A relationship is a social contract binding two individuals. It has salient and silent terms of engagements which may or may not be formally discussed. This is usually clear to both parties except one person is not being sincere.

During courtship or at the point of meeting, there are expectations from both parties, as time goes on these expectations, character and behavior are either clearly or indirectly made known. Both adult parties are usually aware of each other’s expectations, it is expected that as two consenting adults, each party must thoroughly examine and understand what is expected of them and also put forward their own expectations

Agreeing to enter the relationship without stating clearly which part of your partner’s expectations you are unable to manage indicates your acceptance of those expectations and behaviors and therefore your assent to the social contract. If changes are to be made in future, it will require the consent of both parties to agree to the change or adjustment of expectations or behavioral patterns.

What usually causes problems in relationships is a person’s attempt to change the already established contract or not living up to the expectations as expressed by your partner ab initio. Some people believe that making promises you don’t intend to keep during courtship is part of the game, or pretending to be who you are not or behaving in a way totally different from who you are just to get them to accept you is being smart.

These may be smart moves for a one night stand, it is definitely the dumbest approach if you are looking to have a lasting relationship. The hardest thing to sustain in a relationship which requires close proximity to each other is a lie. Pretense and fake behaviors are certainly not sustainable at the long term. Your partner will fall in love and accept who you pretend to be. If you change at any point, you will become a stranger and will definitely be treated as one. The love, care and respect you once enjoyed may be withdrawn.

So be yourself, lay your cards on the table, say what you want and how you want it. Tell them how you expect to be loved and how you intend to love them. Everything should be on the table for discussion. If after these expositions and negotiations you agree to be together, you have started on a good footing and will probably survive the occasional pitfalls in relationships. If it is working between two people, they did their due diligence to ensure they are compatible, the result is what many call a perfect match made in heaven – Sir Stanley Ekezie