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Bringing Value to Relationships

Posted By: Randy GageMay 22, 2010

Last post we talked about relationships and it created quite a stir.  It all started when I talked about how I evaluated my own.  I mentioned that I didn’t “let in” certain types of people, and that if people didn’t continually bring value to my life, I stopped including them in it.  

This struck some of you as cold and distant.  I will plead guilty...but only up to a point.

I understand that no one here on earth is perfect, myself included.  I don’t think people have to be flawless to be in relationship with me.  But I also think it is quite appropriate (and quite necessary) for each of us to set boundaries.

For instance, I wouldn’t enter into a romantic relationship with anyone that smoked, had a drug addiction or other death wish behaviors.  I want a relationship that will last a lifetime—why would I have it with someone who didn’t want to live?

We’ve talked the last few posts about the people that mouth small talk but don’t actually listen to you.  These really come into play with casual acquaintances.  With the people who are close to you, then we get into the other issues I started the discussion with: drama and dysfunction.

Some people have drama complexes.  That is their choice, but I want no part of it in my life.  I’m not willing to accept dysfunctional behavior either.  Why would I?  I lived that way for 30 years; I’ve already paid my dues.  Now I am interested in spending my time with people who also choose to rise above that.

I run all areas of my life by Objectivist principles, even relationships.  I believe all interactions between people must be exchanges of fair value.  Anything else is relationship usury, co-dependence and dysfunction, and I want no part of that.

Now would I cut some slack to someone I loved who was going through a difficult time?  Of course.

Suppose I had a wife and we had had a strong loving relationship for 10 years.  Then her mother started dying, and she was caring for her for 4 months.  She might be emotionally inaccessible for me, for a certain period of time, not capable of helping meet my needs.  She might need me to work much harder to meet her needs.  If I love her, I would understand that, and want to do that.

I also understand that there will be times when I will be facing challenges, and may not be able to contribute to a relationship in equal measure.  And I would hope that my partner would love me and work with me too.

But if the relationship gets too one-sided, and stays that way, then we have crossed into a bad situation that serves neither partner.  And I won’t stay together just for the sake of the goldfish.  I believe relationships need work all the time.  And both parties have to be willing to do that work, otherwise it can’t last.

So yes, I have a tough standard for my relationships, and I am ok with that.

What about you?

What do you give, and expect, from your relationships?  Do you have relationships that bring value to your life...or diminish it?   Please share your thoughts.

-RG

33 comments on “Bringing Value to Relationships”

  1. After a divorce, I only expect and give from all my relationships to grow, and you´re absolutely right, when it comes to facing challenges you realize if the other person is in the same page with you, great post Randy
    Best regards

  2. I try to bring value into all spheres of life - my family and social relationships, my career, my hobbies - and I find that I get a lot of value back. The more I invest, the more seems to come back to me.
    I do choose what and whom to invest in very carefully, but have found great satisfaction in return. 🙂

  3. I agree with what you are saying. I have let someone into my life that has 1 or 2 issues, (drinking, smoking) since we have been together those issues have lessened over time. The main values we share, he supports me in EVERYTHING I do. not like my ex. and he has brought a lot of life into my life. We share the same interests etc. I have never been so happy. I am hoping that my example and the growth of my business will add value to the life we have together. that is my main goal. Live life to it's fullest. doesn't matter if you smoke or drink. My father passed away at 69 (too young). My great grandmother at 99 1/2, she drank vodka, smoked cigars and ate raw hamburger. The main thing is live to the fullest! Thank God for your blessings and ask for more, you will get it!

  4. I live my life taking responsibility for what shows. I release how I am feeling until I get to a space of neutrality. After a while you check in and say is this person bringing value to my journey or draining my energy. If it is the later then sometimes we need to look at why we choose to have this in our life. What are we running away from? What would it mean if we let this person go?
    Sometimes we are afraid of change because it might mean new opportunities etc. Continue to release how you feel in any moment and a magnificent life shows up.

  5. Randy, I completely agree with you, I am divorced and all I want from my partner is for him to be my lover, my friend, my companion and to have goals and dreams like I do, and respects them, I will do the same for him.
    I have had relationships with people that don't contribute anything to my life and like you well they are over basically when they are starting, why? obvious... they don't contribute anything. On the other hand I also have relationships that contribute a lot, and those I cherish, and conserve as close as I can.
    Great post Randy!

