relationship running hot and cold Iconspeaker_3
[de knip-per-licht-re-la-tie, de knip-per-licht-re-la-ties]

"Knipperlichtrelatie" is composed of "knipperlicht" and "relatie": "indicator/blinker" and "relationship" respectively. "Knipperlichtrelatie" is used to refer to a relationship that runs hot and cold.

Some amateur psychology: a "knipperlichtrelatie" may be the consequence of one or both partners repeatedly drawing the conclusion that the other is not Mr. or Mrs. Right, followed – after some time – by the conclusion that one cannot live without the other. This is often related to "bindingsangst": fear of commitment (lit.: connection fear), the feeling that your freedom ceases to exist  as soon as you engage in a relationship…

– "Ik ben een beetje bezorgd…Frank heeft al jaren een knipperlichtrelatie…" 
("I’m a bit worried…Frank has a relationship that’s running hot and cold for years now…")

– "Peter is een kletsmajoor! Ik heb helemaal geen knipperlichtrelatie met Cindy!" 
("Peter is a blabbermouth! My relationship with Cindy is not running hot and cold all the time!")

– "Doris heeft steeds dezelfde scharrel…" – "Dat is gewoon een knipperlichtrelatie…" 
("Doris always picks up the same guy…" – "That’s just a relationship running hot and cold…")

– "De ware Jacob": a girl’s/woman’s true love, Mr. Right (lit.: the true Jacob).
– "De prins op het witte paard": Mr. Right (lit.: the prince on the white horse).

– "Zij heeft de ware Jacob nog niet gevonden." – "Geen zorgen, haar prins op het witte paard zal op een dag verschijnen…"
("She hasn’t found her true love yet." – "No worries, Mr. Right will appear one day…")

– "Op ieder potje past een dekseltje": <literally> on every jar/pot fits a lid, meant as comforting to those who still have not found their significant other..

Related words:
– Bindingsangst: fear of commitment [noun] [de bindingsangst, de bindingsangsten].
– Knipperlicht: blinker, indicator [noun] [het knipperlicht, de knipperlichten].

– "Allebei de knipperlichten aan de voorkant van de auto zijn kapot. Die moet je z.s.m. laten repareren!"
("Both indicators on the front of the car are broken. You need to get those fixed a.s.a.p.!" Note: z.s.m. stands for "zo spoedig mogelijk": (lit.:) as speedy as possible)

– Relatie: relationship, relation [noun] [de relatie, de relaties].

6 thoughts on “Knipperlichtrelatie

  1. Sorry Marc, it seems I may be turning into a pedant, but
    “the feeling that your freedom seizes to exist as soon as you engage in a relationship…”
    should perhaps be “…ceases to exist…”?

  2. @Chris,
    no worries, being pedantic is much appreciated 🙂
    I’ve already changed ‘seizes’ into ‘ceases’ … thnx, M

  3. ‘Het stierenvechten heeft de afgelopen decennia sterk aan belang ingeboet in Catalonie’
    Kunt u het woord inboeten behandelen.

  4. It’s not so common in English to say that a relationship “runs hot and cold.” What we do say is that a relationship is “on-again, off-again” – which is the more idiomatic way of expressing the idea in English.

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