Discourse On Relationships
Relationships are what we make of them; we shape our relationships to suit our desires, visions, and needs. This may be done without input from our partner who, one might expect, would also desire to shape same relationship to his/her advantage.
Irrespective of the form of relationship involved; marital, social friendship, intimate lovers, or business partnership, a relationship is as valuable, respectful, and as rewarding and fulfilling as those involved make it. And this is often based on the defined objectives for being in the relationship. Some acquaintances could evolve devoid of defined objectives, but along the way, when both parties have discovered their shared values, weaknesses, and strengths, objectives will emerge.
For such objectives to yield values, or fruits, in a relationship is dependent upon how the parties involved pursue these objectives. Aggressive pursuit of desired goals could either yield desired results, or unexpected disaster that could lead to a breakup of the union. Where goals and objectives are pursued cautiously and concertedly, expected results would, most likely, be achieved.
1. Social Relationships.
A social relationship is mostly beneficial where one, or some, of the parties involved is/are-seeking avenues to step up the social ladder by mingling with the established members of the higher class. That is where we come across social “nobodies” blessed with natural endowments interacting with the rich and well connected to attract attention to self. Some of the benefits of this type of relationship include getting on the society list of the elite, getting mentioned in society tabloids, access to easy money for sustenance of sudden novel lifestyle, and regular invitations to high society functions.
Where these are primary reasons of the beneficiary for establishing and sustaining this form of relationship, one can conclude that the intended objectives have been met; that is, the desired values have been added to his/her life.
2. Intimate Relationships (Lovers)
It is increasingly difficult in our society, these days, for parties to define their objectives in an intimate relationship. If one has laid-down expected benefits, one could be accused of having ulterior motives and, therefore, setting a trap for the partner. On the other hand, an adult who has no set objectives before being involved in such relationship could be dismissed as a fool and unserious. The advise may be to have goals and objectives, but work subtly towards their realization.
Are you anticipating a graduation from mere lovers to spouses? Is your objective to acquire material wealth from the union? Are you looking to cushion a hard fall from a bad relationship? Are you seeking to just remain relevant in lovers’ world by proving that you too can have a lover at your age? Are you looking for just a rich, fulfilling romance in your life? All these objectives must be defined, because they are determinants of our approach to unions we get involved in.
The same objectives determine our levels of commitment, especially where there exists conflicts in the stated objectives, where a compromise may be necessary. Where a relationship is not adding the desired value, or not yielding the stated objective, it should be reviewed after some time, for possible adjustment in strategy.
For the woman, where, after two years in a monogamous relationship, the desired expectations-possibly marriage- are not yet met, beyond verbal assurances (all other circumstances being normal), the best option is not a resolution to desperate measures. Rather a gradual restriction of affectionate services will be more appropriate here, a rebuilding of self-confidence and self-worth. This is expected to achieve one of two things: either the union will break up, an indication that opposing objectives exist, or it will be revived and desires of both parties met.
For the man, where you are spending more than necessary to maintain your partner in a lifestyle you do not appreciate, the best option will be to opt out. Hoping on your partner’s adjustment, downwards, to your level in future is a sign of weakness, and vision of future problems. It is not advisable to remain in a relationship merely on a wing and a prayer of a more cordial tomorrow, because it in not that easy or possible to make someone else the way you want them to be. If there is compatibility, and pursuit of the same goals, a compromise in attitudes and ideals could be reached within the first year of the union.
Do you have the desired respect and appreciation from your peers due to your relationship? Is your life better today than it was before now? Has it enhanced your self-worth? These are some of the questions to ask before continuing in an intimate relationship; if the answers are “no”, then it is of no value and must be reconsidered.
3. Business Relationships
Just as in social and intimate relationships, business relations must have objectives. In this case, making the goals and projected benefits known to your partners is preferred. Where the benefits are mutual, beneficiaries work in concert to realize them.
Mode of operations, management, expansion strategy, and revenue generation plans, and profit-sharing agreements should be deliberated upon, and understood by all involved; mutual consents sought among partners before projects are embarked upon. Despite the openness in a business relationship, greed plays a major role in dissolution of many such relationships, alongside the quest for supremacy and control. Man, by nature, is a greedy animal and unless that trait is controlled, even the best of business relationships, and mutual agreements, can still hit the rocks.
The level of commitment and contribution of money and efforts by partners in a business relationship depends on whether the business is of a temporary (joint venture), or permanent (partnership and limited liability) nature.
This is a relationship that continues to evolve by the day; it is also one that is very delicate and confusing, one where no set of advises, or opinion, is widely accepted. As with other forms of relationships, the objectives and goals in a marriage must be defined early in the marriage. Almost every woman wants a husband, children, and a of her own; but quite a few, especially today, can lay claim to knowing a thing or two of how to achieve that. Even those who know are, now, becoming aware that economic forces beyond their control are increasingly acting as impediments to realizing their dreams.
But is a home and the pitter-patter of little feet the only realizable objective in a marital relationship? How about an enriching, happy, peaceful, and long-lasting marital union? Fruit of the womb should not be the sole purpose for entering into marital relationships. There are many happy, rich, and lasting marriages that were not blessed with gifts of children. The objectives of married couples should not be restricted to having children; rather it should be one of many goals that must include joy, longevity, happiness borne out of love, faith and trust, and, of course, blessings of the fruits of the womb. Many marriages have packed up due to fanatic search for offspring.
Before we take our marital vows, it is beneficial to, jointly, sort our desired goals and not bind ourselves with expectations we cannot manipulate. As a couple, what are your joint economic, social, political, and religious goals? How do you plan to achieve these goals? What are your plans for your children, in the event you are blessed with any? Are there any hidden agendas by either party (the genesis of many failed marriages)? Have you been honest and truthful, to your partner, regarding your past and desires? As in a business relationship, marriages work better and last longer when all the cards are laid on the table from inception.
Marriage is one relationship where partners come with ulterior motives, hidden agendas, and complicated past lives; some marry to acquire wealth, social status, and conceal a dirty past. Evidence abounds to show that marriages entered into under false pretences are always tumultuous, and never last. In the end, these divergent objectives and goals remain unrealized; instead, prevailing heartaches and suspicions of one another continues.
Finally, whatever forms a relationship assumes, be it marital, business, intimate, and social, if it does, or will, not achieve the desired objectives that will add value to your life and self-worth, through respect of, and admiration by your peers and the general society, it cannot be considered beneficial to the parties involved.
Oti & Associates
(Originally published in 2004)
You are right thanks for the write up
Relationship makes life worth living for no human being can live alone. Relationship is an experience worth having by both the young and the old. However, it is important to exercise caution while entering into relationships, to avoid any form of regret. It is a two-edged sword.