  6. Randy,

    I realized tonight that I remembered hearing in a movie the comment "live fast, die young and have a good looking corpse." That lead to years of drinking, smoking and my little mind saying let's see if we can get out of this "unscathed". I think the death wish was better it got quicker. Than the 2000's rolled around and the line was "If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself."

    Those unhealthy thoughts and beliefs attracted people who thought the same way. First came AA, Unity and No Smoking. All of these are the things that have kept me from having a great relationship with the God within me. They never made me happy and I was always looking for something more.

    Today when I am with people they either drain me or excite me. I am leaning forward or pulling back. I think that we are all connected however sometime I can't be in the company of people who want to spew their thoughts of fear, lack and limitation.

    That may sound cold to others but it makes perfect sense to me. I have told people stop it. Don't go down that path with me.

    Thanks for bringing up interesting topics.
    Jim Story

  7. My relationship mostly came from giving. If, we both give it, share it, and so on. I believe relationship will give back many thing in the future not just friendship.

    I give my open-minded, sharing and expect some positive manner back to me, that's all I want. If I need something more than that, I think I will think I need something is costly back everytime.

    But nowaday, I still not receive that positive manners back yet, even I try so hard to make them feel good in everythings.

    Anyway, I still get some value to my life along the way here, lover(we already broke out, I'm single), friends to be best friends, warm family, brotherhood etc.

    We both have good and bad time but it's up to us that how much do we use, understand and develop it to our life.

    Thank for your words, Mr.Randy

  8. Randy,
    I completely agree with your standards and assessments for relationships. I have been in my current relationship for 22 yrs and am a very different person now than when I started. If the relationship will not grow and change, I cannot stay, it would suck the life right out of me (it did for far too long). Thankfully, we have made good progress but it takes hyper vigilance on my part. When negativity/critical behavior creeps in, I bring it up immediately and make positive suggestions for change. If the situation is not going to get immediately better, I leave until it does. I visit a friend, get busy with projects and just make myself scarce. It works pretty well. I don't create or tolerate drama, I just won't play the game. He gets the picture pretty quick.
    My own self esteem has come way up and our relationship is the best it's ever been, with better times on the horizon.

  9. Randy, I really like your honesty, not hesitating to bring up the subject of this nature in your post that is important and interesting to you and perhaps to us as well, of course. You're absolutely an interesting and charming person in many ways, besides being a RockStar, I tell you. You're a very lovable person as well, like a puppy wishing to be loved with an awesome unselfish/ unconditional love and to want to love back. I wish to give him a big hug.. but this puppy is so unreachable and untouchable, always having way huge audience that requires his attention at all times. Seriously, you motivates me to really learn what I have just begun learning and I often visit your blog and twitter sites as well sites with video provided, and I sometimes feel that I'm being like a stalker on your sites. lol Really. I'm just that being motivated now to go forth which was very unlikely before, due to various issues.

    Yes, I agree.. the relationships are definitely something that we need to continue to work at in order to make them the best and rewarding ones of all in life. Just as you indicated that you are obsessed about relationships, rewarding relationships cannot be purchased by money, unlike business relationships in some situations, but are something that are absolutely awesome and rewards to make our life more worth living. I hope you agree to this.

    [But if the relationship gets too one-sided, and stays that way, then we have crossed into a bad situation that serves neither partner...]
    A one-sided relationship is not really a relationship, is it, whether a romantic relationship, husband-wife relationship, friendships with people of the same or the opposite sex. I believe, the rewarding and the beauty of the relationships are that the relationships never stay in one place but grow deeper and deeper in love and trust, as we spend time together. The deeper and more comfortable we are with each other, the more we are relaxed with each other when we are together, like we actually don't see the other being there (not to make you giggle about this), but more like two's existences are a part of the air, unless one demands so much on the other, making a noise, seeking an assurance of his/her existence around the other that she or he being loved every minute by the other, and that one would always be forced to do something. Before I go on and on, do you know what I mean by 'being part of the air'? And, when people are in a romantic or in any type of relationship, and if they truly love each other with confidence and trust, it should be very natural that we don't worry about what to say or do for fear of making the other feeling uncomfortable or hurting because this has a lot to do with trust, genuine love, unselfishness. I'm not just talking about a romantic relationship here, though. For example, if one partner shouts suddenly, 'DON'T DO THAT!' to the other, this same expression might make the other feel awkward, not knowing whether she or he meant what she or he said, and one would have to go through a guess game, whereas, when two know each other that well and know each other's feelings, with love and trust, no matter how spontaneous things that come out of one's mouth, the other would not be shocked...I mean, not that shocked to hear that, already knowing or thinking that she or he's got a legitimate reason to shout about something at that particular moment... perhaps with a funny look on the face in reply.. That's all.

