The Whole Point of Every Relationship (Is Probably Not What You Think It Is)

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  1. Great post and great advice! Will definitely be forwarding this to friends

  2. What if your boyfriend refuses to get a real job because he thinks his rap career will one day take off and you are getting a bit tired of being supportive? lol

    • John Hardman says:

      I think #2 sums it up pretty well…

    • Kim, sometimes being supportive means telling the person you love what they don’t want to hear. If he’s not fully embodying his gifts and truly working towards manifesting them as a viable life path, call him on it! It’s easy to date someone’s “potential.” If he’s really working for it, support him where you can and trust his path. If he’s not 100% in, the wake up call he needs may be you giving him the hard truth, one way or another.

    • Anonymous says:

      Number #3 for that one!

    • Well, if he’s really good, be supportive of it. If he sucks, drive him to improve himself and his art.

      But he totally does have to get a day job. I make dubstep/EDM. I spend a couple hours a day on average on it, so it sucks up a lot of time, but I’m pretty darn good with it. Not making any money on it, and I spend the rest of my day working as a journalist, but I support myself with my day job.

      If he can’t support himself, he’s a leech.. Sorry.

  3. John Hardman says:

    Good list Natasha! I was noticing all your suggestions required partners to be active. I often mention that relationship is a verb not a noun. It is the act of relating with another, not some static skill set that couples have to follow. It is much like the dance you teach… find the rhythm and follow your instincts.

    • i love that insight john. no skill set is static – just as much as no relationship is static! and so true that the art of relating can be practiced in any situation, whether you share a home or just a few passing moments together. it’s often the place you’ll learn the most about yourself, where you can break free of old patterns and find your way into the most liberated kind of love. just like dance :)

      • John Hardman says:

        Yes, all your rhythms are fluid in any relationship. Each has their own rhythm and we must learn to dance to the new relationship rhythm. Life is not monotone, but variable, a jazz rhythm that we intuitively adapt to. Relationship is not static, not a noun.

  4. Love it, Natasha!

    #8….awesome. …well #9….awesome too. ….well…all of ‘em really.

    …but #10 – really liked #10! ;^)

  5. Wish I’d read this before I got entangled in a relationship! I might not have bothered.

  6. I think Ms Blank nailed it! This answers the question as to why some relationships are vital and full of meaning and why some relationships never create anything meaningful. Sometimes the ultra spiritual, out of my body feel no (growth) pain experiences of relationship are just not a real enough for a person to experience growth.

  7. Yes, yes, yes! A relationship that has a common purpose can last forever. That way both parties are concentrating on the tasking rather than each other.You can become partners in evolution and agents of change together! There is nothing richer or more rewarding in my experience. (I have been with my partner for over thirty years, researching and teaching about energy worlds.)

  8. This is priceless, Natasha…absolutely and utterly priceless wisdom. Conscious living and loving. My perspective is that, after a few ‘duff starts’ relationships-wise – including two failed marriages – I adopted the view that I hadn’t communicated clearly enough when I was unhappy. That, and not working on my ‘inner gunge’, were instrumental in demolishing those relationships.

    Purest Awesomeness! :{D

    • Thanks for sharing your experience Richard! Sounds like you truly learned and grew from the challenges of those relationships. May your future ones have loads of yummy honesty and open communication! There’s nothing quite like it. Scary at times, but so worth it.


  9. luke tepid says:

    um the only accurate thing in this whole piece are the first 6 words….the rest is just utter silliness….

    • Valter Viglietti says:

      Or, maybe yours is a case of someone pointing to the moon… and you’re only able to see the finger. ;)

    • John Hardman says:

      And, Mr. Tepid, what have you learned from relationships or have you ever had one with such a nom de plume?

  10. Valter Viglietti says:

    At first, I loved this article. It really resonates with my vision of a relationship: growing, evolving, expanding, becoming.

    After a while, though, I found something disturbing in it: it’s somehow “directive”, like “This is the RIGHT way to live a relationship”, like there was only one way.
    And then I thought how it was just 60 years ago or before, when life was hard and survival wasn’t a given, and couples were much more busy with hardships than with their personal growth.

