Is it possible that the word relationship is a metaphor to an actual ship?
Of course it is.
In the ocean that is life we sail upon infinite relation ships.
Some ships are well equipped, some are too crappy, others might look awesome on the outside but stink once in them, others require special equipment in order to be allowed on board, etc..
Imagine your every day encounters that might end you up in a ship with someone sailing from any of the following docks: friendship, business, casual, likeness, love, drunkenness, etc...
Each ship taken from any dock you might start with is a new adventure, a hope for a new horizon to be discovered.
Sadly, very few get far beyond the dock they sail from
and fail eternally to view that special horizon linked to them.
I guess life's beauty is this infinite choice of ships that we choose to take and the things we learn from each one's experience:
1. The long swim back to the dock after the ships wreckage.
2. The "near-death experience" after you get trapped in a sinking ship that took off from the love-dock, swim back the very long distance back to the dock, where you spend several months/years to rehabilitate and make your "lungs" work properly again.
3. The collision of two ships that you tried to be the captain of at the same time.
4. The high-speed boat experience; that rarely gets you anywhere due to fuel-shortage.
5. The pirate-ship adventure.
And so on...
One thing is essential in all this:
one learns to swim the hard way once he/she is in that ocean,
because very few are the ones who sink in it,
since it's basically a "Red Ocean".