    So... in response to your [What do you give, and expect, from your relationships? Do you have relationships that bring value to your life…or diminish it? Please share your thoughts.]:

    1. What do you (want) to give:
    [A woman-to-woman relationship]:
    ● Give her love,
    ● Attempt to meet her needs without expecting anything back from her simly because I love her,
    ● Say positive things to encourage her,
    ● Show her that I trust and respect her with consideration, understanding, kindness,
    ● Spend time together and help assure us that the friendship is an ongoing thing, not just being temporary,
    ● Give her occasional good surprises to make her happy.

    [A woman-to-man relationship]:
    In addition to what I want to give my female friends,
    ● Would love to learn to love him unconditionally
    ● Trust
    ● Respect
    ● Understanding/Kindness/Consideration
    ● Never-ending desire to grow in love, trust and show him my desire to want to grow together with him.
    ● Think of what I can do to make him glad and happy and smile and give me a big hug and kisses in return for appreciation.
    ● Meet his needs when he askes me.

    2. What do you expect:
    I should learn to expect the same that I try to give in a positive way instead of just giving. It's a lot to do with how I grew up with, perhaps mixed with the Japanese culture to a certain degree, as I have learned and understand that the relationship should work in both ways, in terms of the respecting one another...

    3. Do you have relationships that bring value to your life?
    Answer: Absolutely. Relationships are always to be two-sided. Just as you mentioned, when it gets one-sided, it is not a relationship. In order for the two-sided relationships (both relationships with the opposite sex and same sex) to stay alive, both have to continually work at developing a relationship on a deeper level to the next higher level. I think a truly well matched prosperous/ successful relationship is something that you can no longer live without the other, and when one of the two dies, the other realizes how he or she could possibly continue on living until his/her death. People often get remarried when one of the two dies the following year, with no problem, and I sometimes wonder about that how that could be possible after a year of the death of the loved one. It has a lot to do, I believe, with how we were raised to learn what love is..... I think. Hmm... not sure....

    As I began to end this rather incredibly annoyingly long comment (I apologize, although I was given an okay previously), I was somehow mistakenly thinking but later realized that I was not filling out the application to submit to the dating service company. Perhaps, I would use part of it when I decide to apply for it someday, so I copied this and pasted it onto my pc. lol 🙂
    * As I was finishing up my comment, I began to wonder (since it took a lot of my time to finish this..lol and English being not my native language, and all..) why I'm doing this... almost everyday. I'm adding my rather huge lengthy comment everyday that may well be even annoying for you to read. You never asked me, and I'm doing this because I want to and I enjoy this..but why. I thought about this and began to think ... because I do really respect you and like you, and writing comment makes me enjoy as if I were talking to/with you... and because as your friend, I want you to continue on being successful in what you do or whatever you might end up doing in the future. You're my hero and my friend in my heart.. hope you don't mind... You're a nice person with a good integrity, Randy. And, I wish to help you in some ways that I can or know how, in my own little ways... I'm just like you being upfront and being very expressive and honest in every way, the same person inside and outside wherever I go and whoever I deal with, whether dealing with a beggar on the street, or dealing with the president of the United States, I am the same person and talk the same. I don't discount or increase my words by the type of people. Hope not.... And, I don't care what the world says and thinks, as long as I know I'm doing the right thing in love. 🙂 Love and hugs::: -Saachi

  10. Great Post! I have had relationships that truly tax my every nerve. Sometimes those ar very tough to get away from. However, we must be very careful about who we invest our valuable time with. Environments are crucial and we must control ours the best we can.

