Consent is not limited to just sex
We always speak of consent among couples for any sexual or physical activity together. But consent is not limited to just sex. In a healthy relationship there are many other activities which may not necessarily be as intimate as sex, yet require the consent of both partners in a relationship. But what is consent? It is important to communicate with your partner about the activity you wish to do. Ask them if they are comfortable with it and willing to take the step forward. You should find out by talking to them about their reservations (if any) and hopefully be able to find a solution so that they are completely convinced about it.
1. Give away his/her old clothes
“Did you give away my shirts to Raju Bhaiyya?” he calls me at work and shouts. I say, “Yes, but I have given only one.” He hangs up on me. The next day Raju Bhaiyya (our housekeeper and caretaker of our two lovely dogs) came to work with yet another piece of garment which I gave him without my partner’s knowledge. He called me yet again fuming with anger and said that he would be giving away all my clothes to a rag picker in our locality. I thought it was funny at that moment, but later I realised that my partner was not at all fine with this. He said that I should’ve asked him before giving away his clothes, which according to me were old and taking up too much space in the wardrobe. You need to understand, that some people have an emotional connect with their clothes. Their favourite or lucky T-shirt, the most expensive brand that they purchased after getting a promotion at work, etc. I figured, I did not have his consent on this and later I sincerely apologised for my mistake.
2. Medical check-up for adoption
My partner and I have been planning to adopt a child. While we have been discussing about whose name the baby should take, I went ahead with an application on the CARA website. He was furious to know that I had applied for our baby without telling him about the entire application and process. He said, “Isn’t it going to be ‘our’ baby?” That’s when it hit me. But for the fool that I am, I also went to a doctor and got my check-up done to get a certificate saying I was physically and mentally fit to adopt, obviously I took it for granted that he would be fine with this. Later that day, we had an argument about how I omitted him from all major decisions and activities and did not bother taking his consent. So remember to communicate and get his/her consent before you take any foolish step.
3. Update the relationship status on social media
One of the many causes for complications in a relationship is social media. If you are dating and want to announce it to the world, however your partner is not fine with it, for reasons such as, her parents and family getting to know about her relationship status, you are definitely unaware of what consent is. Whether it is about your status, or posting pictures which are supposed to be just for you, please take your partner’s consent. Discuss it with your significant other and try convincing them about how you feel the need to share your relationship with them to the world.
4. Increase the maid’s salary
“From now on I will not pay for the domestic help we have,” he yelled. Another dumb act that I did was to increase the maid’s salary without discussing our finances and future plans with my partner. If you are contemplating retaining your maid, you should get your partner’s consent on this, as it’s your combined finances that are involved in this. Remember, consent is when both involved are comfortable doing it.
5. When they never say no does not imply it’s a yes
In all of the above examples, my partner never said ‘no’. But just because you never got a clear ‘no’ does not make it a resounding ‘yes’. This holds true when you are in a mood for sex. Talk out things and then do it together with full conviction and draw pleasure out of it, rather than an argument.