2014

Not uttered (to my knowledge) by anyone famous, but I was always struck by this line:

"Marriage is a sixty-forty proposition, with both partners giving sixty."
posted by DrGail at 9:18 AM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is funny. I saw this thread earlier today on my mobile and waited until I was at my desktop to respond, and here I am, practically paraphrasing DrGail while also contradicting her.

No one famous said this.

In fact, I said it, after many years of distillation:

Relationships are not 50/50. They are 100/100. In other words, each person in the relationship gives everything he or she has to the relationship. We don't say, "Well, you aren't very good at gardening so I'm going to give the garden only half my attention, too." Or "Well, you're a terrible cook and I'm a great cook but I'm only going to cook to your level of ability until you come up to mine." No, we figure out our strengths and our weaknesses and we hope that our partner can help pick up the slack where we fail.

Many years ago I was friendly with a couple who, whenever they disagreed or argued, the husband would always be the one to step off the argument and apologize. One time, he said to his wife, "Why am *I* the one who always steps off the argument?" She said, "Because you can."
posted by janey47 at 9:49 AM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Tracers work both ways: if the enemy is within range, so are you."
posted by mfoight at 11:03 AM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

When people are honored and respected, they can open their mouths and surprise others and themselves with the profundities that spill forth. Profundity is a symptom of respect, not a cause.
posted by otherchaz at 12:02 PM on February 21, 2014

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