Dystopian Future of Relationship
I’ve written an earlier post about how a relationship is similar to a job. However, the article was developed on the idea of Knapp’s relationship developmental model. It matches well with the ‘getting-in’ stage of relationship but not with the ‘getting-out’. In a job, you don’t gradually get out of it. You tell the employer that you found a better opportunity and you get the hell out of there in the earliest possible time.
What if we extend that idea to relationships! What if, in a dystopian future, it is possible that relationships become exactly similar to jobs. You are less connected emotionally and more concerned about the fulfillment of your needs i.e. the maslow hierarchy of needs. What if some day it becomes perfectly alright to find another partner before you break off with your current partner. What if it is completely acceptable to be active on dating sites like Tinder/OkCupid while you are in a committed relationship. Just like you deserve to be in a best job possible, you would deserve to be in the best relationship possible and you would have the right to pursue it. What if relationships/marriages come with a complete complex clauses like what should be the notice period, how would you settle in case of break up and who gets the custody of the kid.
Imagine you are sitting in your living room browsing through the channels on television, your kids are playing monopoly on the floor besides you and your wife is working on her laptop. You have your whole life planned out with yourself, your wife and children in it. Out of no where she tells you that, “we need to talk.” You accompany her to bedroom guessing from the tone that it’s not something your children should be listening.
She says, “I’ve decided to move on. These past years have been a great learning experience and I had some amazing memories but it’s time to change the field. I have been with you for eight years now and there is no more excitement or challenges. We’re married, have kids and they’re growing up. There is not much growth that I see in this relationship.” You are taken aback, you are disheartened and couldn’t believe your ears. You push yourself into asking her who is she moving onto. She informs you about the artist she likes and he has agreed to move in with her. In her words, she needs some experience in different field as she has been with a consultant (you) for a long time. After this discussion you appeal to her if there is something that could make her stay (a counter offer). But she denies any possibility of retention.
You start analyzing about what you might have done wrong that she thought of quitting. May be it’s because of the necklace you gave this anniversary that wasn’t much of an upgrade from last year. May be it’s because how you rarely gave her any recognition for the work she did. Or may be it’s because you didn’t involve her much in the decision making process that affected you both. You couldn’t put a finger on one yet you think to yourself, that in your next relationship you need to include a retention clause as well.
You start taking notes of what she tells you during the last days of your relationship like its an exit interview. You put yourself out there again in search of another partner and initiate the interview process in search of a replacement. You go through hundreds of applications, shortlist a few of them and interview a couple of them. You put out an offer in the hope she accepts. She does. You hire her, go through all the on-boarding formalities and arrange for a knowledge sharing session with your current partner. In a week, you are pleased with her ramp up.
Your current partner bids adieu on high note and moves in with her future partner. You go back to your life thinking you will do better this time and will try to retain this relationship for longer than usual.
Is this sad? Not sure, you tell me.