Relationships are funny things, and not in a humorous way. They are even more difficult and complex than relations and, God knows, they’re tricky enough to deal with.
But relationships, they’re a real hornet’s nest. We dive into them carefree and unthinking, full of the joie de vivre of the new and buoyed by expectations of fresh beginnings.
The one thing neither party does is stop and ask the other what exactly those expectations are. There is no questioning, merely hopes and assumptions.
Thus it should come as no surprise when, further down the track, disillusion and disappointment set in. The feeling is mainly one of “This isn’t how it was meant to be. This is not what I had in mind.”
Perhaps as well as pre-nups for those taking the ultimately deadly plunge into an actual marriage, there should be something similar for those falling into what are loosely termed “relationships” where nothing so complex as financial entanglements are involved but merely the hoped-for dovetailing of seemingly like-minded soul-mates.
A pre-partnering agreement would allow each party to define their view of the future. Perhaps even set out their likes and dislikes, their peccadilloes, habits and quirks. So many of us who venture into partnerships later in life – usually after failed marriages and time spent enjoying our own company – do so with a vision in mind, and with fast diminishing time in which to achieve it. But we forget we all become very much set in our ways, from petty daily domestic routines through to broader issues of beliefs, perceptions, desires and lifestyle.
Who needs still more disappointments as a result of partnerships that promise so much and which wither on the vine because we are too set in our ways – and, in the excitement of new beginnings, fail to define what these ways are.
What was that about fools rush in… ?