Relationship Retrospectives

The development methodology we use at 3months is (mostly, kind of, -ish) agile. One part of agile development is the retrospective.

A retrospective is a meeting at the end of each couple of weeks of work to discuss how we’re going with the project, to raise issues, amend processes etc. It’s not about what’s being developed, it’s solely about the ‘how’.

This is good because it means the rest of the time you’re not messing with the how, the deficiencies of various processes, etc, and can solely focus on the actual doing of the work. It also means you bring up issues relatively close to them coming up and throughout the life-time of a project processes do improve. It’s pretty much magic.

Because romantic relationships are clearly exactly like software development, and I am apparently a massive nerd, I think that would be a good thing to add to whatever future romantic entanglement I find myself in.

Why? In previous relationships I had an illusion of myself that I wasn’t the sort of person to get angry or frustrated with other people. I’ve since found out that’s nonsense, that my just rolling with stuff doesn’t mean I’m unflappable, just that I ignore it more and pretend everything is fine longer.

In the service of frequent and open communication, I think something that looks vaguely like a retrospective would be awesome. Because dealing on the meta level in relationships is important, but it’s equally important that it doesn’t overwhelm the just being in a relationship. That those conversations have a place, but don’t become every conversation.

So every month or fortnight or week depending on necessity, there could be a date-ish thing, where you talk about the things that are working and the things that are not, the things that you don’t really want to talk about, the things that are hard to bring up. And you skip it if either one is tired or stressed or already angry or in any way not up to dealing with the messy meta bits of important relationships.

You’re probably saying ‘why do you even need to make this a system, frequent and open communication should just happen’, but I know what I’m like, so this is me trying to design a solution for the issue that is me.

And maybe/probably/ideally this fades with necessity over time, as you become more used to each others rhythms and signals and the times when it’s good to talk about necessary hard things and the times when it’s really not, but that might just be optimism on my part.

All this is completely useless to me currently and it probably wouldn’t work in practice anyway but it was fun to think about, and I needed a post for today.