Knowing what you truly want from your relationship can help define the role you will play and the type of partner you need. Unfortunately, few people give any real thought to planning a relationship. Oh sure, they know they want a partner that has certain qualities, but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, most people do not give detailed planning much thought.
Years ago, it was assumed that the man would be the ‘bread winner’ and as such, he often had more say about how and where money was spent. In fact, in days gone by there was less confusion about the role that each partner would have in a relationship. But those days are now just something that our grandparents did or something that we read about in books. Fortunately, times have changed and nowadays it is just as common that the female in a relationship makes the living or at the very least, contributes substantially to the family income.
It’s not realistic than to expect that the female or the male in the partnership will be responsible for all household tasks and childcare. Because times have changed and relationships have evolved, now it is okay for a man to be a stay at home dad while the mom is working outside the home.
We have so much more options available to us than our grandparents did. We literally can be and do anything we want. All it takes is planning and taking action. And many of us decide long before we meet our partner where and how we will live our lives. But sadly, some of those plans are not shared with our partner until after a relationship is developed.
Imagine growing up with the thought that you will become an attorney and work in a major city like New York or Chicago. You dream of wearing your business suit and being a real part of city life. This lifestyle does not include pets and if you have children you plan to send them to the finest private schools you can afford. Your take on spending money is that you will spend on anything and everything that you desire.
And out of nowhere you meet that someone special. This person has a smile that can light up a room and eyes that you cannot get enough of. You are head over heels in love with this person and the feeling is mutual. The two of you hurriedly start your life together. Everything is blissful until you have a discussion about your future. It turns out that your partner has always dreamed of living in the country. He/she yearns for the peacefulness and fresh air of living away from the mainstream. Plus, your partner happens to love animals and kids and feels that homeschooling is the way to go. And as time goes on you find out that your new partner is extremely frugal. He/she wants to account for every dollar spent.
Of course, through compromise, these issues can be resolved. But if proper planning had been done the issues would have been discussed long before the relationship reached this stage.
Knowing what you want from a relationship and what you plan to contribute is essential. But even more than that is the importance of sharing your thoughts, ideas and plans with your partner – and the sharing should take place early in the relationship.