Good relationships

With Valentine’s day tomorrow this would be a good time to suggest one of the fundamental rules of good relationships is that for a relationship to be satisfactory there should be a more or less equal exchange between the partners.

This rule applies to all relationships and economics is partly about relationships. Some economic relationships are close and long-term and others are with strangers and fleeting.  If the exchange is not equal it will be unsatisfactory and there will be feelings if not consequences.

It has surprised me that this rule is controversial.  On three occasions I have suggested it to women in my life.  The first two accused me of being selfish and I decided I was going to remain selfish.  The third replied “of course.”  That was 32 years ago.

One of my favorite shows is The Music Man.  The title character is an unsuccesful con man.  He sold lots of musical instruments but his cons were unsuccessful  because he gave something in return by enriching  the lives of all those he tried to con.

It is my wish that all seven billion people on this planet will have lives full of satisfactory relationships.

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