To have a better understanding of the one of the dynamics and potential conflicts in relationships, I have developed a theory called the Business Model and Love Model.
In the Business Model, the emphasis is on achieving the goals of the organization. People contribute according to their roles and responsibilities usually in a fair and equitable way. Employees can be more easily replaced and there is less emphasis on relationships.
On the other hand, in the Love Model, the focus is on nurturing the relationship. There is less focus on keeping score and most often people go above and beyond to do things lovingly for each other.
However, relationships can go into the Red Zone when these two models are mixed. I remember a friend who, in spite of my warning, sold his car to another friend. For the first few weeks both were happy but when the car broke down, the friendship also broke down. This would not have happened if he had sold his car to a stranger. In this case, the Business Model and the Love Model clashed and a long standing friendship ended badly.
Mixing the Love Model and Business Model can also cause complications in family relationships. Let me share a story that highlights this point. A mother once told me that she was going to rent her basement apartment to her son, who was a university student.
“That is not a good idea?” I warned.
“Why not?” she was curious.
I explained that she was mixing the Love Model and the Business Model. She said she had never heard of that model and it did not make sense to her. She told me that she used to rent her basement for $800 a month to strangers and now she was going to rent it to her son for $400 and save that money for his tuition fees.
For the first two months everything went well and he paid $400 responsibly. She was proud to tell me that her arrangement had worked. But the third month he only paid $200. When asked, he told his mother that since he was dating, he was staying with his girlfriend half of the time. The mother was not happy and some tension developed between them. When he continued to pay $200 a month she became resentful.
Then the relationship between her son and his girlfriend ended and she was happy because she thought things would go back to normal and he would begin paying $400 again. But that did not happen and when she asked him, he told her that he was not eating her food anymore as he had become a vegetarian and bought his own food. After six months she was so angry that she asked her son to leave the apartment. She then told me that she finally understood my theory of the Love Model and the Business Model. Unfortunately, by that time some irreversible damage had been done to her loving relationship with her son. She wanted to help him but it had backfired.