Amara Charles Misunderstanding the Agreement

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An excerpt from 'Sexual Agreements by Amara Charles'.

Mistake One: Misunderstanding the Agreement

Over the years, the most common error I have encountered when partners are making relationship agreements is that they have different ideas about what they are agreeing to. One person hears one thing and the other person hears something else. One person remembers certain things that were said and forgets others.

Yet, most of the time, partners are convinced an agreement was reached. In reality, there was usually a discussion, but rarely was an actual agreement made.

Most often it’s because they are in too much of a hurry. When partners are making agreements that involve sex, very sensitive feelings are brought up. Understandably, there is a tendency to brush over details and avoid the most highly charged issues.

What to do? Slow down. Start simple.

Write it down It may sound tedious, but in the beginning it is necessary to put the agreement in writing. Later, when you have a good track record in keeping, remembering, and understanding each other’s perceptions of what the agreement is, you can skip writing things down.

Much will be said and each of you will remember different things, depending on what you want to hear, or what is important to you. It is impossible to remember it all. It’s even harder to remember the difference between what was just being talked about and what was really agreed upon. Chances are you are probably both new to this.

Make an agreement, and then specifically discuss how each of you understands the agreement If there are major differences between your interpretations of the agreement, go back to step one. Talk things over again. Usually, there are several things you are trying to lump together that need to be more carefully considered. Most of the time when agreements are broken, feelings get hurt and relationships are torn apart because there wasn’t a clear agreement in the beginning.

Neither partner took the time to understand the other person’s points of view.

Discuss the meaning of key words.

Thousands of times I’ve heard one person say, for example, “We agreed to an open relationship.” And when I asked, 'Did your partner agree to this?' The response was always, 'Yes, we both agreed to have an open relationship.'

Then, we would dig deeper and find out that they had two completely different interpretations about what an 'open relationship' meant.

In your discussions, make sure you talk about the meaning of key words you use.

Many transgressions are unconscious and are made even though each person feels he or she has carefully abided by the agreement.

Something within an agreement may have been spoken in a particular way; however, both interpreted key words differently.

Whenever you are not sure whether you are on the same page, it is always wise to ask each other, 'What do you mean by _______?'.

You cannot expect each other to keep agreements if neither of you really understands what the other means by certain words.

Sexual Agreements Within Monogamous Relationships

Buy Sexual Agreements by Amara Charles

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