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  #101  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:07 PM
LoveBomb LoveBomb is offline
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Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
River is a man.
Thanks for the clarification. It can be hard to tell on the internets .


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Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
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
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  #102  
Old 10-12-2012, 11:14 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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So, an absence of rules specifying that you respect your partner and treat them well implies that it's ok to disrespect your partner and treat them poorly?

And, having rules specifying that your partner treat you well and respect you is supposed to PREVENT them from disrespecting you and treating you poorly?

I think this is how Autumnal Tone is saying such rules do not make sense.

If someone respects their partner(s), they can communicate about these matters AS NECESSARY and don't need to make "rules" about it. If someone disrespects you or treats you poorly, or responds poorly to your own efforts at being yourself and being honest, it is foolish and immature to project those issues onto other/future relationships.

My opinion is that all too often, people try to be in relationships with individuals with whom they are fundamentally incompatible. No amount of well-thought-out "rules" can compensate for that.
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  #103  
Old 10-12-2012, 11:48 PM
SkylerSquirrel SkylerSquirrel is offline
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It seems to me that the difference between people who like rules vs. don't like rules is that some want to make the relationship expectations explicit (for various reasons) and some want to keep them implicit (for various reasons).

GalaGirl has a point that making expectations explicit helps keep everyone on the same page. The point is not to bind your partner to a code of behavior - the point is to be up-front about what you want so your partner isn't kept guessing.

Now if your rules are very basic, it may be unnecessary. However, some people want to take no chances and have them anyway. Either way is legitimate.

I hate forcibly-imposed rules, but I have reasonable guidelines that anyone who gets intimately involved with me needs to abide by, for my own emotional and physical safety (and theirs too).

Quote:
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.
^THIS SO MUCH. And it makes it very confusing when people EXPECT you to know how to behave respectfully (or kindly or fairly) by their definition, but refuse to come out and TELL you what that looks like.
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  #104  
Old 10-13-2012, 01:04 AM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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Originally Posted by LoveBomb View Post

@Vicki - I think rules are important in terms of exploring relationships outside of your marriage, if only to prevent confusion and misinterpretation of intentions. Good communication is definitely part of it. For example, one of my rules would be "If you meet someone you really like, be open about it and don't keep it a secret from me."
I am with Vicki... I have no rules placed upon me by my husband in regards to my boyfriend. Other then bring home the damn crock pot when you take it to make a meal. Which I accidentally broke this AM.

Good communication has always just happened no need for rules.
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  #105  
Old 10-13-2012, 01:33 AM
LoveBomb LoveBomb is offline
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First of all, let me clarify something.

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Originally Posted by LoveBomb View Post
Agreements are made in response to the rules. For example:

Rule 1: Be Honest with one another
Rule 2: Don't keep secondary relationships a secret
Rule 3: Talk about your feelings, especially any jealousy
Rule 4: Maintain an open dialogue and strong communication
Rule 5: Respect each other's feelings and work together towards resolving issues
etc.
It seems that many of you have taken this passage of mine completely out of context. I was illustrating a point with it, not suggesting that people should make these rules explicit. I agree that these things are completely necessary for a healthy relationship. I brought those up to illustrate that "agreements" between people come from a foundation of mutually accepted "rules".

Those of you who claim that they don't have rules are straight up not paying attention. You DO have rules, you just don't think about them because you and your partner accept those rules implicitly. Is it okay with you if your partner dates people without telling you? No? Then that's a rule. Implicit or otherwise it IS a rule. Those of you who claim that there are no rules in your relationship are quite simply lying to yourselves. There are certain kinds of behaviour that you will not accept from your partner (or if you accept everything your partner does, regardless of how it makes you feel, then you're probably a doormat). If there's something that your partner might do that is a deal breaker for you, then YOU HAVE RELATIONSHIP RULES.

Relationship rules are important with ANY relationship. You may not define them as "rules" in the context of your relationships, but if you discuss a topic and come to an agreement regarding how to behave within the context of that topic, you have created a new rule within your relationship. You may not call it a rule specifically, but a mutual agreement that defines how people should behave is a rule whether you like it or not.

