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Relationship Negotiations

In Courting, Relationships on August 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm

written by Swag

The courting phase is by far the most important part of a relationship because it involves negotiating the terms of the relationship. If you are convinced that it’s only important to set the terms after an explicit commitment, then you may be in for a surprise down the road. Think about it this way. When purchasing a vehicle, the car salesman will sit you down in his office and lay out the terms of the contract. If you aren’t happy, you negotiate. You list everything you aren’t ok with and negotiate for a better rate, more features, or a more robust warranty.

Now imagine that you are buying a car and while reading over the contract, you notice a few discrepancies. The salesman describes a few of these in detail, glosses over others, and outright lies about the rest. Something isn’t sitting right with you, but you look out the office window, lay your eyes on that sexy vehicle and melt as it glimmers in the showroom lights.

Bugatti showroom
 

You really want this car and prepare yourself to begin negotiations. So you turn back to the salesman, take a deep breath, and close your eyes………????………close your eyes!?……..You sit back with your eyes closed and begin negotiations……with yourself, saying things like:

I can renegotiate the contract in a few years, it will be ok until then.

I don’t really need air-conditioning, I can just roll down the window if it gets too hot.

I know it’s a gas guzzler, but I don’t really drive all that much.

The car isn’t practical at all, but it comes in my favorite color.

Why are you negotiating with yourself? You should be changing the terms of the contract with the salesman not negotiating with yourself about what you’re willing to give up. The desire to have the car overwhelms you and you’re willing to put yourself in a percarious situation just to own it.

This is analogous to meeting someone, noticing a ton of red flags and either ignoring or negotiating them away. You want a relationship so bad that you are willing to enter one that’s only pretty on the outside. It’s very easy to convince ourselves to not need what we truly do need and to want things that we truly don’t want. All those internal struggles before translate into some variation of the following:

I can renegotiate the contract in a few years, it will be ok until then.
I know he doesn’t have a lot of ambition, but he’s talking about getting a better job. He just needs time.

I don’t really need air-conditioning, I can just roll down the window if it gets too hot.
I don’t really need her to have an education, we still have a lot of fun.

I know it’s a gas guzzler, but I don’t really drive all that much.
I know he smokes (which I hate), but he doesn’t do it all the time.

The car isn’t practical at all, but it comes in my favorite color.
I know she is dramatic, but damn, she is so cute.

When you begin talking to someone, almost immediately, you will begin deciding the terms of your relationship. This is what it means to set precedence in your relationship. Many times we get so wrapped up in our desire to impress and please the person we are dating that we forget they shoud be impressing us as well. In our efforts to gloss over our own imperfections we subsequently ignore theirs. In terms of the metaphor the other person is the car salesman and the relationship is the vehicle. It’s up to you to stop them from puttng one over on you and selling you a defective relationship.

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