For a relationship of any sort to work, whether it be a romantic based one, a friendship based one, a work based one, whatever, it has to be accepted that what has been formed is a transactional agreement.
That is to say, it has to be accepted that if you want something, you have to give something, namely, something that the other wants to receive. That something is the price of the relationship.
Successful relationships work by offering equivocal value, so both provide something of equal value to each other – namely what each other wants from the relationship, so love, sex, companionship et cetera.
However, imagine spending ten pounds to buy eight pounds. Any person who agreed to this would be mad. Yet frequently when it comes to relationships this is exactly what we do, the reason being we give people things in the beginning without realising that in doing so we will be expected to keep giving that thing.
In a way, we get caught up in the moment. When relationships of any kind that we want to be in are new, we don’t think about anything but building that relationship into a functional one. That’s how many of us get caught out, and why many of us end up feeling hard done by.
Because we give things at the beginning that we don’t like giving, and because of that people continue to expect us to keep giving those things – the threat if we stop, that the relationship will end.
For example, look at any relationship of any sort that you have been in, look at what you have received as a result of being party to that relationship, what you have given as a result of being party to it. Then look at what happened when one party stopped giving whatever it is they had been giving to keep the relationship functioning – or stopped wanting whatever was being given.
Relationships begin because we meet people who can provide us with what we are looking for, love, companionship, skill-sharing, sex, whatever. They end most often once people cease providing us with what we are looking for, or we cease giving what they are looking for – often both.
This is why for a relationship of any kind to be a happy one and have longevity to it, you have to actually like paying the price of being in it because you actually have to keep paying it to keep it functioning.
For example, let’s imagine a car and a pump at a petrol station, a car goes to the petrol station, makes friends with the pump and they really like each other. In the beginning, because the pump likes the car and they have such a great connection, it gives the car petrol. But the pump doesn’t like giving petrol, in its heart, it likes giving diesel.
The car hates diesel, it wants only petrol. Diesel would ruin its engine. The pump really likes the car though so, in the beginning, is happy to accept this and give it only petrol.
However, as time goes by, the pump starts to feel the imbalance of the relationship, it doesn’t like giving petrol, why can’t the car try converting to diesel. But the car is resolute. It only wants petrol and argues the pump has always given it petrol, so what is the problem.
The problem is the car is getting everything it wants, it likes the pump, and it wants petrol, but the pump is only half getting what it wants – it likes the car but doesn’t like giving petrol. But as the car only wants petrol, to keep the car happy and stop the relationship from ending, the pump has to keep giving it petrol – that was the price that was agreed at the beginning of the relationship.
However, by continuing to give the car petrol, the pump is becoming increasingly unhappy. That’s because the pump is giving more than it is receiving, or rather in effect, the pump is paying ten pounds for eight pounds, over and over again.
When this happens, the outcome is inevitable.
This is why it is so important at the beginning of any relationship to make certain of the following:
- That the person is able and willing to give you what you want
- That they like giving you what you want
- That you are able and willing to give them what they want
- That you like giving them what they want
Avoiding entering into relationships where any of these four criteria are not met, is a great way to make certain that any relationships you do enter end up happy and long-lasting ones.
That’s all from me for today, thanks for reading!