Yes, it's implicit that everyone respect one another within a relationship. Nobody goes into a relationship intending on disrespecting their partner. But HOW you go about respecting that person is WILDLY different from relationship to relationship. Someone with the best of intentions can end up disrespecting their partner without realizing it because the offender is oblivious that what they have done is disrespectful. Respect within a relationship is a RULE, pure and simple. How each person defines that rule is what requires open communication.

I, for one, have made it explicitly clear to my wife that she is free to explore feelings with other people, but if she ever meets someone that she really likes and wants to pursue a relationship with that person, then all I ask is that she talk to me about it. I made that explicit to her so that she knows that she can talk to me about it without worrying about how I might react.

It seems like a lot of people here really dislike the word "rules" as though they are meant to control someone. They aren't. They really aren't. They are in place to define boundaries and limits to what can be done within a relationship. Without rules (whether implicit or explicit) disrespect, pain, and heartbreak is INEVITABLE. That's because rules naturally arise within a relationship through an active dialogue between partners. They go hand in hand. By talking to your partner, you define the relationship with that person, which inherently defines the rules of the relationship.
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  #106  
Old 10-13-2012, 01:51 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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then what is the purpose of your question? if you're assuming that everyone wants to respect each other? you're talking in circles.
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  #107  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:04 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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So, an absence of rules specifying that you respect your partner and treat them well implies that it's ok to disrespect your partner and treat them poorly?
It is never ok to treat your partner poorly.

Quote:
And, having rules specifying that your partner treat you well and respect you is supposed to PREVENT them from disrespecting you and treating you poorly?
No. I do not control their behavior. I can only control mine. It's not about preventing them from disrespecting me or treating me poorly.

For me? It's about being on the same page and about willingness to be held accountable. Are you willing to hold ME accountable if I step on your toes? Are you willing for me to hold YOU accountable if my toes get stepped on?

If all this is obvious to them -- yay. We share a laugh and trade dating horror stories over drinks.

If they hem and haw over such basics -- that's telling me all I need to know. Not a serious player, I can pull out now before I get in too deeply involved. *shrug*

If it is someone in between those two things -- well, let's try it and see. And when conflict comes up, it's easy enough to point to agreement they agreed to when there's a calling into account needed.
"Why are you fussing at me that I went to the concert without you? Did you give me the right to responsiveness? I said tell me you want to come by Friday, and I'll buy enough tickets for the group. You said maybe on Monday. I emailed to be sure Wednesday. Nothing Friday -- come and gone. So I let it go and I moved forward without your input. I buy tix Saturday -- none for you. I cannot mind reader you. So you have to own this one. How is it me being "inconsiderate" to you? Did I check in? Yes. Did you respond and give me the right to responsiveness? No."
That keeps it on the measurable actions done/not done rather than derailing into personalities -- "You are not nice, you are inconsiderate, you are too sensitive..."

If you have ever watched other people or experienced it yourself -- conflict going round and round in circles? Oy. Headache.

So much easier to point to agreement and note actions done/not done. There. Everyone holds their own baggage.

Hell, I'm not perfect. Maybe it is ME that needs to be called into account. It's happened before!

Maybe they have a passive style -- I'm very assertive. But if they can just point to agreement -- "Dude, GG! Where is my clear communication you promised me?" then they can move on to feeling better faster. Because I will own it right away and go "Oops! You are so right! I did not realize it seemed that way to you. My bad! I apologize. Can I make it up to you?"

When we are first learning each other in dating -- a passive style personality could be cowed by my temperment. I'm trying to give them a leg up by giving them a tool to use I know that I will respond to. Print the thing, highlight the one, leave it on my desk (or email it and CAPS THE ONE you are talking about) and I'll come find you and sort it out when I see it. There. Easy passive personality route to STILL get the thing solved. You don't have to be all confrontational if that bugs ya. I still like ya how you are. But we move past this kerfuffle in a constructive way.

Because isn't the goal for both to be in harmonious relationship together?

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-13-2012 at 02:50 AM.
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  #108  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:17 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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people are held to such higher and sometimes ridiculous standards when orgasms (or lack thereof) are involved. "just sayin"
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  #109  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:22 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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people are held to such higher and sometimes ridiculous standards when orgasms (or lack thereof) are involved. "just sayin"
Too sleepy. Please clarify.

GG
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  #110  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:34 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Too sleepy. Please clarify.

GG
Get some sleep and re-read.

BG
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