you prefer a
'Toxic' or a 'Healthy' Relationship ?!
Make sure you also read pages on:
Some more ideas from John Gray's book 'Men are from Mars, Women are from venus'. -Primary Love needs of men and women
LOVE HAS A PURPOSE - An Extract from Barry Long's Journal - Volume III
Seven Habits of Highly Successful Couples
By Nisandeh Neta
#1 - GIVE EACH OTHER PLEASURE
Your goal in the relationship is to give each other pleasure,
not to cause pain. Simple, isn't it?
However... for just a single day, become consciously aware of
everything you do, by asking yourself the question, "Is what
I'm about to do or say going to cause my partner pain or
To help you, each of you
should make two lists: one for all
the things your partner does that hurt you, and another for
all that you'd like your partner to do to give you pleasure.
Swap lists, and now you know exactly what to do and what not
to do. No more guessing!
HABIT #2 - CREATE LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP RITUALS
We fall in love through rituals of connection and intimacy
such as romantic dinners, long conversations, riding bicycles
or going for walks, exchanging gifts, talking every night on
When we fall in love our
relationship becomes the center
point of our life, with anything else becoming secondary.
Over time, when the relationship becomes more settled
(particularly after we have children), this process reverses.
The children, our work, our hobbies, our friends - take the
center stage and the relationship being relegated to the
background tending only to receive our attention in times
The remedy to routine
(the main cause of dull relationships)
is connection and intimacy rituals.
For example, every Saturday
evening, as a changeover from
the working week into the weekend, take two hours together
when you put a "do not disturb" sign on your busy life.
No phones, no answered doors, no e-mails, no TV, nothing...
Just the two of you and your relationship.
Do what you will with the time, however it must be an
investment in your relationship.
HABIT #3 - CREATE A SAFE SPACE FOR OPEN AND HONEST SHARING
Create a sense of safety and acceptance that allows each of
you to express your feelings, problems, expectations and
One of our connection
rituals is a process called "Clearing"
that creates this atmosphere of safety and acceptance.
EVERY NIGHT before we
go to sleep, we ask each other "what
DID NOT work for you today?"
We give each other a chance to share about all the things that
went "wrong" during the day (whether connected to the
relationship or not).
If there are any solutions that we can mutually agree upon to
assist with improvements for the future, we raise the issue.
When both of us are complete,
we initiate a second round, in
which we ask each other "what DID work for you today?"
This is our opportunity to share about all the goodness that
we've experienced during the day, as well as acknowledge each
other (and others) for the support and love we've received.
HABIT #4 - WORK TOGETHER TO RESOLVE CONFLICT AND CRISIS
The problem with the way most couples argue is that they
attempt to find solutions before allowing each other the
chance to say what they need to say.
process ensures that before you engage in
solution talk, each one of you feels you have been fully
Here's how it can be made
to work in the practice:
One person holds an object in their hand, called the "Talking
Piece", which symbolizes that he or she has the floor.
While one person has the floor, the other person is allowed
only to listen without interruption.
When speaking, you should
focus on speaking from your heart
(emotional, spontaneous, instinctive as opposed to mental).
When listening, you are
encouraged to listen from your heart
(i.e. from acceptance and compassion).
Only after each person
has been fully "heard," (in case it
is still necessary) continue through to the process of
HABIT #5 - TURN TOWARD EACH OTHER, RATHER THAN AWAY
When you pass your lover during the course of a day, do you
stop and rub their shoulder, give them a kiss on the cheek,
and whisper something nice in their ear - or do you just
walk on by?
This is the meaning of
"turning toward" as opposed to
Turning toward each other
means making each other your
number one priority.
Make sure to find ways
to be physically and emotionally
close to each other, such as doing things together that you
both enjoy. Take walks together, drink coffee together after
dinner, listen to music together...
HABIT #6 - SCHEDULE TIME FOR LOVE
Want to improve your sex life? Here's one of the most
profound pieces of advice I can give you: SCHEDULE IT!
Doesn't sound very romantic, I know. But it works.
Waiting for that "magic
moment" when you're both "in the
mood" may be romantic, but it's not always practical. We all
have had times when we were waiting and waiting and...
