Maybe you haven’t heard of a ‘transactional’ relationship, since this term is more often mentioned in business.
Some people look at a relationship as a business, though.
Are you knowingly or unknowingly in a relationship that’s more like a business transaction?
The word transaction is most often associated with buying and selling.
A transactional relationship is a type of relationship where the two romantic partners are much more like business partners.
It’s a relationship based on need, so it’s not really romantic. They both benefit from it, each in their own way.
Transactional relationships are all about self-interest, while meaningful, transformational relationships are about giving.
You probably noticed that when a person wants something from someone they know, the easiest way to get it is to offer something in return.
We consider this a normal social interaction, but isn’t it more like a simple business deal?
There’s nothing wrong with transacting like this, but it lacks love.
This type of relationship isn’t based on what the two people want, but what they need.
A lot of the time, relationships end exactly because they start to seem transactional.
You probably broke up with someone who didn’t give you selfless love and kept needing things from you.
Maybe you even settled for what was actually mediocre love because your partner only considered you a possession that just keeps on giving.
You now know your worth, and those who do set boundaries that no one can cross anymore.
If your relationship has started to look transactional, you should do something about it. Why?
The 3 biggest reasons why you shouldn’t settle for a transactional relationship
1. A transactional relationship is a business partnership, not a loving relationship
We forget what a relationship should be all about when we focus on need instead of giving.
Relationships that are based on business deals and offers don’t even feel like real relationships.
How can it be a loving union when your significant other will give you only as much as you’ll give them.
It might be fair… but it’s a business partnership because people don’t keep score in loving relationships.
Wouldn’t it be better if you saw each other as life partners instead of a business team? It would strengthen your bond and bring back the romance.
“Why would I do that for you now, when you never do that for me?”
Have you ever said something like that to your partner or heard it from them?
That question is the core of a transactional relationship. Partners aren’t willing to do anything for each other if they don’t get the same in return.
Isn’t it obvious that these relationships are actually doomed from the start?
They’re unhealthy and damaging to both partners… and if those partners have children, it’s damaging to them too.
2. Your kids learn from you
A transactional environment teaches your children to appreciate others based on what they can get from them.
These wrong values make them think that they shouldn’t do anything if there’s not something they could gain from it.
Our interactions with others are already often transactional.
When we see all relationships as transactional, including romantic ones, we teach kids that they should give only if they can take.
The best thing to do would be to seek a more honest and genuine relationship.
If you’re in a transactional relationship, you can still try to turn it into a transformational one.
Don’t settle for a good trade; discover the beauty of love that transactional relationships are missing.
3. A transactional relationship lacks love and doesn’t have the power to transform you
As you can guess, transformational relationships are about making positive changes.
Unlike transactional relationships, they’re also about helping and giving.
Happy couples know that they’re stronger together than as individuals so they find solutions that suit them both.
Being a united front isn’t the only advantage of a transformational relationship. It got its name because it changes people in a meaningful way.
Love can change the way you see the world!
It shouldn’t only be about needs… and you’ll realize that once you experience something transformational.
You and your partner can be in synergy and it will allow both of you to grow and improve as individuals while being together as romantic partners.
Your relationship should make you feel the urge to make positive changes.
I’m not talking just about changing your own life but changing the lives of your loved ones… and even changing the world around you.
It’s not always possible, but when you’re in a healthy relationship, you at least want to change things.
You want to be a better person, do better at everything you do, and continually exceed your own expectations.
Mutual respect, adoration, and appreciation are necessary for a deep and genuine connection.
After all, isn’t true love when two people are willing to go the extra mile for each other without expecting something in return?
The reason transformational relationships are better than transactional ones is pretty obvious. Transactional relationships can’t last, and transformational ones most often do.
You need someone whose main priority will be striving to create happy and emotionally rich personal lives that both of you can share.
This is something that isn’t possible in a transactional relationship.
That kind of relationship is about finding ways to profit from what’s more of a partnership than a relationship.
You need a partner who’ll always have your back and give you unwavering support and love instead.
The biggest reason you shouldn’t settle for a transactional relationship is a little ironic… By focusing on your needs, you don’t get what you truly need.
6 ways to turn a transactional relationship into a transformational one
You can create something a lot more transformational out of a transactional relationship.
A transformational relationship will open your eyes to everything you’ve been missing while you’ve been focused on transactions.
It’ll show you what love is all about and how it can change you and make your life better.
