No one is an island. Not even a free-spirited, independent motorcycle rider. The relationship between motorcycle and rider teaches us how to create healthy, interdependent relationships.
Without a rider, the bike just sits there. And without a bike, the rider walks. Or finds another form of transportation, which can’t help but pale in comparison to the joy and exhilaration of a motorcycle ride.
9 Characteristics of Interdependent Relationships
- Boundaries. Like a motorcycle and rider, each partner is a distinct being with clear, healthy boundaries. Each has their own source of power, origin and ability to function independently.
- Uniqueness. Like a motorcycle and ride, each partner has unique characteristics and needs. A motorcycle is a very different entity than its rider. It looks different and operates in a completely different manner. Riding a motorcycle any distance teaches you that the needs of both partners must be met if the relationship is going to go anywhere.
- Common Ground. Unique in your own right, you are drawn together by a common purpose, cause or passion. You still have interests outside the relationship, but unite for a specific reason.
- Synergy. Coming together to create a third unique being, i.e. the partnership, your energy, strength and effectiveness is far different than the sum of the individuals. This radiates beyond the time you’re together, leaving a legacy trail. Whether the relationship is personal or professional, synergy is an unmistakable byproduct.
- Responsiveness. One partner’s desires cannot take precedence at the expense of the other. Quite often they’re not on the same schedule, but they both need tending to just the same. If your bike needs refuelling, you got to stop and gas up. If you need a break, even though your bike’s gas tank may be full, you’ve got to stop and tend to your needs.
- Communication. It takes effort from both parties to communicate in a meaningful way–one which gets the point across, enhances effectiveness and averts misunderstanding. It requires active listening, focus in the moment, attention to nonverbal signals and remaining open to the needs and desires of the other.
- Awareness. As you get to know each other, you become more cognizant of the other’s strengths and shadows. If you’re open and receptive, by understanding each other, you also learn about yourself. This enables you to grow both as an individual and as partners.
- Tolerance. Riding a motorcycle is not always comfortable. Nor are relationships. There are times when you need to be willing to tolerate discomfort to get to your destination, as long as safety isn’t compromised. Patience, compassion and keeping your eye on the goal will get you there.
- Evolution. Being unique beings, you have your own life path, as well as the one you share. Recognize that change in one affects the dynamics of the relationship and the road can get rough while things are resolved. As you gain awareness, self-confidence and trust in your partner, you naturally evolve to more challenging roads and situations. Your experiences together become richer and more gratifying.
An interdependent relationship is far more fulfilling than one where partners are independent, dependent or co-dependent. Looking for these characteristics and applying them to your own close relationships enriches your life, your Road and those you share it with.