  11. I've struggled through the better part of the '70s through the early 2000's, trying to understand what was so wrong with me that I couldn't keep a relationship going past 7 years, including my marriage. The trouble was definitely poor choices on my part - and being too willing to do far more than my fair share of the relationship work while my spouse/boyfriend was slowly enabled in slacking off and letting me work harder for the both of us. (Their issues included letting me do that ... and the sometimes not-so-subtle manipulation that goes along with it.)

    Then I read Steve Harvey's "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man" and I agree with him wholeheartedly on one particular point: Get yourself some standards, then stick by them. No matter what. Now, there are many good points in his book, but this one should resonate with you, Randy, as well as those who, like me, take stock and discover a "sliding scale" when it comes to relationships. It's common sense, really. It's the kind of sense we should be brought up with. But in practice, it's not as common as you might think, often through no fault of our own.

    So, I now have my standards. My standards don't let me remain around people who do not/cannot reciprocate in ways I recognize to be caring, helpful and diligent about someone else's welfare before or in addition to their own (as need be). This includes friends as well as deeper relationships.

    If that makes me selfish, then that is what I am, but only in the BEST sense of that word. I put myself and my needs first because if my needs aren't met, how can I possibly meet the needs of another? I consider me and my standards first within the circumstances. I may adjust what I DO out of love for another, but I no longer adjust my standards. This has saved me from making additional bad judgement calls on people with whom to get and remain involved. And I will have them as my "measuring stick" for the rest of my life. Like you, I'm happy and content with that.

  12. Great post Randy,

    I have been very selective over my relationships of recent and live by a simple principle - 'if someone is "Having" a disaster then I want to be there to offer support and help, but if someone "Is" a disaster then I get as far a way as possible'

    David

  13. Great insights , deadwishing behaviors ... About time to quit occasionally smoking. Drugs and booze already gone.

    Uniting with my God might be the most important relation to build now. He shows up in different people sendt to me.

    I am exposed to different tests as well .

    God grant me serenity to accept the things I can not change , change the things I can and give me wisdom to know the difference.

  14. If you need to be hyper-vigilant in a relationship, that's way too much work for way too little return. Coming from someone who was married to a Borderline for 13 years...why do we do these inexcusable things to ourselves??

  15. ● Would love to learn to love him unconditionally...

    I have come too question whether or not "unconditional love" is a good idea. "I'm going to love you...no matter what you do to me? to others?" In the list of things above that create and maintain a solid friendship, unconditional love is not listed. We forge friendships around conditional love--with boundaries and standards. I know I would have been much better off if I had applied at least those minimum standards to my husband selection...

  16. What do you give, and expect, from your relationships?
    I have been working on taking care of myself because if I don't do that I am harming myself. I previously was giving and not expecting...which is not good for me. I think taking care of yourself & loving yourself unconditionally are keys to being in a healthy relationship because then you do expect the best for yourself. And you can give the best of yourself.

    Do you have relationships that bring value to your life…or diminish it? Right now I have both...I am working on having relationships that bring value and not diminish my life. I also think each person in a relationship needs to work on themselves in addition to working on the relationship.

  17. RG – I am going to have to completely agree with Randy on protecting your mindset by closely guarding who you listen to and who you allow to influence your life. I have found through my first year of study of prosperity that there is not one prosperous person who does not practice “information filtration.” Your thoughts and your philosophy are the most precious thing in your possession. Yet so many allow invaders in with their broke mindsets, and victim mentality. If you what to rise above your going to have to build some walls to keep these invaders out. Some view this as cold, but those are the invaders. Contributors are never met at these walls with resistance, they are welcomed in through the gates and escorted to the table of shared ideas and prosperity.

  18. I love my family but my sister and brothers did not provide anything in my life were negative and were not prosperous, not abundant. I decided to relate to other people. The most difficult thing in life is not to relate to someone you love. Now I have a fantastic wife, our relationship revolves about prosperity, wealth and abundance and every day my life is spectacular. MV

  19. Randy,

    I agree. I am becoming someone that is worthy of a quality relationship, otherwise I am just going to attract the wrong people.

    There is nothing noble about sacrificing yourself to others, even if you love them. Been there. Done that. Made my life worse. I don't get our society's obsession with self-sacrifice though... Does it sell movie tickets?

