It’s an almost certainty that any relationship you are in right now is going to end. Relationships are more fluid than they ever have been before.
We don’t stay at the same job for 40 years, collect the gold watch and retire. We rarely stay married to the same person. We move, we shift, we evolve. Relationships end. It’s just the way it is.
The greatest chance you have of ending your relationships in a way that does not result in emotional distress is by planning for the break up at the beginning of the relationship. When you love each other.
Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a business relationship doesn’t matter. In the beginning there is love. At the end, there may not be.
But, if you plan for the end at the beginning, you are far more likely to be able to end the relationship with love and keep the door open for the possibility of flowing back together.
This is what having agreements is all about.
Create an agreement at the beginning your relationship and be exceedingly clear about what happens at the end.
I never used to do this and I wondered why my relationships ended poorly, with confusion and lack of clarity. With unhappiness and blame.
I recently ended a relationship. We had no agreement in place. The end was ugly. Not lawsuit ugly, thank God. But, emotionally ugly. Perhaps it could have been different if we had written down all the agreements we had made and talked about over the years.
When I hired a CEO to come in and run my company recently, I was awed by our process of creating an agreement. It wasn’t a negotiation; it was a dance. A courtship.
Start every relationship with this kind of a courtship. See the agreement process as an opportunity to discover something about yourself and this person you are entering into a relationship with.
Do they retract and constrict? Do you? Or is the dialogue open-hearted and loving? Where are you generous and yielding and where do you tense and hold back?
Discover how to set boundaries with an open heart. It’s the most loving thing you can do for all your relationships.