Although most might not admit it, we often have an agenda that propels our actions. While the word “agenda” may have a negative connotation, having one is not necessarily sinister. An agenda might just be a well-thought out plan to get us from one point to the next.
In regard to relationships, it is important is to be aware if you have an agenda. In this way, you can assure yourself that you are binding yourself to a partner for the right reasons.
Here are four examples of possible agendas.
A Convenient or Friendly Relationship. You may be tired of being alone and you start a relationship with a person who fills some of your needs but with whom you are not necessarily “in love.” A long time friend could also be a good candidate for this type of relationship. You genuinely like each other and, as a bonus, you can share expenses, child rearing duties, and household responsibilities. However, the passion of romance is missing.
An Abusive Relationship. Since none of us want to think we would willingly enter an abusive relationship, this type of agenda would probably be a hidden or buried one. A person who should be on the lookout for this type is one who may have suffered verbal, emotional or physical abuse in their familial home or a prior relationship. Abuse comes in lots of different manifestations, and often an abused person confuses love and abusive attention. Due to our tendency to revert to the familiar (even if it is not good for us), an abused person may draw multiple abusive relationships to them without consciously realizing it.
A High Status Relationship. When faced with financial hardship, or even disaster, it is nice to daydream about entering a relationship with a person who can solve your problems with their money. If this is the main impetus for a relationship, you may solve one problem, but others will most likely erupt. Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch and you WILL pay at one end or the other.
A Long Distance Relationship. You may have gotten used to doing things on your own and you like your independence and the fact that you don’t have to explain yourself or your time to anyone else. This doesn’t negate that you might also like to have a monogamous partner …. although not on a full time basis. Accordingly, you might purposefully look for a partner who is not home very often, for example, a pilot who is constantly jetting across the world. This could give you the best of both worlds: autonomous time and a partner with whom to have fun and share responsibilities.
In general, every relationship fulfills some need within us. If it didn’t, why would we enter into it?
Without making a value judgment about the myriad of different types of relationships that are possible, I only caution you that you take the time to examine the reasons (that may lie below the surface) why YOU are participating in yours. If you can be honest with yourself, you have a better chance at success.