The Rules…

Men are stupid. No, I refuse to believe that… Men pretend to be stupid. I find it hard to believe that men cannot grasp the concepts that seem so simple to myself and females alike. So I reiterate, men pretend to be stupid.

It amazes me how my boyfriend is able to turn his stupidity on and off when its convenient for him. When it comes to pointing out one of my shortcomings he’s Einstein, but the minute he wants to do something against my better judgment, he takes the lead role in Dumb and Dumber.

Here’s why I say this, and please let me know if I’m wrong in this situation.  Today, my boyfriend leaves the house (where we both live) without a peep of his whereabouts. Me, being the person that I am, assumes that he’d just be a minute, either to get something out of the car, check the mail, etc. But after 10-15 minutes when he still hadn’t returned, I realized his destination was much further. So I called him to see where he was… down the street with a friend. And upon his return, he brought that same friend back with him, again with no prior notice.

I feel like we’ve had this conversation a million times before, so this time, I knew my approach needed to change. While he and his friend played video games and drunk up all the Kool-Aid, I used my time to write out some rules and prologue to clearly express all that I wanted to say. It read:

 

The key to a successful relationship is communication. In order for both people to feel satisfied, they need to have equal say in what happens in that relationship, and the best way for that to happen is for them to communicate with each other.
I do not feel that you are communicating with me. There is information that is not being shared with me, and so my right to have equal say in what happens in this relationship is taken away from me. This leaves me unsatisfied with this relationship.             
To resolve this issue and make it as easy to understand as possible and avoid any confusion, I’ve created some rules. This allows me to effectively communicate my needs to you without ambiguity (meaning uncertainty or not being sure of what is meant by what I said).
 
Rules                                                          
 
1.       If you are going any further than to the front door and back and/or your time outside of the house will exceed 1 minute, you have to tell me where you are going.
2.       If you want to have company visit the house, you have to tell me before they arrive at our front door. 30 minute notice preferred.                          
There were some other rules in the mix, but for the sake of time and to leave a little privacy in the relationship, I’ll omit those.

So once his friend left, I expressed my concern to my boyfriend. It was amazing, I could actually see the wheels turning in his head. He finally understood what I’d been trying to express for quite some time now. And even better, he agreed with me! AMAZING!

So my point… business have been doing this same thing for years. They write out exactly what they expect from you, what they’ll provide for you, and any other rules in between. That way if something goes wrong, they’re able to refer back to the rules and act accordingly. In my opinion, we’ve been looking at relationships all wrong. They should be ran more like a business. After all, this is a partnership.

The other bonus to this method, it forces you to get to the root of the problem instead of focusing on side effects. It also forces you to figure out exactly what you want. It sounds simple, but most people, including myself, don’t always know what they want. We all know what we don’t want, but very few really know what they do want.

So what are your thoughts on my rules/contract approach? We’ll see how effective it is as time goes on, but I’ll tell you one thing, it felt good to know that we were both on the same page.

P.S. Today, my boyfriend and I celebrated our four year anniversary with a wonderful vacation in Atlantic City. We had a lot of fun. And though some may feel discouraged having a hiccup like the one we did today, I know that no relationship is smooth sailing and what really matters is what progress comes out of those hiccups. Here’s to four years and many more to come! And here’s a few more pictures from our trip.

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