ENTITLEMENT AND REACTIONS IN RELATIONSHIPS

A: “My relationship is a two years old today”.
B: “Awn! Congrats o. Invite us to the wedding o.”
A: “That’s if he is serious”.

Me: 🙄🙄🙄🙄

I saw this exchange somewhere on Facebook, and I felt somehow. I know it concerns me in no way, but I have seen shades of such in these past few months.

In relationships, the responsibility of making it a success in whatever measurement, is NOT the entitlement of one partner. And I say this with all sense of responsibility. Male or female, making a relationship works requires the conscious efforts of both parties.

However, what has become prevalent is a feeling of entitlement and more importantly, a reactive measure to what works and what doesn’t. In that, the level of commitment a partner decides to give is a reaction to what the other gives.

It actually beguiles me why a partner will only look to go out of his/her comfort to pleasure the other only if one does same first. I mean, you don’t take the initiative to take some decisions as actions, but only react to what your partner brings to the table.

For instance, marriage and in-laws. These days, one partner literally waits on the other to suggest the next course of action as regards meeting other members of the family. If he/she doesn’t bring it up, the other won’t. The idea of marriage working is always in their heads but only on the basis of what the other partner does or do not do.

Hence, any and every action becomes a reaction. If things were not to work, one partner is quick to label the other with the blame; ‘You didn’t say anything about it na’. If one partner refuses or unintentionally forgets to bring it, why not the other?

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Another example is communication. I may be wrong, but this is where the concept of entitlement is mostly evident. Communication is a two-way street that involves a sender and receiver, yes we all agree. However, it is the mentality of ‘it is your job’ that has annulled a lot of promising relationships.

One partner generally assumes, based on previous experience, that the other reserves the position of sender and one the receiver. In that, the receiver is always ready to receive but only if and when the sender sends. If not, accusations begin to fly around like darts. This reactionary tendency is a danger to every relationship in whatever form.

If relationships must work holistically, each partner must take up the responsibility of being active communicators with equal liabilities and sacrifice. We need to stop asking the question, ‘who should do this or that’ as the mere thought underlies is a question of entitlement.

No two relationships are wired the same due to individual differences. Partners in relationships must therefore, be flexible enough to take up active and reactive decisions and commitments based on their nuances and unique situations.