Plan in the morning to
make love that night. Call each other
all day long with reminders, ideas and seductive suggestions.
By the time evening rolls around you'll both feel like you've
engaged in foreplay all day long - and you'll be ready for an
HABIT #7 - CREATE MEANING IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Think about it, besides having fun, what else would you like
to do together in the coming 40 years?
We all need meaning in our lives.
You will enrich your relationship
by sharing meaningful
experiences with each other. The ultimate in meaning is to
share a common philosophy of life and life purpose.
This is why couples who choose a path of personal-growth or
spirituality together, have great source of meaning in their
When you practice these seven habits intentionally and
consistently, you'll re-create every day a loving,
fulfilling and long-lasting relationship.
It's easy - give it a try...
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Time for Your Relationship
By Nisandeh Neta
I remember drawing those
little red hearts on little post-it
That was years ago, when
I was trying to impress my first
girlfriend being oh-so-romantic.
Today, romance has changed for me.
It has become love, consideration, affection, surprise and even
It is the time or activities
we share together.
It is this underlying passion I have for my partner.
But most of all, romance is a way of making the "everyday"
It doesn't take a lot
of money or effort - just a commitment to
making my relationship special by paying attention to it and...
willingness to make the time.
Did you know that love is a four-letter word spelled T-I-M-E?
Like couples everywhere,
we found ourselves pressured by the
demands of daily life, work, raising a child, finances and many
others too numerous to mention.
Yet, through all our years
together, we have somehow found a way
to balance these things, and still keep our relationship fresh
In this article, I would like to share how we have done it.
Romance creates this wonderful
It keeps the spark alive.
It keeps your relationship vital and interesting.
And... it takes time!
Time to nurture your relationship,
to enhance it, and keep it
flourishing - time which is all too precious for many couples.
More and more couples
are in two-career households, and, at the
end of the day, we all return to our "third career," our homes.
This involves childcare, cleaning, cooking, laundry...
Even if you are a parent at home, you also experience pressures
and demands that often leave little room for romance.
By establishing priorities
and setting goals, by making better
use of the time you have, and by creating time you thought you
didn't have, you CAN find more time for each other.
Let's make it practical...
- Prioritize. Prioritize. Prioritize.
You can spend your time in one of four ways, doing things that
Important and urgent -
caring for your child that has fallen
down and is bleeding
Important but not urgent
- sitting together sharing about your
Not important but urgent
- taking your suit for dry cleaning,
before tomorrow's meeting
Not important and not
urgent - switching on the TV and zapping
between the channels
When you look at all your
time-consuming tasks, let go of any
task that is not important.
And while focusing most
of your time on doing what is important
but not urgent, you can eliminate a lot of the crises (important
Here are a few important,
but not urgent, activities to put high
on your priority list:
daily chat together
Sit together for a short uninterrupted face-to-face time every
day to share your thoughts and feelings.
Tell each other the little everyday things as well as the big
Focusing on each other for as little as fifteen minutes can make
a huge difference.
weekly night together
Plan a specific night each week for your special date.
Once scheduled, treat the commitment as if it were written in
Take turns planning the activity and surprising the other with a
favorite home-cooked meal, a movie, a long walk through the park,
a cocktail at a favorite cafe or a bubble bath followed by a
picnic dinner on the living room floor.
It doesn't have to be expensive, just generous.
little date together
You'll be surprised how lively conversation can become when
you're meeting in the middle of the day and there's no batch of
chores to worry about.
Try one of the following dates or invent your own:
* Get up earlier than
normal and have breakfast together
* Use your commuting time to be together
* Meet at lunchtime for a quiet meal together
* Meet after work at a restaurant for a drink and an appetizer
* Go for a walk
* Stay home, but instead of cooking dinner, order in
Even if you've been together
for a long time, there is no reason
to give up the excitement and fun that comes with the
anticipation of looking forward to a planned evening or activity.
And, by making dates,
you'll set aside the special time your
relationship thrives on.
Enjoy your love, passion and romance...
Article by Nisandeh Neta
His monthly newsletter "Love and Marriage" delivers immediately
usable practices that create more love, happiness, intimacy,
fulfillment, self-expression and personal-growth in your marriage.
