In her novel Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen wrote, “It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.” Now Austen may have been writing somewhat tongue in cheek, for she attributes these sentiments to the excessively romantic Marianne Dashwood, whose extreme sensibility or emotional susceptibility gets its comeuppance by the novel’s end. Nonetheless, the point that young Miss Dashwood makes is valid. No amount of time spent in another person’s company can guarantee that the two of you will become friends.
What are your thoughts on the idea that neither time nor opportunity can determine intimacy? What causes two people to become friends? Compose an essay in which you express your views on this topic.
Love at first sight, although a seemingly absurd notion, holds a certain degree of truth. Intimacy between two people is not defined by how long they have spent their time together, but rather on their natural compatibility through trust and understanding. Intimacy between two people essentially begins with holistic understanding of each other and unconditional trust, regardless of the time spent together.
Having a well-developed understanding of each other leads to the beginning of a true friendship. In Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Darcy and Elizabeth's hostility towards each other ceases and becomes love when they understand each other's true nature. Elizabeth understands Darcy is not a contentious man that he is rumored to be and discovers herself becoming increasingly fond of him as she understands him better. Because Elizabeth realizes Darcy's true nature, they begin building upon their relationship that eventually becomes love. It is not the time spent together or the opportunity that united the two; they would have spent their life time together in hostility if they did not understand each other and clear their prejudice. When people understand each other better, they discover similar traits that bring the two together. As well as similarities, they discover differences that they remedy through each other. A friendship cannot start until both parties have through comprehension of each other.
Understanding ultimately leads to unconditional trust, a key factor in developing an intimate relationship between two people. In Ramarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul and Katczinsky are soldiers in World War I. They share a relationship more intimate than lovers, because the comradeship during the war allows them to trust each other completely and unconditionally. They have only spent a minute fraction of their life together and everything about them, their age difference, social class, and location, show that their relationship would not have begun had it not been for the trust they had built during the war. The trust in each other that is understood without having said anything, outweighs all the odds that point against their friendship. The unconditional trust in one another allows people to be more open with each other and therefore build a healthy, secure relationship.
Relationships are incomprehensibly complicated; they are not a math function where one action yields another. It cannot be defined by time or the opportunity, but rather on uncertain variables such as trust and understanding. With trust and understanding, relationships have perpetual potential, and that is the true beauty of human relationships.
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