Originally Posted by BoringGuy
River is a man.
Thanks for the clarification. It can be hard to tell on the internets
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone
I'm flabbergasted that anybody would think something like that is necessary. Anybody who isn't automatically honest and communicative and respectful of others simply isn't ready for a serious relationship of any sort. I wouldn't think of offering that sort of basic emotional maturity up as a ruleset, though I suspect it would work well as a guage of how ready a new partner is for a serious relationship. Somebody who is *not* honest and communicative and respectful and so on isn't somebody with whom I'll stay involved.
I don't mean to to insult you when I say this, but your answer sounds terribly naive. You're incredibly lucky to have such excellent communication with your partner and a lack of emotional baggage holding you back (and so am I), but there are a lot of people out there who have been burned multiple times for being honest with their partners, and thus find it very difficult to communicate openly. Laying out the ground rules of how you'd like to be treated is important in ANY relationship, if only because everyone has different ideas of how they would like to be treated. Even something as simple as "treat me with respect" has wildly different meanings to different people because the word "respect" has different definitions for everyone.
For example, I make a conscious effort to answer every email, phone call, and text message I receive in a timely manner, regardless of who it's from, because I would like the same courtesy in return. Do I get that same courtesy? Often times, no. It's actually a rarity that someone will get back to me in a timely manner (within 24 hours), especially in the business world. It bugs the shit out of me, but I don't hold it against the people that take a while to respond. I've learned that I have very different ideas of respect and how people should be treated compared to most of the rest of the world.
That being said, every relationship is different, which means every person will bring different expectations to the table. You would THINK that being open and honest is the course of action that everyone would naturally gravitate to in a relationship, but it simply isn't. Fear of being honest, as a result from past hurts, can cause someone to clam up. Likewise, fear of hurting the other person can also cause a person to be dishonest. "I don't want to hurt him/her so I won't tell her how I really feel" is so incredibly common. One of my best friends recently broke up with his fiance because he opened up to her about a girl he met at an event he attended, and mentioned how awesome she was. His fiance flipped out, assumed he cheated on her (even though he didn't) and demanded that he not have any friends he's attracted to. As such, they broke up. Sadly this is a pretty common reaction from people in monogamous relationships, and when you're burned for being honest, it makes it a lot harder to be honest in your next relationship.
You should really take a step back and understand that your wonderful, open, and honest relationship that you have with your partner is NOT the norm. You and I have very healthy relationships with our partners in that respect, but a lot of other people don't. Talking about the ground rules of how you expect to be treated is also a part of being open with your communication. So taking that for granted is not the best course of action.
From what I gather, here, it seems like a lot of people don't like the word "rules" when it comes to relationships. But every aspect of society is built upon rules. Rules are what define the boundaries of any given relationship and are extremely important. Rules are the very reason we draw up contracts in business. We can't assume that everyone involved in a business arrangement is going to see things the same way. That mentality just gets everyone into trouble and the whole arrangement will eventually fall apart. Everyone has different expectations and desires in ANY relationship. Simply saying, "I expect to be treated the same way I treat my partner" is a naive response. How you expect to be treated may be different than how your partner expects to be treated. Laying out the ground rules of how you expect to be treated is what ALLOWS for open communication.
P.S. GalaGirl - Great answer. Thanks