What would it be like? 

To be in relationship

With someone

To whom there were no strings attached

No invisible chords

Of unspoken, coercive expectation

And the weave and wear of bargaining chips

I’ve scratched your back now …

But we then might disagree on who has done the most scratching

Whose back is larger or more in need

And before long we no longer

See each other as people

But as back-scratching resources

In competition for the best and fairest deal

Devising subtle punishments to induce yet further compliance  

Wanting only for the other to see it our way

To walk in our shoes

But what if?

We could speak to each other of our hopes and needs and longings

Without the strings

And psychological contracts

To love freely

To empathise with generosity

To see the other as a person rather than as a resource 

For our support, need, satisfaction 

What would that be like?

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