People have agendas and motives. There is no doubt about that. I have one. And you have one. But having an agenda isn't such a bad thing after all. A relationship - of any kind - must have an agenda. That will keep it exciting for both people involved in it.
In fact, both entities in a relationship should have a motive to stay invested in the relationship. A relationship, where only one person has a goal to achieve, will eventually die down. It is not sustainable. And before you jump to any conclusion, let me also clarify what I mean by an agenda / motive here. It is not about some selfish need only.
The motive could be as simple as, putting a smile on your partner's face. Every time. Every day. Simple. Yet profound.
Also I am not only talking about personal relationships. The motive could be reading different books and sharing your knowledge with each other. Imagine, if only one person reads books and other doesn't. Eventually, that relationship will wither away.
So the problem is not that people have agendas. Problem is when people are not transparent about their motives. Problem is when people are in a relationship only to fulfill their motives with no intention to help fulfill the motives of 'the Other' in the same relationship. Such people are vicious and if you have to maintain your self respect, you should end that relationship at the earliest. I am no expert in relationships neither I am a philosopher to tell you what are the signs which will help you identify such people.
Also, sometimes, you could be at fault in not understanding the other person or his / her motives. That shouldn't be a reason to end the relationship. You should be fully sure, that you have made all efforts to unearth the agenda of 'the Other' and you have given 'the Other' also full chance to understand yours. People are complex but motives are generally simple. So talk, discuss, ask questions. Do everything which will help understand each other better. But define a point in your mind, after which you will know whether it is working or not.
Recently, I left a job. I moved cities. My equation with few people changed. I was no longer a colleague to someone. I was no longer a boss to someone. I was no longer physically close to some one else. It is a kind of hot cauldron situation in relationships. People who were associated with you for a motive which was purely work related, will drift away. There is no point holding on to that relationship. It also helped me identify those people, whose motives were earlier not clear to me. Maintaining a relationship with them felt tiring. And stressful. All of a sudden people will not get your jokes or they will have an excuse to explain their changed behavior. Let them be. That will help you maintain your sanity and self respect. You can not let your self worth be decided by those people, who never had the integrity which any relationship should have.
I moved from a city, I loved, after 12 years. I changed a job after 10 years. And change brings with it pain. It brings with it a sense of reflection of past. This change isn't going to be as simple as changing a job or a city. This will bring with it demise of some friendships, which I valued. Simply because, I stopped serving a purpose for 'the Other' now. It is time to re-calibrate and move on, rather than holding on to someone for whom you are no longer useful.
Change also brings with it freshness, new people and new opportunities. Focus on that. If a relationship makes you feel tired, let it go.
On a lighter note, there are few things which are always reassuring. People who bonded with you over drinks and alcohol are very transparent about their agendas. Either their agenda to be with you is drinking, which is really a good thing. As it is highly sustainable till the time either of you damage your liver permanently. Or their agenda is obvious due to drinking. So you can always count on such friends.
You can also count on those relationships, where swear words and profanities are used without inhibitions. You both have gone through pressure situations together in past and survived.
So if you want to stay happy and maintain your self respect in this world full of turncoats, pick up a drink and shout Cheers Bhenc**d!!!
# for non Indian readers - Bhenc**d ~ Sisterf****r