Will your relationship last?

What motivates you?

Will your relationship last?

Hollywood! Love it! Romance and happiness into the setting sun!

But is this the reality we live in today?

There are many different types of relationships that occur in today’s society, from parent to child, to romance, to pure friendship, and also that business relationship. What we often forget is the original reason the relationship was created for, and sometimes the relationship sours over time as agenda’s, motives and directions change.

We begin our relationship with the coffee shop owner as we want to buy a cup of coffee. Soon that need modifies into buying something to eat, and maybe it morphs into a place where we can do business. So why then, when we start frequenting the coffee shop every day, and we start to bring our own lunch with us, does the coffee shop frown on our behaviour? It is simple – the relationship has changed on our end, without consulting the other party. Let me explain.

The coffee shop has the right to sell coffee, tea and some other edible items like scones, croissants or cookies. It might also have a license to sell quiche or other smaller items. But that is where it ends. The owner has applied to the city council for the right to provide a space with seating for the consumption of certain drinks and certain types of food. And the owner has paid a great deal of money to get those rights so that the business can thrive and make money.

As the customer you initially take on the offer of the owner to use the space to enjoy that cup of coffee. You might even buy a cookie or two. But that is where the relationship boundaries are, and that is where they will stay unless you communicate with the coffee shop to find out if you can bring something else into the shop. In some countries bringing your own food for consumption onto the premises is not allowed.

When you bring your own food into the shop you do the following things :

  1. You break the original “agreement” or “unsigned contract” with the coffee shop owner – they opened the shop for you to buy their products, not bring in your own to consume.
  2. You set a standard for other regulars who might decide that they want to do the same – this might have a direct result on the sales of other food items in the coffee shop, you just cant be sure what impact?
  3. You might be indirectly violating the license agreement by directly eating unauthorised food items in the coffee shop – which could land a fine for the coffee shop owner, and I am sure you won’t be willing to pay up for this fine.
  4. By not supporting the coffee shop with buying the food items, you create a loss of revenue for the coffee shop, and who knows how soon it will go out of business as part of its profit model relies on additional sales of food items.

I think you get the idea, right? If you start off by creating a relationship with another party, and you want to make changes to that relationship, there are bound to be direct consequences as a result of these changes. So in an ideal world, you would negotiate the changes, and if you can not come to some sort of agreement on how the changes would impact both of you, then the relationship would cease to exist – right?

So swing that thought across to a romantic relationship.

When you establish the relationship there are a set of accepted rules or agreements between both of you. If the other person does not agree with having to be faithful to only one person and that is something you demand, then how can you enter into the relationship? Hollywood, the movies and TV tend to paint a great love story, with the setting sun. But not enough attention is focused on how to make the relationship last. How do you grow the relationship and keep it healthy?

As you age (yes I know we all do naturally age) – you start to change. There are physical and non-physical changes that take place. And then there are the habits and actions, and behaviour that changes too! If the other person fell in love with someone who was focused on being fit and sporty, and you were that person to begin with – what would happen later in life if you became a couch potato? Or if you did not touch alcohol and then due to work pressure you started to drink, and become more and more consumed with alcohol as you aged?

One of the biggest things that will end a relationship is the changes in both parties. If one party felt that they needed to be someone else to be in the relationship, and 10 years down the line realised they did not like who they were and wanted to go back to their old self, how would that be perceived? It would be a big change – the partner would say that they have changed – and in a lot of cases this might be a warning sign that the relationship when started 10 years ago was based on a false perception, or modified (and false) behaviour of the one person.

No matter what type of relationship you have with someone, or even in business, things can last if you are able to be honest and communicate – and NOT be selfish about your own needs.

If you don’t like the additional food items in the coffee shop, then change your behaviour and make sure you eat your own food before you go to the coffee shop. Or even buy your coffee and go to the local park to sit on a bench and have your lunchtime sandwich?

If you are at the start of a romantic relationship – why change who you are to be with someone when in 10 years or longer you could wake up one morning and realise you don’t like who you have become. Remember that in each one of us there are changes as we age. From toddler, to child, to teen, to young adult, to … and in each of these stages we see things differently and we behave differently.

For any relationship to last – you need to work at it. You need to communicate, and be realistic. You need to have a short term goal, and a longer term idea of where the relationship will move to. You should be able to compromise on some things – not all, and the work, the communication, the effort and the compromise should always be mutual and not one sided!

Relationships can last – if you work at it!