Being in a relationship is more than just love and romance. At some point we have to be good roommates to one another by expressing our needs and communicating the changes we want to see. If one person in the relationship is always being the generous roommate - taking care of the cooking, the cleaning - a discussion needs to be had. In order to have a successful relationship, we need to have practical conversations with the person we’re involved with. Over the course of our relationship we need to renegotiate the terms of service. We need to choose to move forward with the relationship as well as the agreements required to move forward - and if we don’t, we get stuck in patterns of resentment, annoyances, communication breakdowns and little (or no) sex.
Re-Negotiating The Terms of Agreement
Typically we enter into relationships without having any negotiations or agreements in place, leading us to implement the default agreements and systems that we’ve grown up observing. A type of generational programming where we download and replicate what our parents did. However, if we actually entered into our relationships with agreed upon terms, and went into it with the understanding that re-negotiations can and should happen - it would be a lot better for everyone involved. The benefits of having an annual or every five year relationship assessment may not seem overly romantic, but choice expires. And what has served us in the past may not be serving us now.
Think of when you first start a relationship with a partner. You may be young with minimal responsibilities when it begins, but five years later you could be married, you could have a new career, you could have children. The roles you and your partner naturally fell into before all these major life changes and events, frankly don’t make sense anymore. What may have worked a year ago, six months ago, last week may not be working today. Those rigid roles that have been in place for so long, need to be addressed. The terms need to be renegotiated. Because if we’re not proactive in defining our agreements, we will simply continue to play out those same old agreements that aren't working anymore.
Relationships Should be Like Trampolines, Not Fortresses: Flexibility is Key
Oftentimes, people treat their relationships like fortresses, with the bricks being agreements big and small. When you start pulling out these bricks in the negotiation process, the fortress crumbles. We should view our relationship as a trampoline, with the springs being our agreements and terms. The springs are flexible, and when one is taken out or replaced, there are still many remaining to support the relationship.
The brick analogy represents the rigidity of certain agreements, where when changes want to be made, the whole structure falls. The flexibility of the sprigs offer a more fluid relationship. Changes are more easily made when we’re open to change and renegotiations.
Am I Outgrowing My Partner?
When we’re assessing our relationship and looking to update the terms of agreement, we have to be able to look past the surface level roles like who’s cooking the meals, who’s waking up with the kids (although these should be negotiated). At some point we have to ask ourselves “am I outgrowing my partner?”. Will making these changes in our relationship truly help? Or are they just temporary fixes? Change happens. The partner you agreed to be with in the beginning may not be the same person ten years later or vice-versa. The question is, can the relationship be healed through renegotiations and new terms? Or is it past the point of a new contract.
Fast fixes aren’t always permanent. A lot of the time a deeper understanding and healing is needed in order to achieve the relationship you want. The best way to discover the answer to where your relationship truly stands is through your own healing. Healing is the discovery of self, of our wounds and trauma, of our unprocessed emotions, of our triggers and habits. Learning about ourselves allows us to see the world without a filter and be confident in what we are negotiating for our future.
The Feminine Mentorship offers women the opportunity to dive deep into their desires and practice the work to leave them feeling seen and heard. It’s a year-long program designed and offered by Dr. Jordin Wiggins for those who are serious about becoming the Feminine Force they are meant to be. Learn more about The Feminine Mentorship here.