Subscribe today at: http://www.no-problem-marriage-counseling.com
questions to help you decide:
From 'Ally McBeal'
Ally with Counsellor -when Ally asked, 'should I love John Cage..he'd make a great father!'
Counsellor replies: you are begging the assumption that love is voluntary....true love can often be narrowed down to three anecdotal Questions:
Paraphrased. Ally McBeal - E4 - 24th March 2002 - Episode - Jenny's B'day
The ideal relationship is one where one partner is assisting the other on his / her own path through life.
Dr Wayne Dyer suggests that your soul mate is somebody you can't stand - somebody that challenges you. He refers to your soul mate as a 'turd that you can't flush!'. Your soul mate could be your father, brother, mum anybody at all.
You Soul-mate teaches yourself about you. Everytime you get stressed with a person - think why am I getting angry /sad / frustrated here. What are the lessons here? Why am I shouting? Am I being reasonable? What are my motivations for 'having a go' at somebody.
In fact, instead of getting annoyed with them, or in fact anybody, don't get annoyed and choose kindness (or peace) instead of being right'.
The aspect of them that annoys you is actually a problem that you have to work on yourself. eg. someone is selfish - you have a go at them - chances are that you are actually selfish yourself.
This fits in because we often hang around with people that are similar to ourselves - a reflection or mirror.
Some people find a partner who is identical to themselves in every way. That relationship probably won't last that long - it's just like looking into a mirror - feeding ego!
Astrology. Opposite signs teach us most about self and develop our opposite attributes.
members of the same group/ clan (Air / Water /Fire / Earth) are most compatible.
Some more ideas
from John Gray's book 'Men are from Mars, Women are from venus'.
The Primary Love needs of Men & Women
Women Need to Receive
Men Need to Receive
From Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus, John Gray
some more tips:
I feel a key problem in relationships is:
treat women; like men want to be treated and
women treat men; like women want to be treated
- so you have communication problems and problems satisfying other sex.
Imagine Tracey is annoyed after an argument with her boyfriend Kevin. Kevin should sit down with Tracy, listen to her problems, and support her and give her a hug. This is what Tracey needs. But Kevin is too busy watching football and drinking beer. So Tracey feels frustrated, sad and lonely.
If Kevin did comfort her, Tracey may well have felt worse and worse, going to the bottom of the trough of the wave, remembering past feelings, before feeling much much better.
Now, when Kevin is pissed off he goes to his cave, watching football or playing on the PC. But Tracey follows him, trying to comfort him, but this does n't help at all; Kevin gets more stressed because he needs time alone and he's just about to get a record number of head shots in Quake.
If Tracey had left Kevin alone he would have soon cooled down and forgotten about the argument
A little while ago I read in a newspaper that Britains leading female divorce lawyer, Vanessa Lloyd Platt, argued that it is the agression of the female sex that is responsible for the soaring rates of marital failure. She lists some advice
Tips for happy relationship
I have actually toned the aforementioned tips down, as it was more aimed at women. I've replaced 'man' with 'partner' because I feel women would like the same treatment.
Some More Tips
There are three different ways in which the partners like to give and receive love
Now most individuals show two of the above. So you can see that your partner may well love you but doesn't show it in the way that you want to see it!
maybe most people are hippocrytes - this may be because people don't like in others what they don't like about themselves
Treat yourself and your partner with respect
Don't take your partner for granted, I know it's difficult after a while but try
Respect your partner's differences - in fact learn from them
Keep romance alive - massage, flowers, chocolates, wining & dining, romantic walks along moonlit beach, kissing, spontoneity, risk? etc.
Romance is about being responsive to the needs of your partner.
Attachment is not love
Often it is only when people suddenly feel they are losing their partner that they realize how much they love them. Then they cling on even tighter. But the more they grasp, the more the other person escapes them, and the more fragile the relationship becomes.
So often we want happiness, but the very way we pursue it is so clumsy and unskillful that it brings only more sorrow. Usually we assume we must grasp in order to have that something that will ensure our happiness. We ask ourselves: How can we possibly enjoy anything if we cannot own it? How often attachment is mistaken for love!
Even when the relationship is a good one, love can be spoiled by attachment with its insecurity, possessiveness, and pride; and then when love is gone, all you have left to show for it are the souvenirs of love, the scars of attachment.
