Sunday, 26 February 2012

Relationship Modes

These hardwired human relationship models that researchers have identified? I'm going to rechristen them so they make more sense within an actual relationship:
  • LOVE MODE (was COMMUNAL SHARING): Share and share alike without keeping tally. Think a couple sharing a meal they cooked together. Any trading has to be like for like, with near simultaneous benefit. 
  • AUTHORITY MODE (was AUTHORITY RANKING): One person in charge, the other does as they're told. Think "eat your greens, child!".
  • FRIENDSHIP MODE (was EQUALITY MATCHING): Rough turn and turn about. Think, two friends taking it in turns to pick up the tab for coffee.
  • CALCULATION MODE(was MARKET PRICING/RATIONAL LEGAL): Carefully calculated interactions. Think, you buy a meal in a cafe.
These all have their place in a day-to-day vanilla relationship.

Take chores.

Generally, we share the chores without thinking about it (Love Mode). Sometimes one of us is the expert and takes control, e.g. interior decorating (Authority Mode). At times, we explicitly trade chores, perhaps I do the kitchen and she does the living room (Friendship Mode). Only when things go wrong do we end up in Calculation Mode - "Hey - I spent two $%!***! hours in the kitchen while you gave the living room surfaces a quick wipe then retreated to the bath!"

Some things, like sex and intimacy, are supposed to belong only in one mode. Applying the wrong mode breaks a taboo. This partly explains why some couples have such a hard time getting Femdom off the ground.

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