You’ll be able to see the world differently and truly grow as a person.
Instead of a relationship that’s based on need and self-interest, you’ll have one that’s focused on core values, growth, and changes.
There’s no room for ‘quid pro quo’ in love because it’s not a business deal. It needs authenticity and intimacy that a business deal can’t possibly have.
You need affectionate collaboration in a relationship where partners show up for one another… and not because they have to, but want to.
If you want a long-lasting bond, a genuine connection, and intimacy, you have to have a transforming kind of love.
It will let you both grow together while still being authentic individuals.
Here’s how to have a healthier relationship:
1. Don’t have any expectations in the relationship
In a transactional relationship, both partners have certain expectations. In fact, this relationship can be filled with them.
They’re often there from the start, which means that the relationship doesn’t get a proper chance to begin with.
By focusing only on the things you need from a relationship, you don’t clearly see what’s really going on because you’re too sidetracked.
Expectations kill excitement, spontaneity, and romance, just like keeping score does.
In addition, making transactions instead of interactions makes you think more than feel.
Instead of feeling loved and loving, you focus on wondering whether your expectations are being met.
When we enter a romantic relationship, there’s just one expectation we should have in mind… to be fully present in the moment.
Each day brings something new, and we shouldn’t wake up with ulterior motives. When you love someone, you need to love them no matter what.
You need to talk to your partner and let them know if you’re not happy with the type of relationship you have.
Openly ask for what you want, especially if it’s a solid foundation and a deeper bond.
Don’t despair if you’re currently in a transaction-based relationship.
A transformational relationship can start that way and progress into what it’s supposed to be.
Your partner is a lot more than a glorified business partner. As soon as you realize that, you can work on creating something more.
Lower your expectations and discover your partner for who they truly are.
Make sure to keep an open mind and be ready to offer the love that you seek.
As long as your partner is really the right person for you, you’ll develop a more genuine and warmer relationship.
Only that kind of relationship will allow you to grow and create a healthy environment.
2. Be the real you in the relationship
Only you know who is actually ‘the real you’ and no one else can unless you’re that person in front of them.
Try figuring out who you really are when no one else is there and try always being that person around others too.
It may sound easy, but it can be challenging. It’s worth it, though, because it ultimately makes you happy.
Nothing is more personal than being your true authentic self.
There isn’t a person in the world who could tell you what you need to do to become who you are.
Only you know how you can do it and uncovering your true self to your loved ones is up to you.
What I can tell you about it is that it’s beyond noticeable when someone is being real in a world full of fake people.
It’s always welcome and appreciated to see some real people nowadays.
Most importantly, it benefits your relationship in a lot of ways.
When you fiercely, unapologetically, and freely express yourself, it helps you and your partner bond.
By being yourself, you’ll encourage your partner to show who they truly are too.
They’ll finally feel safe enough to take off the mask they wear in front of others.
Your partner might even be tired of a transaction-based relationship too. Maybe they’re secretly hoping for more!
If you want a meaningful relationship, authenticity is crucial.
Yes, people can be really good at pretending and they can act for quite a long time but eventually, they get tired because pretending becomes exhausting.
Who can keep playing a role in real life when it’s just not who they are? Do yourself a favor and simply be the person you really are and want to be.
Your partner and you are romantic partners, not business partners. You’re supposed to share your lives with one another.
Start by being who you truly are, forget about business deals and really be romantic partners.
3. Don’t play it safe and be prepared to take risks in a relationship
Life rewards courage even when it starts with fear, so taking risks is what makes life worth living.
In fact, both love and life are about taking risks. You have to give yourself completely and just hope for the best.
There’s no safety net in life and love; you just have to be willing to go all-in, hope for the best, and see what happens.
Taking risks in a relationship helps your partner and you create a strong bond and a sense of real, deep trust.
It makes you see that you’re both ready and willing to go all-in for each other.
It’s impossible to just play it safe every time. You can’t just wait for other people to do things for you so that you could give something back.
Sometimes you have to let go of the need for control and simply follow your gut.
There are a lot of things you miss out on when you stay in a loveless relationship.
Since a transactional relationship is always full of constant rejection, it prevents you from truly loving each other.
You become closed off and don’t allow yourself to give your whole heart to the person you’re with.
You’re left feeling alone and afraid to reach out to them because you don’t want to be turned down.
All these things turn into a constant need to play it safe but you have to stop doing this if you want to experience the true joys of love and life.