- September 12 - Daily Glimpse, Sogyal Rinpoche
Here is a traditional dream yoga practice you can do with a partner. This is an immensely useful technique, not only for challenging the distinction between sleeping dreams and the dream of being awake, but also for applying your training to practical, everyday situations.
1 - Insult, blame, and criticize your partner. Your partner should listen to all of this as echoes; empty sounds.
2 Trade places. Now have your partner disparage you, while you practice just hearing the sounds and not taking the words to heart
3 Try doing this
same exercise using praise and flattery instead of blame. In either case,
the listening partner should practice not reacting in any way, recognizing
what is being said as a dream. At first, you may find it difficult to maintain
equanimity while you do this practice. Stay with it you will find that
doing so yields rich rewards over time.
Does age matter?
Sandra Bullock, 38, has revealed that her new boyfriend Ryan Gosling is 22 years her junior. And meanwhile, 18-year-old Gareth Gates is said to have fallen for Suzanne Mole, who's nine years older than him. Does the age difference spell disaster for their relationships? We get the expert view on celebrity age-gap relationships.
By Bryony Sutherland and Lucy Ellis
How do celebrities cope in this position?
Extracts from 'Barry Long's revealing introduction to his book 'To Man in Truth'
Honesty in Partnership
One of the most difficult things for man (and woman) to grasp is how to withdraw from attachment to the partner. For this he has to introduce truth into the relationship. Normally people fall in love, make love and thats pretty well the end of it - until the misunderstandings and arguments start. When there is truth in the relationship from the beginning, the chances of conflict are reduced enormously. It means putting honesty before the love of the man or woman. The man must see that if he takes his emotions and negative reactions into a relationship - as everybody does - the partnership is going to be problematical. To avoid that he has to be prepared, with his woman, to give up his emotions and find out what causes them, in him and in her.
That requires a pretty intelligent partner, so in this Im not just talking to man. Woman has to be honest, too. If he finds that shes emotional, in order to introduce truth or God into the situation he has to be able to say, What are you emotional about? And particularly to ask this very rare question, What am I doing to you, or not doing, to make you emotional? If Im doing something then I want to change that. I love you, so I dont want to make you unhappy. Were together to enjoy being together and if there is anything I can remove in myself that has come between us, I will endeavour to do it. Of course the woman will say and do the same, if shes a real woman. And neither must react in the old defensive ways of the past. So the principle is: honesty before love. Otherwise you will have a dishonest love no matter how hard you try.
Honesty in love is the process of detachment. It brings reality into the partnership, reducing selfish and irresponsible emotional expressions. Each one takes responsibility for their own emotions instead of trying to put their emotions on the other by accusing or blaming them and saying, Youre making me emotional. Thats ridiculous. Only my self makes me emotional.
A man endeavouring to live the spiritual life has to practise loving woman. For the essence of woman is God or love in existence. Every man knows that woman is what he thinks about most throughout his life - from boyhood to the time of his death. He might say he doesnt want woman but he will still think about her. He will have thoughts about how he needs or wants to love her; or what he would like to do with her body - hes always thinking about that. This is true of all men. It indicates that the truth of love for man must be in woman. However, the one major obstacle to his loving her is his sexual lust for her. Now, how does he get rid of lust?
He gets rid of it by loving her physical body. I said loving her not sexing her. Love is utterly different from sex, although love is expressed through the sexual act. To love a woman is to enjoy her. And I dont mean just to enjoy her for five minutes in physical lovemaking. First man has to see he loves being in the presence of woman for the pure sensation of that enjoyment - holding her hand, walking with her - without any thought process. Any thought process about woman turns to sex. When the physical woman is in front of him, does he need to think about her? No, you only think about whats not immediately present. If he does think or fantasise about her while shes there, he is lusting, not loving. And if he thinks about sex with her when shes not present, hes still lusting.
The man has to be able to see the beauty of her. If there wasnt this recognition of her beauty somewhere inside him, why would he think about her all his life? He has to see her intrinsic beauty instead of his own habitual sexual wanting to possess her. He has to realise that he loves her because she has an indescribable essence that he, man, does not have. She is his missing love, the missing expression of God in his existence.