    It does suck to be alone sometimes, but I have to become someone who can receive real love. That means I have to be in good health mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

    Quite a tall, intimidating order, but I have to keep going.

    Mauricio- I am honestly considering distancing myself from my family. They're very negative, and rarely supportive of behavior which leads to prosperity and happiness.

    Did you have some difficulty because of that?

    I have noticed that the majority of people, are either obsessed with their career to the point where it's harmful, on the downward spiral of doom, or just don't give a damn.

    A select few are on the path to prosperity. I am glad to be one of them.

    Thanks Randy

  20. Hmm. After reading a few of the responses I see how differently people think about having relationships with others. Some will tolerate alot, some won't. I myself only hang around with people because I like them. For me to like someone has 2 very simple criteria : they have to be a nice person and they have to be real. By real I mean geniune, and by genuine I mean they are just being themselves, without any pretenses or agenda. I don't care if they're rich or poor, they just have to meet those 2 simple attributes. I will avoid people if I sense that something is wrong or just plain don't feel comfortable around them. I don't believe you have to "work" at being in certain relationships. A good relationship is either there or it isn't. Both parties should naturally be fair to one another. If any reltionship is too taxing to you, then get the hell out - immediately.

  21. To add to this... I am reading a best seller book by Debra Berndt: "Let Love In"
    http://letloveinbook.com/

    Debra tells you how to:
    * Let go of feelings that you are unworthy or unlovable
    * redirect your focus to a new, true, and empowering self-image
    * envision yourself in a happy relationship & make that vision a part of you
    * Let your guard down to let love in (taking down the walls that we build to protect ourselves)

    One of the things it is helping me to realize is that I am responsible for only myself.

  22. Relationships are not things. English doesn’t do a good job with this very well. English tends to ‘thing’ every ‘thing.’ The way you hold onto a thing is you grab it by where it isn’t. I mean you don’t put your hand through the pencil, table or whatever you are holding onto but your grip is literally where the ‘thing’ isn’t. Now if you treat your relationships like things you actually are relating to where they are not, holding on to where there are not is not relating… and that’s not what relationships were designed to accomplish and yet most people I know spend more time relating to what isn’t there than what is. We even do this to ourselves.

    Also there is only one ‘thing’ more powerful that a relationship. If an ego ever experiences being at risk in a relationship, it will sacrifice the relationship or whatever is necessary to eliminate the risk whether it is real or not. Even sane egos are crazy.

    MLM is relationship building. Imagine if there was only one single giant MLM in the world and everyone was in it. Every one of us would either be your downline or your upline or your cross line. Would that change how you relate to them? Should it?

  23. As a happily married man for over 30 years I think you are on track. The best relationships are those which give both people involved something to enjoy and learn from the other.
    I have a friend who I have known for 45 years and when I'm around him I work to try not to get depressed. Actually I simply ignore him most of the time. I limit my time with him since I cannot afford to have him around. The same is true in my businesses, if there is no positive return I quickly terminate the relationship.

  24. This is so true! I used to complain that people "used" me. Well, guess what? They used me because I ALLOWED their behavior to continue. When the light bulb finally went on, I severed all ties with the "users." One such person was a famous business celebrity, and my friends at first couldn't believe why I would disassociate myself with him. My response was very close to what you said, Randy: The value exchange wasn't there. I won't hang out with someone just because their "famous" if they continue to diss me, ignore me, and violate my trust. (Once this person asked if a conversation he and I had could be included in his blog. I politely told him I did not want any part of what we talked about made public on his blog--even if my name was not used because it would have been very easy for his readers to figure out whom he was talking about. The next day...you guessed it...he had details of our conversation on his blog. That very night I cut all ties with him. To me, the most important thing in a relationship is trust. Without that, there's nothing left.

  25. We're a bunch of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You've performed an impressive activity and our entire group will be grateful to you.

