How We Agree

Dialogue by Kit No Comments »

Dear Kat,

I have been mystified how we reach agreement on things.  For instance, I wrote here “We come to agreement on what we do together without apparent effort or decision-making” and here “This happens so regularly that it is a statistical impossibility that we should always want the same things.”

The other night you answered this so eloquently; let me see if I can summarise it.

It’s a result of being open and present.  You have an idea of what to do.  I suggest something else that is not in your mind.  Because you are open and undefended you are not stuck on your idea being the best.  More than that, you welcome the variety and difference that another person brings to the table.  Maybe it’s not to your liking, but that’s OK, too, because I am not bound to my suggestion.  And so it goes, and we rapidly reach a conclusion that works for both of us.  This whole process takes place so easily and fluidly that I think we must sometimes not see it happening, only experience the results.

It’s aided by several things.  That we like many of the same things broadens the area for agreement, but more than that is being open to newness and change, and not being attached to specific outcomes.  Lastly, we have no desire to triumph over the other, and want what is best for both of us.  This all takes a certain level of self-knowledge and non-attachment.  Do we make this a prerequisite?  Try to teach it?  Assume it is present?

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Behind the 100% factor

Dialogue by Kit No Comments »

My dear Kat,

I want to make two points about the 100% factor — the principle of allowing each other total freedom, and how liberating that is.

The first is that I suspect people mishear it as 100% commitment.  Yes, that’s important too, but you can be 100% committed and a terrible nag.  We are talking about something very different.

Secondly, we’re not saying people should tolerate anything and everything, acting like a doormat and letting their partner walk all over them.  Instead, it is only possible in a partnership that has core agreements in place.  I think they vary from couple to couple, but examples would be trust, honesty, monogamy and fiscal responsibility.  When these are in place, nothing else is necessary.  You can give your partner the space to do and be whatever they please.

Peculiarly, these agreements were never made explicit between us until we sat down to write our wedding vows.  That must have been because our beliefs were communicated through our actions.

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Suitability revisited

Dialogue by Kit No Comments »

Dear Kat,

I’ve been thinking about our posts on being suited to each other.  There are two aspects to this very necessary prerequisite:

  1. You have to know what to look for in the other, and also, what to avoid (I know you don’t like negatives, but I think they’re important here).
  2. You have to be that same desirability for the other person.

I’ll tackle the latter first.  I don’t (at this stage, anyway) want a laundry list of behaviors.  I would rather just say “Do as you would be done by”, and point out that this embodies the concept of empathy, of being able imagine oneself in the place of the other, and furthermore, that this is the first step in merging, or union.

So that’s a requirement for the other person’s behavior, too.  There must be much more to work out here – what about preferences, kinks, hobbies, interests, goals, politics?  They may be necessary, too, but I don’t need to go there now.  By the way, I fail miserably at this assessment, or I would never have spent so much time with A____.


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