Man cannot love a woman truly - as woman needs to be loved - while his sexuality is rampant. That means while he excuses his sexuality; while he watches pornographic movies, reads pornographic magazines; while he excites himself with photographs of naked women or parts of her - and any of that sort of distraction instead of loving a real womans body; and while he masturbates which means having sex with himself. Also, man cannot make love to a woman while he is fantasising about her or another woman because thats introducing a phantom woman into the relationship. Man often does this to keep his self excited but it means hes not really there, and hes not loving. He has to give it up.
Something man does habitually is to look at women in the street. In doing this he is subconsciously feeding his sexual self. His sexual self actually turns his head and looks out of his eyes at a woman, often before his attention has even noticed her. The sexual self is faster than the mind. There are two ways of looking at a woman. One is to see her beauty. The other is through the sexual self which has a phantom affair with her in a glance. Hes got to give up looking. Hes got to go through a stage where he actually denies himself the right to look at women in the sense Im talking about. It may be said that thats suppression. But its not, because he knows what hes doing - hes practising containment. Suppression is when you feel as though youre doing something because somebody has made you do it.
Woman of course often dresses to attract mans attention because she has a sexual self too - due to our sexual society. Some women go to excess and exhibit their breasts more to make them more obvious to man. A man trying to give up his lust has to turn away and not dwell on such a woman as he would otherwise have done. If a naked woman walked down the street, all the men would be gaping for as long as they could see her. But the man practising love would say, Im not going to do this habitual thing that most men do in their unconsciousness. I wont look any longer and indulge my sexual self.
http://www.barrylong.org/man'schallenge.html Barry Long's revealing introduction to his book 'To Man in Truth'
© Barry Long 1998,
LOVE HAS A PURPOSE
An Extract from Barry Long's Journal - Volume III
Barry Long's Journals document a living teaching. They present selected writings, sayings and letters and include notes made on his travels and extracts from his public seminars. They offer easily accessible insights into a wide range of subjects in the spiritual life.
Love has a purpose. But it doesn't have an objective.
You love for the pleasure of love. That is its purpose. But pleasure is not the objective.
In any loving situation between man and woman it's no good one of them loving for the pleasure of love, and the other not because there's likely to be a selfishness in one of them.
Speaking first to woman . . .
Let's get it straight. The instinct for survival means that man pursues you and you hope he'll keep pursuing you. That's the instinct for the survival of the species. Man as his phallic state charges towards woman as the receptive and passive state.
He wants to make love with you, woman. He wants to get inside your body, your receptivity. He is made to pursue you. But you are made for love. So it is for you to ensure that no man gets into your body without love. But you have been letting selfish man get into you. There hasn't been enough love and so you suffer.
Man is a great lover. Well, isn't he the greatest lover of all time? Great lovers can tell great stories. Man's a great storyteller, isn't he? He's got some great stories, some great answers. He's got all the answers, hasn't he?. And he seems to be able to deliver the goods too.
But woman, how do you ensure that he really has enough love in him? That he doesn't just want you for his selfish pleasure?
A couple of months ago at a meeting in Sydney, or perhaps the Gold Coast, I said something on this subject which brought the house down big howls of laughter. And I can understand why.
I said that woman has to be wooed.
It's a word from my parents' generation. We don't hear it used much now, and when we do it's a big laugh. But we don't have to reject it just because it was used by an older generation. The dishonesty of that generation had to be broken down, because their wooing and courtship concealed so much sexual dishonesty. Courting . . . being on their best behaviour right up to the wedding night. Then, in twelve months' time when the courting and the honeymoon were over, what a change! as courtship gave way to politeness, and politeness gave way to familiarity, and familiarity gave way to a settled companionship.
When that generation's dishonesty to love had broken down, the next generation came up with another kind of irresponsibility promiscuous sex. All that dropping out, and dropping into communities, and dipping into this body, dipping into that one no one taking responsibility. That is not love, where I come from. But many men think it is, and many women believe them. And what happens? The women get wet emotional. They become emotional wrecks. And the men become brittle with the momentum of chasing round in a vicious circle, trying to find something better and not able to stop, like sparrows hopping from one gutter to the next.
