Simon Fowler's Blog

30 Days Index

For 30 days I’m blogging about relational life. Each day I will reflect on an experience, a news item, a conversation, a tweet or whatever, and provide an interpretation based on a model of relational proximity. For the what and why of Relational Proximity, and for why 30 days, see below the index. I welcome you to do the same. Add your project to and blog your observations using the Relational Proximity model.

rLiving Index
Day 1 – Tweeting to Speaking (Directness)
Day 2 – Love my neighbor (Multiplexity)
Day 3 – Knowing the poor (Directness)
Day 4 – Corporate Trust (Power)
Day 5 – Customer Service (Continuity)
Day 6 – facebook Nation (Purpose)
Day 7 – Connectivism & Education (the Relational Imperative)
Day 8 – UK/US ‘Special Relationship’ (Continuity/Multiplexity)
Day 9 – Time (Directness)
Day 10 – Family (Relational Proximity)
Day 11 – Neuroscience 1 (Directness)
Day 12 – Oily Subcontractors (Purpose/Continuity)
Day 13 – My CEO and his CEO (Power)
Day 14 – Meaning (Purpose/Commonality)
Day 15 – World Peace (Purpose/Commonality)
Interlude – Reflecting^3
Day 16 – Knowing the poor 2 (Directness)
Day 17 – … and balloons and beer (Continuity)
Day 18 – Global Team Dynamics (Relational Proximity)
Day 19 – Crime and Punishment (Directness/Power)
Day 20 – Shopping, LinkedIn and Marriage (Purpose)
Day 21 – Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Multiplexity and Commonality)
Day 22 – “Homeless” (Continuity)
Day 23 – Mortgage Crisis (Directness, Power)
Day 24 – A Life (Relationships)
Day 25 – Derivatives! (Directness, Power, Purpose)
Day 26 – Sales Performance (Directness, Continuity, Commonality)
Day 27 – Learning with my CEO (Power)
Day 28 – Forgiveness (Power)
Day 29 – Blogging, Tweeting, and Paranoia (Directness, Commonality)
Day 30 – Non-Memorial Day (Continuity, Commonality/Identity)

Relational Proximity
Premise: The foundation of human flourishing is relationship. Ultimately, the foundation is love, but love is predicated on relationship. We flourish to the degree we are connected or rather, proximate. “We” can be individuals, groups, institutions or countries, but the factors that enable good relationships are the same. The model of Relational Proximity below is not mine, and at the end of the 30 days I’ll explain a little more of its origin and history. Or you can google it!

There are at least five factors that strongly determine Relational Proximity*:
1. Directness – the degree to which the relationship is unmediated and truthful
2. Continuity – the degree to which it has a history, the parties meet regularly, and it has an expected future
3. Multiplexity – the degree to which the parties know each other through different contexts
4. Parity – the degree to which there is a symmetry in power
5. Commonality/Purpose – the degree to which they share a sense of common purpose or identity

It’s important to recognize that you can have all of these and be devoid of love or commitment. But try love and commitment without them. The model seems to have enormous unsentimental explanatory power for the health or ill-health of a relationship.

*The Relational Proximity FrameworkTM  comes from Relational Research ( It was originally laid out in the book The R Factor (by Michael Schluter and David Lee) after years of theory and practice by the  Relationships Foundation. UPDATE: Along with several others in the US I’ve started a non-profit,, to “Put Relationships at the Heart of American Life!”. If you wish to know more, please get in touch!

Why 30 days?
David Sivers’ idea of First Followers led to Andrew Dubber creating 30 ideas in 30 days, which led to Andrew Wicklander executing one of those ideas in 30 days – a Thirty Day Calendar – which led to me.

Here’s the same sentence in graphic form:

And here is the original video:


2 Responses to “30 Days Index”

  1. […] explores what Relational Thinking means in our day-to-day lives. The articles appeared earlier on his personal blog and are republished with his permission. The first in this series was published on 9 […]

  2. […] explores what Relational Thinking means in our day-to-day lives. The articles appeared earlier on his personal blog and are republished with his permission. The first in this series was published on 9 […]

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