Saturday, 03 March 2012
Before you jump to conclusions, I am not talking about the "Birds and Bees" talk. I'm talking about the "Where Is Our Relationship" talk. So many couples don't have that talk anymore. They date, they become smitten, they tell each other they love each other, and BOOM - they're in... whatever. One party thinks they're in a relationship, and the other is single. A lot of people enter into a friends-with-benefits relationship with the assumption that there won't be feelings, and yet someone ALWAYS catches feelings, simply because they assumed since they're sleeping together, there is an automatic obligation to remain monogamous.
What ever happened to the "Define The Relationship" talk? I mean, sure it's uncomfortable, but it's SO necessary! You might want to be in a committed relationship. The other party might not. You two might have been in a relationship for years and you might yearn to be married, yet your significant other has no clue because you just go along with the flow. Don't get me wrong, I have my share of relationship issues, so I am not speaking as some sort of relationship guru. I have just had TONS of friends lately come to me about confusion in their relationship, and that's the first question I ask - Have you had a "Define The Relationship" talk? Usually, the answer is no. Or that they don't even know what that is.
This talk clarifies what your roles are in the relationship, what you expect currently from the relationship and your significant other, and where you might see the relationship in a year (or five years, or ten years - whatever time frame is comfortable for you). It sounds almost like a business plan, and in a way, that's how you have to look at it. It defines what you two are - platonic friends, friends with benefits, boyfriend/girlfriend, open relationship, swingers... the list can continue on and on. However, there should always be a definition. I hear so many of my friends say, "Well, we're together I guess. I mean, we sleep together, but we're not together-together... I don't know what we are. We just are. We're us."
Personally, I was 17 before I could actually get into the groove of having that talk. I used to think it was silly and unnecessary. I mean, if you felt in your heart that you were a couple, then that's what you were, right? Right. Dumb, I know. I was dating a friend's cousin, and everyone around us would ask us if we were together. I would say the whole "I don't know" speech, and quite frankly, I got tired of saying it. I knew I looked like a fool. I finally went over to his house, and let it all out. We decided to make it "official" that we were a couple.
I have that conversation more than once, too. People change. I heard a theory that people biologically change every 7 years, including the way our brain functions. I don't know if it's true or not, but if it is, it makes it even more important. I think there are certain points in any relationship that require a periodical "Define The Relationship" talk - when it moves from casual to serious, when it moves from serious to committed, when you change your mind/feelings about certain subjects (for example: not wanting kids to having baby fever), when there is emotional or mental confusion (like when one party starts to pull away from the other emotionally), and so on.
I'm not saying you have to have it every year or whatever. Those examples are just my own feelings and time frame. I am not saying that you should plan your relationship out based on this talk, either. Like I said, people change! Feelings change, opinions change, and circumstances change. Yes, go with the flow to a certain extent. Think of it like a river - the water flows within the confines of the river banks. If it didn't have those, it could potentially cause chaos.
Some of you might call me uppity, or even crazy, but I am only speaking from my own experiences. I have had many "friendships" that I thought were more, or even moving towards more, only to be disappointed. I still have this talk periodically with my boyfriend. He actually told me I was the only woman who has ever talked about stuff like that with him, and he likes it because it leaves little room for misinterpretation in terms of where we are together.
Do you ever have DTR talks? How important do you think they are?