Where I come from, man has to take responsibility for the woman he makes love to every woman he makes love to. If he doesn't she becomes unhappy. Right love gets rid of her unhappiness, takes it out of her. But if the man's love is not pure, she will be unhappy. That follows, doesn't it?
It is true that as a man loves the unhappiness out of a woman, for a time there will continue to be unhappiness in her. But she will know if he is truly loving her. She will be able to say, 'Yes, I am emotional. But I know you truly love me'.
Speaking to man, now . . . You don't love her unless she can say, 'You cause me pain but I am becoming less unhappy because you love me'. If she can't say that, then you don't love her sorry! because you've got to take her on when you love her.
So, woman, what's the value of being wooed by man?
It's the only way you'll be able to test him.
Is this man going to love you? Or is he going to love himself in you?
Do you want a man who is going to put selfish energy into your body?
What's the test of love?
Well, what is love? Love is first of all an attraction. You enjoy being together. So the man has to show that he enjoys being with you.
It's no good him giving you all the right answers from Barry Long's teaching. He's got to show you that there's a profundity inside of him and that he truly wants to be with you.
Do you want him for twenty-four hours? Of course you don't. Why do you want a man for twenty-four hours?
Man can't get a woman any time he likes you know. But woman can. She can go down the street and get one any time. Oh, I know she says it's difficult to get one that she wants . . . but that's not the point I'm making. You can get a man any time you want, woman, any time. Men are running around out there, driving their cars as fast as they can, screeching round corners on motorcycles, exciting themselves, trying to get women. But they can't get them. The women just stand there and say 'Oh what an awful noise!'
You women are looking for right energy, aren't you? If you get a man who's going to masturbate in you for a couple of days if you get the wrong energy you'll soon be very unhappy.
So man has to woo you. He's got to walk along the beach with you. He has to phone up and say 'How about going for a walk this morning?' And you say 'Sure. Great!' And down along the beach you go. And you hold hands and walk along.
You haven't hopped into bed yet, have you? No he's still got to show you that he wants to be with you.
So next morning he rings up again and says 'Good morning. What are you doing? Come and have breakfast with me, down on the esplanade. Come on, let's go and have breakfast together. I enjoy being with you.'
So there's now an easiness between you. If you don't have that, what's the point?
At first it's not about making physical love. It's about discovering whether there is love for you in this man. This one might have love for you; that one might not. The one way to find out is to be wooed. It's not that you're unwilling or not ready to make physical love because you can leave that to look after itself; the bodies coming together is a natural consequence, generally. And it's not that you're putting any condition on lovemaking although to win you over the smart man will say, 'Why are you putting a condition on our love?' (You've heard that one before, haven't you?) and you say, 'No, there's no condition. You've just got to show me that you love me'.
Hasn't your experience taught you what you want?
Have you learnt yet? Of course you have. That's why you come to me, woman, because I point out that you know what you don't want.
So you must be wooed to find out if there is something fundamental between you and the man, something more substantive than physical attraction, something that will be there when eventually he enters your body. There has to be a willingness to be with you. That natural easiness and willingness makes a lovely setting for the gem of physical love to sit within.
If you start off in this way you have much more chance of being honest with each other, because while he's demonstrating that he wants to be with you and truly enjoys being with you, you can talk about God and love, and you can tell him what you want and what you don't want.
And what do you want?
'I only want love God, truth and beauty. That's what I want. And I'm prepared to die for it. So, for that one want, I will give up all my emotion as fast as I can. To have one want requires me to be honest. But it also requires you if you want to be my partner and not just dip into me it requires you to also want that one thing. Because if you don't want that with me, what's the purpose of our being together?'
For that one want . . .
One want is not out of the 'want shop'.
© Barry Long 1991, 2002
More about 'Barry Long's Journal'
Barry Long's Journal
One, Two & Three
Barry Longs three Journals record his life and teaching from August 1990 to October 1991 and chart the introduction of cosmic consciousness to his work as he travelled around the earth.
Each volume contains a miscellany of writings, transcripts from seminars, letters, sayings and interviews. Also included are longer articles which develop the theme of cosmic consciousness and its practical application in living the divine life.
The Journals give a complete survey of Barry Longs teaching and a vivid portrait of the masters life and work.
- Purchase From Barry's Site
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