In the spirit of categorizing things and defining frameworks, let me try categorizing expectations from a relationship. As a result of my profession – learning and development – I am developing a knack for overdefining things.
I happened to define relationship expectations. Management lessons deal with frameworks and tools and definitions. Also, one of the biggest things in learning is to simplify a concept by providing acronyms or simple language for people to remember. Think about books like ‘Iceberg is melting’. Now all John Kotter wanted to do was describe an eight step change process (or steps to drive change). The story of penguin was used to simplify and help memorize the eight steps.
When two people get into a relationship, there are two types. First is relationship that comes with Expiry date and second does not. These are two broad categories.
If we look at the second type – relation with non expiry date, there are further categorizations available which I’ll talk about in a bit. Let’s focus on the first one.
The relationships that begin with ‘Expiry’ in mind are typically described as casual. They however may not be so. There are ‘holiday in Goa’ which are casual. If you’re not familiar with the expression ‘holiday in Goa’ then let me explain that first. Holiday in Goa is basically a fling before someone gets married. They have the best time of their life (including or not including s**) with someone they do not intend to get married to.
The relation with ‘Expiry’ are sometimes ‘with Expiry’ because like in Indian context, parents won’t agree. There can be other problems like have to marry a particular girl but am attracted to someone else and will regret if I don’t ever get to know her. Many times its just a casual relation to satisfy some needs. Other times its attraction felt towards a friend because there is no girl/boy friend. Either way before getting into this relation people know it won’t last. Now when it would expires need not be defined before the relation begins.
The relations with ‘Expiry’ tend to be more fun and easy going. There is less pressure to impress each other, and both want happy memories. There is less expectation to woo for men and to be elegant for women.
The second relation can further break into categories which I’m not getting into right now. In relationship without expiry there is more pressure to make each other happy in every way. There is more need to create favorable impressions. In men’s case there is more pressure because if they make one mistake, the woman is going to remind it to him all through his life if they end up together. This is also the more complicated relation of the two when expectations and timing mismatches. There is always a sword hanging reminding what if this turns into relationship with expiry! This is also a guiltless relation, people tend to convince themselves that at least they tried to make things happen.
The worst happens when relation with Expiry develops expectations from either end. Another situation that complicates relations is when both ends of relation are in different places – one with expiry and other without.
In Indian society we tend to prefer second type – guiltfree relation. In fact in that we sometimes make a victim out of us. It is such a tabboo to do things for sheer pleasure. Everything has to be sacrificial. I think its time, people accept the relations with expiry as relations with expiry and not change them into something more complex.