We all have relationships of some kind. Are they any different? Not at all. You might say that a plutonic relationship is different from a sexual one, and I can agree to that on a small-scale. No matter the relationship whether it is business, love, sex, friendship, or stranger gatherings with a mutual friend, all relationships need a contract.
In every relationship across the board, you go through the stages of interest, curiosity, opening conversation, finding common interest, finding comfort grounds, checking for ego, dominance, and such, compatibility, and then going forward with the relationship. None of these happen in any particular order. Some start off with the relationship and the rest discovered as it goes. People will offer their opinion and tell you how it should be done, and yet, where are they? How are their relationships, especially behind closed doors? I’m not saying to not listen to them. However, when you know them, you know how sound their advice is.
Let’s use me. You see a blog; you read the first few words or paragraph and begin making judgments. Most will not make it past the opening part of what I have to say, and half will get 1/4 of the way through and quit, or find the first thing they get upset by and just click away. The thing is: we don’t have a relationship contract. That is hard to create online and especially through a blog or vlog. People are deeper than an onion has layers. But then you might be wondering, “What is the damn contract, man?”
A relationship contract is when all parties involved in the endeavor talk about how they want things to go from that point forward. Sounds simple? It’s not. It’s hard as hell most times, and still, it’s needed. Across the board, the question is this: How bad do you want what you want? That very question dictates prices by 3rd party companies, medical help, and anything dealing with a company entity or higher; corporation.
Let’s use a relationship for mating. I’ll do this from a guy’s point-of-view, and in jot form. Guy sees a person. Guy likes what he sees. Guy lusts for what he sees. He wants what he sees. He makes his approach in any one of many ways. Guy engages in conversation with person. (Let’s be positive at this point.) Person is interested in guy. They talk about the common atmosphere and check interest of why it attracted them. They use it to find common ground. They like what each other has to say. They exchange shallow information and then enter the ego. (Let’s remove ego.) No one worries who is going to call/text first. Our guy makes first contact. It’s a text about having fun and what day they can meet again. They meet and it’s good. After time, they realize they might be made for each other. Then comes the part that is rarely the topic: The Relationship Contract.
When people do not go over the relationship contract, shit goes south in a swift way and bitterness will follow. For our guy and his interest, they go through a few weeks of bliss doing things they have in common while both have their own level of worry in terms of introducing something new about them. Now I get it that there’s no way to go through your whole life story and interests on the first date. I get it. I’m not advocating you do it. However, sitting down often and talking about interests and most important, what you do not like and will not tolerate.
Our guy does this and his interest says, “We can have acquaintances, but no friends. I don’t trust friends. I’ve had a hard time with friends. They fucked my love interests and laughed at me. They blame me for crimes they commit and the cops are all over me. I give money freely for their parties, drinks and crap, but then, when I needed 20 bucks to get a tank a gas for the week to get to work, not one was there for me. They don’t owe me, but they didn’t have it for me, but they had it for their pointless vices.” Our guy hears this and has a problem. He is highly sociable and meets people often. They converse about it and his interest is not going to back down. No friends. That’s that. End of story. PERIOD. Our guy has to choose what is more important. Having this person or having all the friends he can. His interest is so attractive that for now, it’s worth testing the waters to see how it goes. Then his interest says, “No cheating. I catch you hugging on someone and it’s not a hug for greeting, I’ll break you down into a little boy.” Our guy is now worried. No one has said anything like this and most of his friends said these are warning signs of things not good to come. What should our guy do? Most would up and leave. Some would find this isolation a bit arousing. Some would ask, “Are you asking of me, what you will do or already do?” There are many ways to tackle this part of the negotiations of the relationship contract, but we will have him persevere. Our guy agrees to no cheating, because he knows that if nothing was said, he would surely find friends to please him. Right now, he has a lot going against him but his love interest is just so worth it.
Both of them spend time here and there furthering their contract but with simple observation people are writing their contract with every event they encounter. Here’s a few you may overlook. Watching a movie and your friend or interest or friend would-be-interest says, “I can’t stand that! Why cheat? Why? Weakness! Just talk things out!” Or something you’re not paying attention at any point and you hear something like, “Damn why not offer some help? You can’t tell you don’t see he needs some help. No decency!” There are millions of subtle and blatant verbiage while spending time with someone and those things will help you learn them. You can judge how much that person feels for or against something by their tone. Words on a screen can’t do it like the real thing.
At the end of the day, if things do go south, it may not be because of a relationship contract. Oh of course people won’t say anything because they feel entitled for their interest to know not to cheat; like our guy. He ends up cheating because while he loves who he is with great passion, he cannot abandon his previous lifestyle. His cheating creates baggage for his interest, and that person just might ruin someone they find that is a great match. So in closing, just like all relationships, be honest from the beginning. If you are not capable of following their needs, rules, guidelines, or whatever, then explain that you cannot and evade hurting someone needlessly. There’s no need for you to add to the hell that person will put someone through. Until my next post, be kind, be thoughtful, be honest, and heed your relationship contracts.
Inspired by: “Have Baggage, Will Carry” by Sidra Owens.
The top of Relationship Contracts was initiated by Sidra Owens during a conversation. This was my telling of it.