Leave your comfort zone and turn your relationship into a safe zone where it’s okay to share your needs and wants.
What if it gets you hurt in the end? Well, there’s always the possibility, but you’re wasting your life when you don’t risk it.
Playing safe might keep you safe… but getting hurt is nothing compared to the things you miss out on by being too careful.
Take risks together and share any failures that happen. Be proud of yourselves whenever you take a step forward as a couple.
After all, isn’t life too short to spend it living in fear?
4. Dig deeper and ask tough questions even if they’re uncomfortable
How can you create a deeper connection without being willing to dig a little deeper?
Make your loved one ponder by asking uncomfortable, awkward, and tough questions.
Unless you do that, your relationship won’t only be transactional, but superficial as well.
You need to be able to ask things you felt you couldn’t ask before.
Create a secure and safe environment in the relationship so that both of you will dare to ask uncomfortable questions.
There shouldn’t be any taboo topics in a relationship, and you need to keep digging deeper.
Only by doing that will you be able to truly know each other.
You’ll know what makes each other tick and what the cores of your personalities are.
Forget everything the transactional view on relationships has taught you… and stop yourself from always playing it safe.
You need to really get to know your partner if you intend to spend the rest of your life with them.
The two of you need to share your innermost thoughts with each other.
You’ll discover that your relationship is transcending into something much more genuine and a lot deeper than you thought it could be.
You should know who your partner truly is and why they think that you’re the right person for them.
What’s your partner’s biggest fear? Are they scared of what could the future bring?
You have to know all the answers to some tough questions to turn a business relationship into a loving, healthy, romantic one.
Don’t forget that business deals are always void of any emotions. You can choose to transform your relationship into something that’s all about love.
5. Stop keeping score
Love just gives, it isn’t supposed to keep score.
A common mistake couples make is measuring what each of them has and hasn’t done. According to that, they decide what they will and won’t do.
Love doesn’t compare and doesn’t measure, it just loves.
In a transactional relationship, your needs always come first and the other person has to please you.
On the other hand, in a transformational relationship, you inspire, love, and care for each other.
You focus on pleasing the other person because you love them, not because it’s a role you need to perform.
Instead of focusing on their own needs, they focus on yours just the same.
Having a great relationship means doing certain small acts of kindness just because you love your partner.
You do things for them because you want to, not because you expect something in return.
Keeping score is one of the biggest common mistakes many couples make.
It eventually causes the relationship to fail because love isn’t meant to work that way.
6. Be sensitive to your partner’s feelings and don’t bring up past mistakes
Having strong feelings about things that happened in the past prevents you from living in the present.
Another big and very common mistake couples make is bringing up past mistakes.
You need to talk about issues in a relationship, but once you talk it out, forgive and let go.
Mentioning past mistakes whenever your partner does something wrong could ruin your relationship.
You should also keep in mind that the issue your partner’s going through doesn’t have to have anything to do with you.
Maybe they’re still working through something from their past… and you’re in their present to help them with that.
Be sensitive to your partner’s feelings at all times, and especially when you address an issue. How you feel isn’t more important than how they feel.
Both your and your partner’s emotions matter and they matter just the same, and this is something that can’t be understood in transaction-based relationships.
If you manage to turn your relationship into a transformational one, you’ll resolve conflicts much more easily than you did before.
All it takes is to keep in mind the other person’s feelings as much as your own.
Don’t focus on the issue, and focus on the person you love instead.
Solving the problem shouldn’t be more important than making sure that your partner feels loved.
Talking about problems is important but the goal of it is to become closer to each other, not just to solve the problem.
Make sure to offer your help and focus on the needs of the person you love. After all, it’s the only way to have a healthy, happy relationship.
Why would you settle for a business deal when you can have love? This is your reminder to give yourself permission to ask for more in relationships.
Ask for love, not a transaction. Don’t just transact when you can interact.
Most importantly, give love without expecting anything in return. Maybe it doesn’t sound fair but it’s the only way it can truly be called love.
Anything else is just a business arrangement and those aren’t meant to last forever.
Both you and your partner deserve much more. You deserve someone who can look out for your needs and not just their own.
If you can be that someone to each other, your relationship won’t be transactional anymore.
It’ll turn into something much better, and once you experience a transformational relationship, you won’t ever settle for less again.
Just like there’s no place for love in business deals, there’s no place for business deals in love!