The Exchange of Want and Giving of Expectation

More often than not, we find ourselves engaged in relationships that are based on a series of expectations. These relationships vary from general acquaintances to long rooted friends to serious affairs and matters of the romantic heart.

When we each look back upon the friendships that we’ve garnered, how many can say we have a friendship (a relationship) without the expectation of exchange? We all want something and we all have an agenda – malice or kind, selfish or giving, it exists. The agenda itself is benign, it’s the motive that can be something else.

I’m missing a wedding invitation. This lack of parchment courting my presence eats at me as each day it fails to lay resting in my mailbox. Then – by the 21st century’s grace of social media – I am presented pictures of a wedding that occurred with me absent; an attendee posted unaware of the slight while others went to lengths to ‘hide’ the event.

What’s upsetting isn’t the no-show of transformed trees to commodity – it’s the realization that the friendship was a mirage on my end, and a nothing on the other. As I look and inspect I see that the trend is all too common with many others; not just friends or relationships of mine but in general.

We loathe prostitution but fail to admire its simplicity. The relationship begins and ends with a clearly defined set of expectations when the money exchanges hands and the performance is complete. The exchange of want for both parties is complete and terminated – expectations were met. We never lead with such simplicity when it comes to our other relationships.

In relationships the lines are blurred and parameters grayed; but ultimately the transaction has the same outline. Someone wants for something and the other is able to give. Sometimes this exchange is harmonious and long-lasting – we call this a relationship – and appreciate the intricacies of making it work.

In this case, I feel disheartened that a lack of disclosure led to false beliefs on my end; perhaps it’s a return for the false beliefs I led others to invest in. Maybe the want of expectations is what can lead others in failing to meet them. Or maybe it would be easier if people were just as honest in hurting peoples feelings up front, instead of knowing they were hurt behind their backs. Ignorance is only ever bliss for the one, not all.

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