Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Do We Need To Plan?

Most of us want a partner, boyfriend, lover, husband, or whatever, but do we ever stop to build a foundation or think of a plan of action for our relationships? I don't think that many of us do. Most often it seems that relationships fail because there was no purpose or plan on how to make it work. We go into relationships doing what we know how or what we think will work with no clear direction. But like a career or education, I think that we must have a plan of action in order to be successful.

The few Gay, Black couples I know seem to have taken their relationships in steps and appear to be successful. I have seen the following or similar model work on 3 occasions with couples who have been together 5 or more years.

First they get a dog or other pet together,
They make a verbal commitment to each other,
They then give keys to each others' dwelling,
They introduce each other to family,
They move in to an apartment or lease a house,
They then buy a house together,
They adopt or have children by one of many means,
They live happily ever after.

They all started off dating and when it was deemed time, they formed relationships and put plans into place in terms of finances, home life, children and family, and other aspects.

Has anyone else seen this model work or have any thoughts on what I have said?

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Blogger E said...

Hmmm...Rock so wants to get a dog. And I want kids one day. That's a start I guess...*LOL*.

12:43 AM, December 11, 2007  
Anonymous Steve said...

I've seen many models, and the one you propose would seem very reasonable. Just having any plan whatsoever is a big improvement over most people. Even if you don't stick to the letter of it, you at least have a destination and a map.

8:22 AM, December 11, 2007  
Blogger Cocoa Rican said...

I’ve been in two long term relationships – tens years and six years respectively – and saw the positive progression in both. I will caution everyone that I don’t believe there is such a thing as a set plan or these pseudo-straight models you mention. I believe the foundation that each couple sets is based on variables that are a lot more basic – honesty, respect, communication, patience, etc. Attempting to mimic the straight community with home purchases, children – even pets – can complicate and unrealistically impose scenarios that don’t naturally work for all couples; whereas the basic foundation rules appear to make any relationship have a better chance at success. Presently, BD and I enjoy each other immensely, share openly and try our hardest to love unconditionally. My relationship with him is one year strong, but I have to admit that with the differences in our personalities and the issues with adding an ex-wife and child to the mix, this has been a study in patience and understanding. Conversely, the rewards have been amazing; not the least of which is having a ready-built little one. No, it isn’t always easy and I’m not always patient, but within the boundaries of respect, couples can learn to tackle anything. My advice (if it’s really worth shit) is that people stop trying to live a sitcom or movie relationship and realize that this is real life with real issues and that it will take really wanting a relationship to make it work.

10:33 AM, December 11, 2007  
Blogger That Dude Right There said...

@E-A dog is a good start because it allows you 2 to see how you react when having a common interest to care for.

@Steve-I agree. Any plan is better than no plan

@Cocoa-I was never attempting to advocate a "pseudo-straight model". But then again, if it works for the straights, then it can work for the gays also. A lot of gays think that we should rebel against straight models, but I don't think that way. The 3 couples that I know who are successful appear to have followed a 'pseudo-straight model" and are doing just fine.

11:43 AM, December 11, 2007  
Blogger My Name Is J said...

i got a headache so i just skimmed so if i missed something let me kno.

But plans seem to take the natural "flow" out of dating and falling in love. Plans seem "forced".

12:51 PM, December 11, 2007  
Blogger bLaQ~n~MiLD said...

I think Imma have to go with Cocoa on this one yo. First, I hate dogs so that couldn't be anywhere near the first step for me. Verbal commitments are cute but they are made all the time...and broken far too easily.

Personally, the model I have set forth in my current relationship seems to be progressing ok. As was said, honesty and communication are key, however, understanding that me and Lil Dred are relatively private individuals. We sometimes find it hard to really express exactly what's going on in our minds ALL the time (moreso me than him). I am your typical man...give me my sports, spare me that emotional shyt! Having said that, I have definitely been trying to do better. Some of the pseudo-straight models may work for some, but honestly each relationship is it's own beast. I think the 'construct' that should be followed should be geared towards you and your mates temperments. And as I contiuously say, "One day at a time..." Honestly, relationships aren't a race to the finish. It's a journey towards the future.

Sorry if I babbled...


1:58 PM, December 11, 2007  
Blogger E said...

I think some kind of planning is needed but at the same time it all shouldn't be planned since spontaneity is just as important. The planning comes in because relationships are basically work and you need to have some kind of game plan (it may not always work) to handle the ups and downs if you want the relationship to work. If not, I think it plays a role in one person eventually telling the other to fuck off after even the most minor of tiffs. The key is that hopefully both parties in a relationship want to do what they can to make that a reality.

