We often talk about contracts in business. In Hollywood we talk about them, but we rarely sign them. We all love each other in Hollywood. We are all in the biz. We all grew up with a dream. And we all carry an axe. Because come pay day (or lack thereof), come stabbing day. There is probably no industry as famous for lawsuits as the film industry in Hollywood. Everyone loves one another, but if they don’t get what they want, they stab and they stab hard. In other words: in Hollywood you gotta keep track on who’s trying to screw who to keep out of trouble (in more ways than one).
In the school where I trained we learnt that there is a contract with everything. Your contract with the pen is that it provides ink for your paper. If it doesn’t it breaks the contract and we sue the manufacturer (if we are in the States, if we are in Europe we complain). What about your contract with yourself? Your best friend? Your lover? Your partner?
You are your greatest asset, bar none. How do you treat yourself? How do you want to treat yourself? Don’t you have a contract with yourself to look after yourself as best as possible? And don’t you feel a bit weird if you break that contract? That promise to be as great as you can be? Not in the eyes of others, but in the eyes of you? What does looking after you mean to you? What are you doing to make yourself feel great right now?
In life we often take things for granted when interacting with other people, but that often leads to signing blank cheques because we have no friggin clue of what we just entered into. Let me ask you this: what does friendship mean to you? What does a relationship mean to you? What does love mean to you? What does parenting mean to you? Growing up did you ever feel like yelling at your parents? Probably because they had a different view on parenting than you and you had no say, right? You can yell and scream, but by the end of the day they had the final say. Now in relationships in the grown-up world it’s different. No one is in charge of you, but they can hurt you if you let them and they can disappoint you if you let them.
You can date the greatest person in the world. This person is smart, kind, loved by the world… And you think you just caught the biggest fish in the sea. The problem is that the biggest fish in the sea doesn’t know what a great relationship means to you. The biggest fish in the sea does not know what a lousy relationship means to you. And how about you? How do you love someone? Is that what the person you are in a relationship want, or is it something different?
You love each other, but the day one of you starts breaking the contract the other had in mind when entering into the partnership knives starts flying. And you might not even know why. It just “feels” wrong, so you feel unfulfilled and hurt. And as we know – if you think someone else is hurting you the first impulse is to hurt them back.
So let me ask you: what do you need to feel happy? And what makes you sad? What is a great relationship to you? What makes you feel loved?
Then reverse the equation and ask your partner. Maybe he/she gets angry because you are late. Feels like you don’t care. But you are always late. Nothing to do with your partner. Nothing at all.
If you have a game plan, you have something to play with. Contracts between people aren’t like contracts between companies. It’s a lot more playful. What can we do to have as much fun as possible? What makes you feel loved? What makes you feel you can trust me? What does having a good time mean to you? How can we create an amazing life together? From the coolest vacation to the coolest sex…what works for you? Where can you grow together? Where can you explore together?
A good sales person figures out what you want and sells it to you with flare. For God’s sake care as much about your personal sales than those at work. And if you haven’t already figured out what you want or what those around you want: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. (Yes I will continue to repeat myself…this book IS worth buying, it’s worth reading, its’ worth giving to every person you know.)
You cannot and should not want to turn someone into what you want. Either they can provide you with what you need or they can’t. It isn’t a business deal where you demand things. It’s two people coming together because they like each other, you just need to know that you are people that can also be happy together.
People are people. No matter how many contracts they sign, no matter how good their intention, they all have a past. Sometimes that past overtakes them and puts them on auto-pilot. However, if you discuss what your contract is, at least you have some sort of blueprint for how things should be and you know what’s wrong if things just don’t “feel right” anymore. You don’t need to stand there like an idiot going: “I thought a relationship meant monogamy to you too??!?!?!” Plus it gives you an open discussion point. You don’t feel needy for saying you want something, because the other person also has a wish and it’s your job to fulfill it. Congratulations – you just turned into someone’s most beloved genie 😉 And we all love genies that fulfill our wishes, don’t we?
So today, I’m off to play in the sunshine, instead of all the other should:s and must:s and have to:s… I should look after me. That’s my only real job in this world…n keepin track of who’s screwing who even if it’s me screwing myself if u get my point!
O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
What shall I swear by?
Do not swear at all;
Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
Which is the god of my idolatry,
And I’ll believe thee.
If my heart’s dear love—
Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee,
I have no joy of this contract tonight:
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
Ere one can say “It lightens.” Sweet, good night!
This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest
Come to thy heart as that within my breast!
O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?
The exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine.
I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:
And yet I would it were to give again.
Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?
But to be frank, and give it thee again.
And yet I wish but for the thing I have.
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.