Some friends and I were hanging out. We were talking about business meetings with clients, when a friend said the following sentence: “You can promise the world and not agree to anything”
What he meant was that when talking to a client you can tell them all the solutions you could offer them, but until there is a deal on the table which both parties have said yes to, nothing is truly agreed.
And it made me wonder: does this apply to relationships as well?
One time I was seeing a man I truly liked. We drove each other crazy because we were both stubborn and liked to be right, however we had a chemistry that was undeniable.
I have had the blessing of being able to travel quite a bit in my life and one city I love is Paris. When talking to him, at the beginning of the story, we would talk about maybe traveling to Paris, maybe doing this, maybe doing that.
However, when we started seeing each other those plans got replaced with different ones. Instead of going to Paris, we went to the mountains, instead of having long deep conversations until the sunrise, we would play 21 questions, and so on.
Was I promised something I didn’t receive? That is one way of seeing it. However, when in relationships (friends and/or romantic) does the same rule as in business apply? Was everything promised but nothing agreed?
I believe not.
When “promising” something to someone you just met, you are putting yourself out there, showing what is that you wish you could get out of that relationship. However, you never know how it is going to go because you don’t truly know that person.
In business, you go to a meeting trying to get the client, you “promise” (offer) different possibilities and solutions because you want the client to agree to the deal. However, once it is agreed you need to comply with it. It’s a deal.
When it is a friendship or romantic relationship, deals change and we should learn to embrace it. We should learn to not go into promising the world, the moon and Paris, and most importantly, to not get upset or disappointed if we don’t get the world, the moon and Paris, because at the end of the day, the beauty of starting something (whatever that may be) with someone new, is to get to know each other.
The romcom we got sold is not the script we need to follow. And even though I would have loved going to Paris with this guy, it wasn’t the right time neither for him nor for me. What it was the right time for was to go to the mountains and see a beautiful waterfall.
He was not an asshole for having implied that he wished to travel to Paris and then not following through. He was being honest at that time. But things changed afterwards, we got to know each other and we’ve learnt to accept the fucked up timing of our connection.
Maybe one day we will go to Paris, or maybe not, but I don’t feel I have been betrayed with empty promises. I learnt from that experience that putting yourself out there, dreaming together, is part of the deal, but going through with everything it is mentioned, is not necessarily part of the deal. The script has to unfold, and that is the beauty of meeting someone new.