Truth is I'm not that thrilled about a dog just as Rock's not that thrilled about children. But if it's something that really important, the other party needs to be willing to have a game plan to handle the possibility of a scenario they're not 100% on board with happening.

7:16 PM, December 11, 2007  
Blogger Bernie said...

In order for two gay people to have a long-term relationship, they must first believe that a long-term relationship is attainable. Then they must decide if that is what they *both* want. Then, they can start planning how to make it happen.

I think most of our relationships fail because we can't even imagine longevity and there isn't mutual agreement that that is what both partners want. So it winds up being this wandering, constantly shifting relationship with no strings attached, no real commitment and an easy escape route. THAT'S a plan for failure.

7:32 PM, December 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what planet you're living on.

Plan? With Black people or even gays? Wake up my man!

8:09 PM, December 11, 2007  
Blogger fuzzy said...

The problem with model's like these is the thing called circumstance. I believe that this model can work for someone 100% in their favor, while on the flip, it can work in their disadvantage. Some will find that only a portion of this will work. The one thing I can 100% backup here is that you need a plan of ACTION. Don't just sit there and expect the relationship to last forever!

11:56 AM, December 12, 2007  
Blogger Cocoa Rican said...

Since more than half the str8 marriages end in divorce, I'd venture to say that the str8 model doesn't REALLY work. As the recurring theme appears to mention, there are no working models for ALL couples; yet it can be said that with honesty, communication, patience and respect, ALL couples (str8 and gay) have the greatest chance for success. There are plenty of foreclosed homes, euthanized pets and kids in foster care behind trying to make material or palpable objects set the tone for a relationship.

12:40 PM, December 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bah your blog ate my comment. lol.

1:38 PM, December 12, 2007  
Blogger That Dude Right There said...

@J-We already talked about this so you know what I really meant. Thanks!

@Blaq-So I have to ask you, what's in the future for you and Lil' Dred

@E-"The planning comes in because relationships are basically work and you need to have some kind of game plan (it may not always work) to handle the ups and downs if you want the relationship to work." THANKS, THAT'S CAN SUM UP WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT.

@Bernie-I think you got it right. If you don't make a plan , then you are planning to fail.

@Captain-I plan on ignoring you.

@Fuzzy-I am glad that you agree that there needs to be a plan of action.

@Cocao-I think that half of straight divorces end because couples don't know what to do when a situation comes about. What do we do when a spouse loses a job? What do we do when a baby arrives? People don't make plans of what to do in case situations arrive.

1:47 PM, December 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... as I was saying before this pop-up window disappeared....

For us (12 years, with rocky moments, of course), joint finance was the step that announced the long-term stuff. Both our moneys into a single account, both names on credit apps, etc. It's not as scary as it sounds. :)

I probably wouldn't call it the straight plan or model or whatever. Different couples work around these things differently. Some see having a pet together as a big thing. Another couple couldn't give a diddly about pets. Some would never have joint accounts (what?! my money is YOUR money too? hell naw!!!). Some see having a house together as their goal. I think some of the things you listed is a natural progression of a relationship - cxchanging apartment keys, for instance. Other things are agreed upon/decided, and are steps toward long-term.

I agree with Bernie tho. It takes both people.

Now... before this window disappears again....

1:59 PM, December 12, 2007  
Blogger Kyon Saucier said...

All yo need to do is let the love flow, stay commitd to staying together thru all of it the good and the bad and make sure that at the end of each day geeally you are happy and at peace with the one you're with. All tha other stuff just falls into place.

2:26 PM, December 12, 2007  
Blogger bLaQ~n~MiLD said...

TDRT- The future will hold whatever God decides for it to hold and we will venture forward by his grace. I'll tell you one thing about 'plans' and 'blueprits'... No matter how many contigencies you calculate for, life will always thow you a curveball. Honestly a 'plan' is only a 'feel good' solution. It's no substitute for a solid foundation. Having said all of that, the next step for Lil Dred and I is to make it through to the new year and grow in love. With each day a new challenge will arrise but we will face the challenge together. That's all we can expect and honestly, that's all that I ask.


4:43 PM, December 12, 2007  
Blogger Darius T. Williams said...

I love this post.but its so damn important to focus on you first. quality attracts quality. I am a living witness that love will find u when u start loving yourself enough to focus on you. a plan is great...but, I hate plans when it comes to something so fluid as love. but its really about learning what will and won't won't work for u. when u unlock the secret remember the combination because u will have to keep unlocking over and over again. again, really great post norris.

8:19 PM, December 13, 2007  
Blogger yet another black guy said...

how the heck do you get a dog together before living together?!

6:59 PM, December 28, 2007  

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