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  • 33 comments on “Bringing Value to Relationships”

    1. After a divorce, I only expect and give from all my relationships to grow, and you´re absolutely right, when it comes to facing challenges you realize if the other person is in the same page with you, great post Randy
      Best regards

    2. I try to bring value into all spheres of life - my family and social relationships, my career, my hobbies - and I find that I get a lot of value back. The more I invest, the more seems to come back to me.
      I do choose what and whom to invest in very carefully, but have found great satisfaction in return. 🙂

    3. I agree with what you are saying. I have let someone into my life that has 1 or 2 issues, (drinking, smoking) since we have been together those issues have lessened over time. The main values we share, he supports me in EVERYTHING I do. not like my ex. and he has brought a lot of life into my life. We share the same interests etc. I have never been so happy. I am hoping that my example and the growth of my business will add value to the life we have together. that is my main goal. Live life to it's fullest. doesn't matter if you smoke or drink. My father passed away at 69 (too young). My great grandmother at 99 1/2, she drank vodka, smoked cigars and ate raw hamburger. The main thing is live to the fullest! Thank God for your blessings and ask for more, you will get it!

    4. I live my life taking responsibility for what shows. I release how I am feeling until I get to a space of neutrality. After a while you check in and say is this person bringing value to my journey or draining my energy. If it is the later then sometimes we need to look at why we choose to have this in our life. What are we running away from? What would it mean if we let this person go?
      Sometimes we are afraid of change because it might mean new opportunities etc. Continue to release how you feel in any moment and a magnificent life shows up.

    5. Randy, I completely agree with you, I am divorced and all I want from my partner is for him to be my lover, my friend, my companion and to have goals and dreams like I do, and respects them, I will do the same for him.
      I have had relationships with people that don't contribute anything to my life and like you well they are over basically when they are starting, why? obvious... they don't contribute anything. On the other hand I also have relationships that contribute a lot, and those I cherish, and conserve as close as I can.
      Great post Randy!

    6. Randy,

      I realized tonight that I remembered hearing in a movie the comment "live fast, die young and have a good looking corpse." That lead to years of drinking, smoking and my little mind saying let's see if we can get out of this "unscathed". I think the death wish was better it got quicker. Than the 2000's rolled around and the line was "If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself."

      Those unhealthy thoughts and beliefs attracted people who thought the same way. First came AA, Unity and No Smoking. All of these are the things that have kept me from having a great relationship with the God within me. They never made me happy and I was always looking for something more.

      Today when I am with people they either drain me or excite me. I am leaning forward or pulling back. I think that we are all connected however sometime I can't be in the company of people who want to spew their thoughts of fear, lack and limitation.

      That may sound cold to others but it makes perfect sense to me. I have told people stop it. Don't go down that path with me.

      Thanks for bringing up interesting topics.
      Jim Story

    7. My relationship mostly came from giving. If, we both give it, share it, and so on. I believe relationship will give back many thing in the future not just friendship.

      I give my open-minded, sharing and expect some positive manner back to me, that's all I want. If I need something more than that, I think I will think I need something is costly back everytime.

      But nowaday, I still not receive that positive manners back yet, even I try so hard to make them feel good in everythings.

      Anyway, I still get some value to my life along the way here, lover(we already broke out, I'm single), friends to be best friends, warm family, brotherhood etc.

      We both have good and bad time but it's up to us that how much do we use, understand and develop it to our life.

      Thank for your words, Mr.Randy

    8. Randy,
      I completely agree with your standards and assessments for relationships. I have been in my current relationship for 22 yrs and am a very different person now than when I started. If the relationship will not grow and change, I cannot stay, it would suck the life right out of me (it did for far too long). Thankfully, we have made good progress but it takes hyper vigilance on my part. When negativity/critical behavior creeps in, I bring it up immediately and make positive suggestions for change. If the situation is not going to get immediately better, I leave until it does. I visit a friend, get busy with projects and just make myself scarce. It works pretty well. I don't create or tolerate drama, I just won't play the game. He gets the picture pretty quick.
      My own self esteem has come way up and our relationship is the best it's ever been, with better times on the horizon.

    9. Randy, I really like your honesty, not hesitating to bring up the subject of this nature in your post that is important and interesting to you and perhaps to us as well, of course. You're absolutely an interesting and charming person in many ways, besides being a RockStar, I tell you. You're a very lovable person as well, like a puppy wishing to be loved with an awesome unselfish/ unconditional love and to want to love back. I wish to give him a big hug.. but this puppy is so unreachable and untouchable, always having way huge audience that requires his attention at all times. Seriously, you motivates me to really learn what I have just begun learning and I often visit your blog and twitter sites as well sites with video provided, and I sometimes feel that I'm being like a stalker on your sites. lol Really. I'm just that being motivated now to go forth which was very unlikely before, due to various issues.

