What is the precise meaning of "non-reciprocal?" Two definitions of "reciprocal" taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary are:
- shared, felt, or shown by both sides
- serving to reciprocate : consisting of or functioning as a return in kind
The definition provided in the dictionary of non-reciprocal is essentially just 'not reciprocal.' This raises some questions relating to existential qualifiers and colloquial usage. Consider the following statements:
- Alice likes Bob while Bob likes Alice
- Alice likes Bob while Bob dislikes Alice
- Alice likes Bob while Bob is ambivalent towards Alice
Clearly, statement 1 describes a reciprocal relationship between Alice and Bob. If we are given the information that statement 1 is not true, we cannot infer whether statements 2 or 3 are true. In a strict logical sense, if the relationship between Alice and Bob is non-reciprocal, it is not possible to distinguish whether statements 2 or 3 are true, but I have heard people use non-reciprocal to refer sometimes to statement 2 or sometimes to statement 3.
Are there any clear guidelines or more specific definitions for usage of the word 'non-reciprocal'?