    This made me realize there isn’t just one “right” way to live a relationship: it can revolve around making each other happy, or anything else. And, as long as both people want it that way, it’s perfectly fine – even if we don’t like it that way.
    Take the BDSM lifestyle: most people would be appalled knowing the behaviours BDSMers enjoy, yet they like it that way. There’s no “one size fits all”.

    Some people do not want to grow (because it’s hard or painful), thus the relationship they want should work that way. Hence, any point in the article can be questionable. #5. Honesty, for example: some people do not want to hear the truth, they can’t handle it, so their partner must be selective about his or her honesty.

    In the end, while I still agree with most of the article, I understand it cannot work for everybody.
    It’s a good “recipe”, but just one recipe amongst many different ones.

    • luke tepid says:

      sure sure…but what about the moon?..did you see it?….

      • I did see the moon. It was remarkable. And I agree that this article is silly. I want to read something by someone who has been married 30 years, not some little girl who skips from one boyfriend to another. My husband uses 3,4,7 and 10 as blunt instruments when I ask him why he didn’t come home last night. Sure, it’s not someone else’s job to make you happy but why induce misery by holding onto a relationship that gets in the way of your wanting to be single again. Even if I counter with 1 and 2, he comes back with his 3, 4, 7 and 10. Gets us nowhere. You have to have a solid set of mutually agreed upon core values and behaviours. Never marry anyone who doesn’t share your values, intellect and personal boundaries.

        • Valter Viglietti says:

          @Jane: “Never marry anyone who doesn’t share your values, intellect and personal boundaries.”

          That’s a really good starting point. Alas, hormones, romantic myths and social conditioning, might make people blind to common sense.
          Perhaps, the worst myth is “S/He will change” or, worse yet, “I can change him/her”. Never works (especially tha latter).
          OTOH, if people were logic, reasonable and aware that any relationship is messy (including their own), very few would marry…

          Regarding the silliness of this article, I think the author has a “blind spot”: it seems to me, she’s assuming that most people have a level of intelligence, awareness and personal growth that’s enough to handle all of those points.
          But I think that, in reality, not many people are that “evolved”; and, without those “ingredients”, the recipe (although good in its own way) doesn’t – and cannot – work.

        • “I want to read something by someone who has been married 30 years, not some little girl who skips from one boyfriend to another. ”

          Well, that was a pretty rude, ignorant and ridiculous thing to say.

  11. My husband (Jay Palter, a Good Men Project contributor) lives these 10 values consistently. 14 years later (today infact) I learn to be a better partner through his example every day.

  12. What exactly do you mean by 7?…

    • I took it that you’re attractive and your partner is attractive so embrace that other people will find them attractive like you do, i.e. don’t get jealous. Just because someone finds your partner attractive doesn’t mean they reciprocate those same feelings for that person or that even if they did they will actually act on them! My boyfriend has been asked out many times and I find it hilarious but heart-warming at the same time because people see in him what I see in him. I’ve been asked out and he feels the same way I do. We trust each other not to do anything that will hurt one another or damage our relationship. But I love that other people find him attractive, and that he’s with me!

  13. Joe Sparks says:

    These are great guidelines for a healthy relationship, that most of us did not have growing up. And the adults in our lives modeled poor relationships, it is no surprise we struggle in building close, caring, connected relationships with each other. We need to slow things down in order to have connection that is truly meaning. It means we have to take time to listen to each other.

  14. In addition to #4, it’s also not your partner’s job to make you happy. That is your job, and if you’re unhappy, don’t automatically blame it on your partner or expect them to fix it. (Unless your partner is abusive or controlling, of course.) They should show support, yes, but the only one who can make you happy is yourself.

  15. Uzi Peretz says:

    I like this. Quick and to the point. Nice job!

  16. Great list! I think that’s what it’s all about. Setting boundaries, knowing where you stand, where your partner stands. Relationships are constant work, a lot of people don’t realize that the best relationships aren’t naturally the best. They’re good because both parties put in the time and work to make it happen.

  17. Yeah, #7 is interesting. I’m assuming you’re under 30 but could be wrong. Sounds like a Kontiki Tour. But if your happy with the “No claim, no fault thing” why be in a relationship? But someone’s gunna get hurt.

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