Scallywag

Look to the future, because that is where you'll spend the rest of your life.

~ George Burns ~

Transactional Relationship

April 27th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 7 secs

Togetheness in relationship is not based on transactions.

Togetheness in relationship is not based on transactions.

I’ve noticed a shift in the way people handle their relationship. It’s subjective, I know, but it seems to be appearing in the media and the way people speak about their partners. Things have changed.

Where once people in a marriage relationship took the strain when things got difficult, now there’s more of a transactional attitude, e.g. “If you look after me and care for my needs then I will do that for you too.”

On the face of it, that seems entirely reasonable, doesn’t it?  Surely, that’s what give and take is about. Or is it? In a completely committed relationship the fact that one person doesn’t contribute as much as the other is not a yardstick for abandoning the bond. If love were like that throughout married life it certainly would be tough. Yet true love hasn’t got a mercenary side. Nor does make time to do scorekeeping on the side.

It alarms me that so many new couples are looking at their relationship as if it were a business deal. If both partners pull their weight then the business will flourish. But if not, it’s over, with a quick rush back to check the wording of the pre-nup.

Some people will be scratching their head and wondering what all the fuss is about, given they feel their transactional arrangement is working for them. No doubt it can, at least for a while. But, ultimately, every relationship has its bad patches and in those sometimes long periods one person will be stronger than the other. Is that disparity grounds for a break up? I hope not.

Along with the separate bank accounts, separate pursuits, negotiated relationship approach comes a loss of security, intimacy, and personal growth. Because, life is not an ongoing process, of separate arrangements. Life is far richer and more complex, where wholehearted giving shapes the quality of our experience, and sacrifice enhances life.

That last word usually makes a few people prickle because “sacrifice” often gets paired with gender stereotypes. But it needn’t be. To me, it conveys thoughtfulness in a relationship and willingness to see togetherness as greater than individual gain.

Transactional relationships stick to a “what’s in it for me” mentality, which inherently locks people into selfishness. In a business-like arrangement a grand love cannot happen, just mutually assured backscratching.

When the tides of life roll in, washing away at our weaknesses, agreements just aren’t enough, and a relationship without soul deep commitment runs a very high risk.

So, reject the “marriage or de facto relationship as a business” approach. It won’t carry you through the tough times when they come, and nor will it bring you the abiding love that you long for. Transactional couplehood is practice, not the real deal.

So resist imitations and dare to go further with beautifully risky, dangerous love. The more you do, the more intense life will feel and, you enhance your chance of having a deeply cherished relationship.

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Feegs

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