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Can I Get That In Writing

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“To put it another way, every love relationship is based on unwritten conventions rashly agreed upon by the lovers during the first weeks of their love. On the one hand, they are living a sort of dream; on the other, without realizing it, they are drawing up the fine print of a contract, not unlike the most hard-nosed of lawyers. O lovers! Be weary during those perilous first days! If you serve the other party breakfast in bed, you will be obliged to continue the same into perpetuity or face charges of animosity and treason!”
– The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Milan Kundera

This quote ladies and gentlemen, sums up what goes wrong in, I dare say, all relationships. This notion of a contract or the lack there of.

I liken the first days of a budding relationship to the first 48 hours of a missing person – can be a life or death situation. Depending on who you are and who your dealing with, the longevity can be foreseen from the jump.

Some people choose to treat a relationship like an elephant in the room. They take a “live and let live” aka “roll with the punches” mentality and only choose to address the relationship itself when one of the parties has an issue. These type of relationships have no contract or verbal agreements. They are most likely based of sex and “time together” and are just preludes or post-game shows to blowing out backs. Problems arise when one of the parties gets comfortable and grows more attached as the other remains stays stagnant or grows indifferent to the love making.

Others fall into the relationship by accident. They have known each other for a while but have never been romantically involved. Then one night, they both have two much to drink at a birthday party and decide to share a cab because they live in the same direction. He’s a gentleman and helps here into her building. Next thing you know its 10am the next day and she’s waking up feeling guilty thinking “what have I done” and he’s hungover sprawled out across the bed, thinking that the drunk dick he was throwing wasn’t representative of his abilities and trying to think of a way to call for a mulligan. They may not talk immediately but they will eventually. It could have easily been a one night stand except for the fact that their mutual friends, co-workers, she’s his brothers baby-mama little sister, etc., which makes dropping from the face of the earth a little more difficult. She’ll talk about what happened and will rightly assume that wherever they were before, they are passed that. He will agree knowing he can restore his legacy and they will begin seeing each other regularly. While no title will be put on it immediately, all parties involved will have a mutual feeling of moving towards “something”, yet that “something” remains to be defined at a date TBD. These individuals do not have a contract but they have a verbal agreement which can stand up in a court of law.

Then you have the people who hammer out a contract during intense negotiations. They probably began things in the more “traditional” sense of the word relationship. Went on dates, talked about goals and aspirations, what they want out of life and what they want in a mate. He won’t get in the game at first and he won’t necessarily want to (or should I say, he will respect her wishes). They spent many nights on the phone expressing what they wanted from each other in order for this thing to work. These people generally like each other and see a future together. They’ll agree to stop seeing other people, name the little Italian place as “their restaurant”, pick a song and declare November 16th as their anniversary. These people have a contract. They are bound by it to do right by their significant other and should not be surprised if they get called out at the smallest suspicion of wrong doing.

So SBM fam, where do you fall into this? What type of arrangement do you most often find yourself choosing/falling for/getting suckered into?

Comment(15)

  1. Damn…this painted one hell of a picture. Tight work. I'd rather forget my relationships thus far so I'll bow gracefully out of any further commentary…something about this has hit a raw spot.

  2. This is a great post. I've really never had a true on relationship…. but I'd like to have the third one. I'm getting older, so we'll most likely be working towards settling down. I want it to be a situation where we've built a good foundation.

  3. I pretty much treated all of my relationships like the first situation…a big ol' elephant sitting in the corner of every room in the house. Doing all the "relationship" things but never discussing said relationship until an issue arose (read: some other woman trying to move in on my territory). I don't think this is necessarily a healthy way to go about a relationship, the 3rd way seems like it would be a lot less stress.

    I will say this though, my current relationship started with an elephant and turned into a ring.

  4. Great post! I usually fall head first (pun intended) into relationships. The women secretly plan how to "get me" while hammering out their own contract which will be presented (or not) at some later unspecified moment in time.

  5. I tend to fall into the 3rd category. It must come from spending my youth and now my career around lawyers. I'm not for unrealistic expectations on him or me, and I like having the right to make demands.

  6. I was in the last category up until a few years ago when I became fearful of commitment. I started falling in the middle of situations 1 & 2 but I had no expectations and didn't want to answer to anybody. With my dude now, we are between situations 2 & 3. We were cool before, started dating very seriously, talk about the future all the time, want to be together, but at this point neither one of us can dedicate the time we both deserve. So we're still chilling a few times a week talk everyday, but no relationship. And for someone reason we've agreed not to date anyone else unless brought up to each other to discuss first. Yea… but it works and I'm content for now… we have a debriefing every other month or so, lol.

  7. My usual relationship is # 3 although in the past few years, I've been doing the accident thing and it's bad because now I feel like we can never go back and recapture what was lost. So I've stopped all contact and dude doesn't get the picture.

  8. Um, That second scenario was MAD detailed…Almost like it really happened.

    Anywhoo, I've been in number one and number three most often. They all have thier flaws though. I want number four. A bit like number three except there's no bullshit involved. Why the hell is that so difficult to find? (rhetorical question)

  9. I find myself floating somewhere inbetween the spoken and unspoken. It's like we communicate what we what and take it from there, but I am finding is that often the verbal communication comes in second to the nonverbal–you say you just wanna chill out every now and then, maybe fwb–then you trip because you see me with someone else. At this point in my life, my contract of riding fun, fast, rides is coming to an end!

  10. Im most def the last. I think relationships ALL RELATIONSHIPS are nothing but social contracts, save for some family and one or two other relatives there are ALWAYS deal breakers and contengencies for breaches.

  11. Scenario #1 is normally the category I fall into, and not because of the guy but because of me. As soon as we call "it" something, I get light headed an can't breath like someone has a pillow over my face.

    Not until now, do I feel wierd about not being in a relationship and that's because my married friends make me feel like I MUST have someone. Oh well, in the meantime, I like me 🙂 He'll show up when he gets here!

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