Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Can we write up Contracts for Love?

I'm a cautious person when it comes to relationships. Slow and steady wins the race, right? ...
You should be concerned when I refer to love as a race! Or as anything so unintimate and with such clear cut rules.
That is the problem. I have been trying to write rules. Trying to write my relationships into stories--in stories, the characters are always solid, predictable, unchanging, serve a purpose. I mean look at Anna Karenina for godsake. She changed too much for the world of stories, that she had to off herself! But that's on paper, and this is real life. Within one real, living, breathing warm human being are millions of stories, millions of purposes!
I develop love slowly. I seem to tally up a person's characteristics. Today, he bought a box of chocolate from kids outside the grocery story raising funds for efforts in Haiti. This act=compassionate. Check mark!
It's about safety, of course. For each thing I observe, I can continue to draw the solid outline of the person I've been trying to draw.

But then, same person who buys the chocolate, loses their temper one day and knocks all the boxes of chocolate off the table on his next grocery trip.

And then my drawing gets messed up and it doesnt look so great anymore

And then I start acting strange and distant--trying to figure out who this new person is. This doesn't fit into the picture I was drawing at all! Well now I have to re evaluate!
......obviously, that's not really how it works. People are fluid, emotional, ever-changing beings. One diversion from their general character here or there doesn't mean they have transformed, it just means they are a person! A person who gets angry, gets anxiety, gets hyper, gets all of these things at some point or another.
And you know what--if a person is this wonderful, loving, patient being 90% of the time, that 10% they slip up should make us love them more--give them more credit. Because those slip ups show that when they are the greatest version of themselves, that it's an effort. It is a choice they make--they are aware of the other ways they could be, but they Choose to be as good as they can, most of the time ;) They are willing to do the work--and we all know, it is work to be a decent person. Sometimes, it really is.

There is no guarantee that a person will be at the best version of himself every second of every day.
And really, if i wrote up a contract asking "do you agree to the terms listed above to behave like A, B, and C from here on out..." It would be a lie. I would never be able to enjoy the person again, if I never knew when they were acting from their heart---or from the terms of the contract.

I gotta give the guy in my life credit for recently pointing this out about me--pointing out my spasticness in response to a little change. I guess I wasn't the only one paying close attention, huh? But he is a little older and has probably already learned that you need to use more flexible materials in creating his portraits of people.

I'm going to start creating my outlines with playdough--moldable, colorful, and mushy. Just like people.


  1. Interesting post. Writing up contracts for love would defeat the purpose of love I think, but relationships might have a contract of sorts, but not really what you would legally call a contract, but more so...a mutual understanding, and I think that's what makes things work.

    I love what you said "People are fluid, emotional, ever-changing beings. One diversion from their general character here or there doesn't mean they have transformed, it just means they are a person" - it is sooo true! People are completely unpredictable :)

    Anyway, if you would like to check out my ramblings: =) follow if interested!

    Take care,


  2. Contracts of love? Really? This was really interesting but I can't analyse things in the same way. Love is something you just do you can't overthink it.
    Although thinking about it maybe sometimes I should analyse things a little more.

  3. i would say this post was a little bit my admittance that i do over think things ;) but....everyone has different directions in which they may need to adjust. Certainly, we cant just turn the other cheek to questionable things our significant others do just because we don't want to know it...balance is key!

  4. Love is a many splendid thing. Love lifts you up where you belong! All you need is love. But seriously, I'd be the sort of chap who'd buy chocolates from the tyke and then also toss the table around on a bad day. Why not? My grandma (true story) sent me a box o chocolates for me birthday one year and guess what? As I opened the box o scrumptious looking chocolates I discovered she'd eaten every one! Christ on a Stick are you kiddin me? So I got a box o nothin! There's a religious parable here somewhere, or some analogy towards love and relationships, I'm sure. Just gotta whittle it out.