5 Ways Relationships Are Like Food

Are you at a loss to understand your most intimate relationships? If so, you are not alone. The counselors at Rye, NY’s Relationships & More say that most people do not truly understand what makes relationships tick. It’s not because we are dumb. It is because relationships are rooted in the deepest aspects of human psychology.


There is no simple way to explain the inner works of a typical human relationship. However, I have come to the conclusion that relationships are a lot like food. You may or may not agree but looking at relationships this way helps me understand them a little better.


1.         There Are a Lot of Ingredients


There is an enormous difference between making a sandwich and preparing a five-star recipe. When you are talking complex recipes, you’re talking a lot of ingredients that have to be mixed in just the right proportions. Likewise, some recipes call for mixing the ingredients in a specific way. You just cannot throw everything in a bowl and stir.


Relationships are a lot like recipes. There are a lot of ingredients that go into them. Unfortunately, every relationship equals a different recipe. You use different ingredients in different proportions depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Mastering your relationships can be as difficult as learning to be a master chef.


2.         They Can Be Messy


Like certain kinds of foods, relationships can be messy. I like to think of this in terms of baby back ribs. Give me a plate of baby backs and the right barbecue sauce and I’m in heaven. By the time I’m done eating, both my plate and my hands will be a mess.


Some of my relationships are like that. Working through them is messy at times. But when all is said and done, the mess is well worth the reward. I don’t mind because I can always clean up afterwards.


3.         They Can Be Hot or Cold


Relationships are also like food in the sense that they can be hot or cold. There are times a relationship should be on the cold side, just like a nice bowl of gazpacho. There are other times when a relationship should be hot. The trick is knowing when to be hot and when to be cold. You also don’t want lukewarm for any length of time.


4.         When Good, They Are Satisfying


A good meal is a satisfying meal. It leaves you to sit back, relax, and savor the experience you just had. Relationships are the same way. A good relationship is a satisfying one overall. It may have its ups and downs, but for the most part, you’re satisfied and content. That is a good place to be.


5.         When Bad, They Can Make You Puke


My culinary adventures over the years have led me to some foods that were so bad they literally made me puke. It doesn’t happen often, but every now and again I eat something that really turns my stomach. It is not a pretty picture by any means. Likewise, it’s not pretty when a bad relationship induces the same feelings.


Relationships can go bad for any number of reasons. And like bad food, you can’t always recover. There are times when a relationship is so bad that you’re just better off setting it aside and moving on.


I confess that I am no relationship expert. I certainly cannot do what the counselors at Relationships & More can do. But for me, seeing relationships through the lens of food helps. I understand a little better how they work as a result of that simple illustration.