If any of you have watched the series “The Big Bang Theory” you are acquainted with the character of Sheldon Cooper. He has a “Relationship Agreement” with his girl friend Amy which defines every little aspect of their relationship – including the fine print…
This got me thinking… Aren’t personal relationships often a lot like business relationships or even business deals?
There are rules we need to abide to, there are compromises to be made, there are behavior patterns we must follow.
So why do we find it so difficult to see a healthy relationship like a good and healthy business relationship.
What has to happen to bring a business deal together, when two parties decide to get into business together?
1. They find the common ground
2. They weigh the options
3. They negotiate to achieve the best possible outcome
4. They define the conditions
5. They put it in writing and sign it
So are relationships that much different than a business deal?
I would like to give you an example…
We so often see older men with (often very much) younger women and to be fair we see it quite often the other way around as well (although this is socially not as exepted yet – but that is a different topic). But let’s stay with the expample of the older man with a younger woman, simply because we see it so much more often.
I am sure there are cases where it is real and true love, but in many cases it is simply a business deal – very much like the deal between a prostitute and her client (even if that is usually much shorter). Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to prostitution whatsoever as long as it is voluntary. It is a business and the oldest one there is… But I am drifting off.
So what do both sides want to get out of this “DEAL”?
The man expects to gain:
Being taken care of
Great sex etc.
The woman expects to gain:
Being taken care of
So we see quite some common ground here to work with (which is essential for any kind of relationship – so communicate).
The next step could be to weigh the options they have
and decide if they want to go into the negotiation of how the relationship could work.
Then they define the conditions of this relationship such as moving together (or not), getting married (or not), having children (or not) etc.
What follows is often, especially when they decide to get married, the signing of a contract. It doesn’t really matter if it is a prenuptial agreement or a marriage certificate. Even if they do not get married there are usually laws that are applied in case of separation.
At the end of the day, any form of relationship is a bit like a business deal.
I hope not and that is – especially as a hopeless romantic – not my intention. But when you think about it there is some truth in it.
In a business relationship the conditions change over time, the demands and needs change and you have to adapt, except this change or disappear from the market, you have to renegotiate, sometimes take a leap of faith when you have doubts, and accept the different phases of this relationship and even terminate it when you feel it is not the right thing anymore.
In a personal relationship the conditions change over time, the demands and needs change and you have to adapt, except this change or lose what you love, you have to renegotiate, sometimes take a leap of faith when you have doubts, and accept the different phases of this relationship and even terminate it when you feel it is not the right thing anymore.
Perhaps you do not need a relationship agreement with all the fine print like Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler in the Big Bang Theory, but once in a while it is ok to put the emotions aside and evaluate what you have, where you have been and where you want to go with your relationship. See where it still works and where you need to adapt or renegotiate or maybe even terminate it…