      Yes, I agree.. the relationships are definitely something that we need to continue to work at in order to make them the best and rewarding ones of all in life. Just as you indicated that you are obsessed about relationships, rewarding relationships cannot be purchased by money, unlike business relationships in some situations, but are something that are absolutely awesome and rewards to make our life more worth living. I hope you agree to this.

      [But if the relationship gets too one-sided, and stays that way, then we have crossed into a bad situation that serves neither partner...]
      A one-sided relationship is not really a relationship, is it, whether a romantic relationship, husband-wife relationship, friendships with people of the same or the opposite sex. I believe, the rewarding and the beauty of the relationships are that the relationships never stay in one place but grow deeper and deeper in love and trust, as we spend time together. The deeper and more comfortable we are with each other, the more we are relaxed with each other when we are together, like we actually don't see the other being there (not to make you giggle about this), but more like two's existences are a part of the air, unless one demands so much on the other, making a noise, seeking an assurance of his/her existence around the other that she or he being loved every minute by the other, and that one would always be forced to do something. Before I go on and on, do you know what I mean by 'being part of the air'? And, when people are in a romantic or in any type of relationship, and if they truly love each other with confidence and trust, it should be very natural that we don't worry about what to say or do for fear of making the other feeling uncomfortable or hurting because this has a lot to do with trust, genuine love, unselfishness. I'm not just talking about a romantic relationship here, though. For example, if one partner shouts suddenly, 'DON'T DO THAT!' to the other, this same expression might make the other feel awkward, not knowing whether she or he meant what she or he said, and one would have to go through a guess game, whereas, when two know each other that well and know each other's feelings, with love and trust, no matter how spontaneous things that come out of one's mouth, the other would not be shocked...I mean, not that shocked to hear that, already knowing or thinking that she or he's got a legitimate reason to shout about something at that particular moment... perhaps with a funny look on the face in reply.. That's all.

      So... in response to your [What do you give, and expect, from your relationships? Do you have relationships that bring value to your life…or diminish it? Please share your thoughts.]:

      1. What do you (want) to give:
      [A woman-to-woman relationship]:
      ● Give her love,
      ● Attempt to meet her needs without expecting anything back from her simly because I love her,
      ● Say positive things to encourage her,
      ● Show her that I trust and respect her with consideration, understanding, kindness,
      ● Spend time together and help assure us that the friendship is an ongoing thing, not just being temporary,
      ● Give her occasional good surprises to make her happy.

      [A woman-to-man relationship]:
      In addition to what I want to give my female friends,
      ● Would love to learn to love him unconditionally
      ● Trust
      ● Respect
      ● Understanding/Kindness/Consideration
      ● Never-ending desire to grow in love, trust and show him my desire to want to grow together with him.
      ● Think of what I can do to make him glad and happy and smile and give me a big hug and kisses in return for appreciation.
      ● Meet his needs when he askes me.

      2. What do you expect:
      I should learn to expect the same that I try to give in a positive way instead of just giving. It's a lot to do with how I grew up with, perhaps mixed with the Japanese culture to a certain degree, as I have learned and understand that the relationship should work in both ways, in terms of the respecting one another...

      3. Do you have relationships that bring value to your life?
      Answer: Absolutely. Relationships are always to be two-sided. Just as you mentioned, when it gets one-sided, it is not a relationship. In order for the two-sided relationships (both relationships with the opposite sex and same sex) to stay alive, both have to continually work at developing a relationship on a deeper level to the next higher level. I think a truly well matched prosperous/ successful relationship is something that you can no longer live without the other, and when one of the two dies, the other realizes how he or she could possibly continue on living until his/her death. People often get remarried when one of the two dies the following year, with no problem, and I sometimes wonder about that how that could be possible after a year of the death of the loved one. It has a lot to do, I believe, with how we were raised to learn what love is..... I think. Hmm... not sure....

