Relationships as Exchange

Once I was in negotiations for a major business transaction. Compared to most relationships, I was amazed at how simple and straightforward the process was.

had something the other wanted. They had something that I wanted. We agreed on that major thing first.

Later, we started to go through all the minor details of the purchase.

Never did the guy on the other side of the table say, “I really love you. I want what is best for you.”

No, he was handling in naked self-interest. Yet, he was offering to give me something that I valued in return for something that I didn’t value as much.

I wonder does our society, our educational systems sometimes convince us that what we have to offer others isn’t ‘valuable‘?

So, he was fulfilling my needs. He was helping me out. And he was happy to do it. How is this?

All too often in our personal or intimate relationships, we accuse the other, “You don’t love me! Otherwise you would (or wouldn’t) a,b,c x,y,z.”

But what if personal relationships are just like this negotiation of business sale? What if we came saying, “Well, I am looking for somebody to cuddle me and night and kiss me three times a day and make meals at least 3 times per week.”

And what if the Other could say, “Well, I want my laundry done and I want to go to the opera every month.” etc

And now what if we started with those two long lists of expectations that we wanted our Prospective Significant Other to fulfill and worked on from there–just like in business?

As templates we would probably use the lists of things we watched with our parents, supplemented with those things that we have found out we want and need.

And what if we then wrote up a contract and signed it? Would that create happier relationships?

About Ryan Orrock

Ryan works with power and sexuality to help people get what they want.

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