I was suddenly very angry. Angry and teary. I couldn’t believe he would do that. What was he thinking? Did he have no consideration at all? I didn’t know if I was more angry at him or at myself. How did this happen? When I started looking at the last few days, I realised that I had been giving way to what he wanted, without questioning it. I hadn’t stated my needs, said what I wanted and we hadn’t discussed how things were going to be. There had been no explicit agreement and, in retrospect, I could see that we had implicitly disagreed about certain things. And we had just gone ahead with it and thought everything would be alright. But it clearly wasn’t and now I had to pick up the pieces. Sound familiar? Yes, I’ve been there too.
One of the common elements of human nature is that we tend to not be so great at evaluating how we work, at least at the beginning. Some people think they are doing much better than they are in fact, while others have a hard time acknowledging themselves for things that are actually quite difficult and that deserve recognition. It becomes more difficult when it’s not just about us individually, but about us and a partner – or three. If you’re hones with yourself, how good are you at making agreements?
Reaching agreements is a subtle art. It’s a balancing act that includes knowing what you want (or, at the very least, a willingness to explore it), allowing your partners the space to do the same, communicating openly, putting win-win ahead of personal gain and sometimes comfort while also not pushing you or your partner over the edge. And a willingness to be flexible and to renegotiate when needed. It can be hard enough to reach an agreement with yourself, never mind between several people, some of which you may not be romantically involved with. Some people manage to have pretty harmonious relationships, where they have agreements and don’t think about it too much. It comes easy. Others, however, put so many rules in place that the situation seems untenable. And yet others say they have no rules and trust each other, but find that they are in a lot of pain. As happened to me, they typically brave it through until they can’t anymore and things explode.
I have witnessed my clients, and my friends, struggle with this again and again and I wanted to bring you an expert. This Saturday I will be interviewing Dawn Davidson from Love Outside the Box. She is the author of the book “Kissable Agreements” and has been working with people in open and polyamorous relationships for 15 years. Dawn graduated from U.C. Berkeley, is a certified Interchange Radical Counselor and Shamanic Soul Coach, and an Ordained Minister dedicated to Love as a spiritual path. As a counselor, coach, and presenter, she provides insightful, intuitive guidance grounded in over 15 years of experience with real people all over the world. Her private sessions and workshops provide practical tools and wide-ranging resources to help you discover and express your most authentic self, whether individually, or in and through your relationships. Dawn is Kink-Knowledgeable, GLBTQQI-supportive, and a proponent of all forms of loving, respectful relationship.
In this free teleseminar we will be exploring:
- The 5 reasons even *good* agreements sometimes fail
- The difference between Requests and Demands, and why this matters
- Getting to Win-Win ( or Win-Win-Win…)