Belenen (belenen) wrote,
Belenen
belenen

non-consensual expectations in relationships are not okay - ASK FIRST. Friendships, family, romance!

Do not assume that "everyone knows" how to be kind, or how to show love. NO. That assumes one right way for all people. Some people believe giving space is the kindest thing to do, but for other people that can feel like abandonment. Some people believe that talking it out immediately is the most loving act, whereas for people who need silence in order to figure out their feelings, that can shatter their thoughts and harm their ability to communicate. Some people believe that cleaning for someone else is a kind act of love, but for others that can feel like a violation of their space and an insult to the way they manage their things.

It is NEVER APPROPRIATE TO ASSUME that a person knows the way you want to be loved, or that they can in fact do the thing that will make you feel loved. Or vice versa -- you cannot assume that you know the right way to love someone else. This includes everything everything everything (except abuse).

I'm gonna quote myself with some bits added:
We can't pre-negotiate all our expectations (because most of them are subconscious!), but we can recognize when we have an expectation that has not been agreed on and then negotiate it without resentment for past lack-of-meeting that expectation.

That means when your feelings are hurt by them acting in a way other than what you expected, asking yourself, "did this person agree to act this way for me?" If the answer is no, this means saying to your person, "this is a thing I want in relationships. Are you comfortable with me relying on you to do this thing, and expecting it?"

If they say yes, fantastic! then you discuss what that looks like and how you can both make sure it happens, and what to do if it doesn't.

If they say "no," you need to look within yourself and decide if that is something you can be okay without in that relationship. If it is, adjust your feelings, and perhaps look for that need to be met elsewhere. If it is not, you need to end the relationship. Plain and fucking simple.

It is NOT appropriate to stay in the relationship and hope that they will change their mind or start doing that thing you want or become okay with aspects of you that they currently judge -- that is disrespectful and pressuring at best, and it blocks off both people from potential healthy positive relationships.

In short, if you want to expect something, ask if it is okay for you to expect it. Otherwise don't expect it! To expect something without checking if it is okay is not consensual and can even be coercive.

I have this problem too, and if I ever get upset at you specifically about something that you didn't consent for me to expect, just point it out to me and I will check myself. If I do it, that doesn't mean I think it is appropriate! it just means that this thought pattern has a hold on me as well.
Tags: communication / words, consent, lovetech, relationships, the essential belenen collection
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