PQ 13.7 — Can I renegotiate the agreements in my relationships? Can my partners?

a heart inked in red surrounded by a mass of rainbow-colored squiggly ink lines
Image by Luke Hayfield / CC BY

PQ 13.7 — Can I renegotiate the agreements in my relationships? Can my partners?

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Change is hardest at the beginning, messiest in the middle and best at the end.

-Robin Sharma

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Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

-Winston Churchill

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Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.

-James Michener

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I’ve written before about how I feel like rules without context are like a body without a pulse. As much as rules comfort us, give us a sense of structure, a sense of control, they can easily be just as oppressive.

Especially when formed and applied without context.

The trouble, of course, is that people find it helpful to have guidelines when they’re trying something new — for example, opening a relationship.

Sometimes people will look at renegotiation in a profoundly negative light. They’ll view it as a kind of failure. Think that they didn’t get things right the first time, so now here they are again… back to the drawing board. Full circle and with nothing to show for it, albeit a little added stress.

When framed that way, it’s easy to see why people are leery of renegotiation and can dread it.

But much like most writers will need a couple of drafts to get their work where they really want it, it’s not at all unusual for it to take a couple of adjustments to get a relationship agreement just right.

Much of the magic stems not from the original creation of something — but from a clever edit.

So rather than running from renegotiation, I’ve learned to embrace it.

Here’s a post I wrote about renegotiating your relationship agreements.

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This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions and answers, please see this indexed list.

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