I have been thinking about this subject for a long time, but after reading Entitlement and Standards
, I figured I might as well write out what has been going through my head. So, keep in mind, this is an opinion piece.
When we were little, we always viewed a reward as an entitlement to our hard work. Whether it was money for getting A's on our report cards or having ice cream if we stay quiet throughout the day. It was the little things we looked forward to (though now, it seemed more so as a bribe rather than a reward).
This sense of entitlement carries over into our relationships as we get older. A lot of people expect plenty of great qualities from their partners, as well as "following certain rules" either suggested or coerced onto them. I've seen people make it a point that they should receive gifts every month as an anniversary present, or they have to be taken out to the fanciest of restaurants or required to have sex as much as possible in a week. I mean, sure, these are all great things to receive, but are we necessarily entitled to them in every relationship?
The way I look at it, no. I don't believe that material items are an entitlement when you are in a relationship
. Is it because I hate women? Of course not. Is it because love is not measured in superficial material things? Yes. Is it because I'm cheap? Maybe.
So then, what are people entitled to in a relationship? Time and Effort:
Like friendships and family, a relationship requires time to build. With no presence, the relationship would pretty much sit in the same spot where it started: one person wondering where the hell their partner is. If you do not put in the time and effort, your relationship will fall apart really quickly.Trust and Honesty:
Remain truthful to who you are involved with. Keep communication open and understand what makes them happy, angry, sad, etc. It doesn't mean that you have to call them everyday, but on a consistent basis, be sure to comprehend where both of you are during the span of the relationship. Depending on how reserved or open your partner is, privacy is a major factor in relationships.
Discuss with your partner if you are not particular to giving out your password to them. Just because someone doesn't want to give out their password does not mean they are hiding anything. If you can't trust your partner without them leaving your sight, it's time to reevaluate if you are ready for a relationship. If the level of trust is close to none, this can put a real strain not just on the relationship, but yourself as well; you do not need all the unnecessary stress. Respect:
Both points above can fall into this category, but this will also expand to certain areas. Your partner can sometimes make the most unflattering of decisions (odd/inappropriate fashion style, too much make-up, etc). If it concerns you, do not be afraid to voice your opinion, but do so in a respectful manner. Example of how not to do it:
A friend of mine wore a shirt to the beach. Her boyfriend said he didn't like it and told her to take it off. She said she likes the shirt and wants to continue wearing it. He called her stupid.Respect also spans to not abusing your partner, regardless if it's physical, emotional or mental
. No matter how mad you are, you should never hit your partner. Go to another room and blow off your steam there. When you two are collected and calm, come back together to resolve the issue in a civil manner.
After these, there are preferences to each individual person. Communicate with each other what you guys like, do not like and figure out a solution if needed. These 3 points fit more into a universal ideal of what should be in a relationship (to me, anyways).
I'm not saying that you shouldn't buy your partner gifts or treat them out to dinner; you should. Just be sure that you do not force them to buy you things constantly. Remember, a relationship is a two-way street. If you want your partner to give you these items I listed, make sure you are doing the same for them. What do you think about this list? Are there other things you add to your own list?