The reliably unpredictable esr implies in a post about his old cat that the essence of relationships is the attachment:
Of course, the cost of having a pet who’s such a paragon is that it will be more wrenching to lose her. A Buddhist would say that you can avoid grief only by not being attached, but how do can do that when the meaning of a relationship is all about the attachment? None of the complexities and distances of a bond with another human save us here; Sugar’s willingness to love and be loved is so simple, so unstinting, that it would feel evil to try to put protective emotional distance between ourselves and her, even though we know her death is otherwise likely to leave a painful hole in our lives.
(Emphasis mine). If you don’t attach yourself, then you have no relationship. It pains me a little to hear something like this, and i’ve heard versions of it often, because i try hard not to attach. I do think that attachments create sorrow. I do live by the idea that expectations create all sorrow, and i do put a lot of energy into avoiding both myself from having expectations and other people from expecting anything of me.
And even then i still believe i have relationships, though i am painfully aware many people don’t understand my idea of a relationship and many more do actually think it is coward or cruel of me to have such an attitude.