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Why Do We Say That Blood Is Thicker Than Water?

I know we’ve all heard it a hundred times in our lives and it’s usually meant to imply that our blood bonds are stronger than anything. That our loyalty to them is deeper and forever and those relationships are worth saving at all costs.

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While I believe relationships take effort, I don’t believe they should take work, at least not on a long term, ongoing basis. I do believe certain relationships warrant more effort or possibly work based on their origin, but I understand more than ever, the value of surrounding yourself and filing your life with *your people*.

And I don’t believe *your people* has to only or always mean those who share your blood. And here’s why:

I was adopted and so was my brother. As a result, I am blood related to exactly 2 people.


Only two that, based on this statement, I should feel a sense of loyalty and lifelong obligation to. And I do, believe me I do, but it’s only because I chose and was able to have biological children (and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that we are biologically related, just to be clear). 



{Photo Credit: Eternal Reflections Photography}

You might understand why such a statement would rub me the wrong way. My cousin has 2 biological children and 2 adopted children (who are also biological siblings), but at the end of the day she has 4 children. Period. And they love and protect each other with the same fierceness, regardless of their *blood status* within the family. Her and I have spoken often of this, particularly when certain issues have come up in our own lives and extended families. Or in the lives of our friends. We have to stop this….

Blood is NOT thicker than water.

Love your families and do what you can to keep those relationships strong and positive – because in many ways, those SHOULD be your people. Or a good foundation of people, at the very least. But let’s not do it because they share blood and instead because we value their existence and role in our lives.

How about love is love. Loyalty is loyalty. The people who matter to you are the people who matter to you. Period.

Because I’ve got friends who are like sisters and cousins who are like strangers, children of friends who are no different than my nieces and nephews (who I love like my own) and adults who are like extensions of parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles – to me and my children. There is no definitive blood line I need to follow and maybe it’s because I just simply don’t have one I could follow.

But please just think next time you consider using such a phrase. I know you likely mean well and I understand the point you might be trying to illustrate. But how about next time when you want a relationship to work out, you simply say:

You matter to me.




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