      As I began to end this rather incredibly annoyingly long comment (I apologize, although I was given an okay previously), I was somehow mistakenly thinking but later realized that I was not filling out the application to submit to the dating service company. Perhaps, I would use part of it when I decide to apply for it someday, so I copied this and pasted it onto my pc. lol 🙂
      * As I was finishing up my comment, I began to wonder (since it took a lot of my time to finish this..lol and English being not my native language, and all..) why I'm doing this... almost everyday. I'm adding my rather huge lengthy comment everyday that may well be even annoying for you to read. You never asked me, and I'm doing this because I want to and I enjoy this..but why. I thought about this and began to think ... because I do really respect you and like you, and writing comment makes me enjoy as if I were talking to/with you... and because as your friend, I want you to continue on being successful in what you do or whatever you might end up doing in the future. You're my hero and my friend in my heart.. hope you don't mind... You're a nice person with a good integrity, Randy. And, I wish to help you in some ways that I can or know how, in my own little ways... I'm just like you being upfront and being very expressive and honest in every way, the same person inside and outside wherever I go and whoever I deal with, whether dealing with a beggar on the street, or dealing with the president of the United States, I am the same person and talk the same. I don't discount or increase my words by the type of people. Hope not.... And, I don't care what the world says and thinks, as long as I know I'm doing the right thing in love. 🙂 Love and hugs::: -Saachi

    10. Great Post! I have had relationships that truly tax my every nerve. Sometimes those ar very tough to get away from. However, we must be very careful about who we invest our valuable time with. Environments are crucial and we must control ours the best we can.

    11. I've struggled through the better part of the '70s through the early 2000's, trying to understand what was so wrong with me that I couldn't keep a relationship going past 7 years, including my marriage. The trouble was definitely poor choices on my part - and being too willing to do far more than my fair share of the relationship work while my spouse/boyfriend was slowly enabled in slacking off and letting me work harder for the both of us. (Their issues included letting me do that ... and the sometimes not-so-subtle manipulation that goes along with it.)

      Then I read Steve Harvey's "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man" and I agree with him wholeheartedly on one particular point: Get yourself some standards, then stick by them. No matter what. Now, there are many good points in his book, but this one should resonate with you, Randy, as well as those who, like me, take stock and discover a "sliding scale" when it comes to relationships. It's common sense, really. It's the kind of sense we should be brought up with. But in practice, it's not as common as you might think, often through no fault of our own.

      So, I now have my standards. My standards don't let me remain around people who do not/cannot reciprocate in ways I recognize to be caring, helpful and diligent about someone else's welfare before or in addition to their own (as need be). This includes friends as well as deeper relationships.

      If that makes me selfish, then that is what I am, but only in the BEST sense of that word. I put myself and my needs first because if my needs aren't met, how can I possibly meet the needs of another? I consider me and my standards first within the circumstances. I may adjust what I DO out of love for another, but I no longer adjust my standards. This has saved me from making additional bad judgement calls on people with whom to get and remain involved. And I will have them as my "measuring stick" for the rest of my life. Like you, I'm happy and content with that.

    12. Great post Randy,

      I have been very selective over my relationships of recent and live by a simple principle - 'if someone is "Having" a disaster then I want to be there to offer support and help, but if someone "Is" a disaster then I get as far a way as possible'

      David

    13. Great insights , deadwishing behaviors ... About time to quit occasionally smoking. Drugs and booze already gone.

      Uniting with my God might be the most important relation to build now. He shows up in different people sendt to me.

      I am exposed to different tests as well .

      God grant me serenity to accept the things I can not change , change the things I can and give me wisdom to know the difference.

    14. If you need to be hyper-vigilant in a relationship, that's way too much work for way too little return. Coming from someone who was married to a Borderline for 13 years...why do we do these inexcusable things to ourselves??

    15. ● Would love to learn to love him unconditionally...

      I have come too question whether or not "unconditional love" is a good idea. "I'm going to love you...no matter what you do to me? to others?" In the list of things above that create and maintain a solid friendship, unconditional love is not listed. We forge friendships around conditional love--with boundaries and standards. I know I would have been much better off if I had applied at least those minimum standards to my husband selection...

    16. What do you give, and expect, from your relationships?
      I have been working on taking care of myself because if I don't do that I am harming myself. I previously was giving and not expecting...which is not good for me. I think taking care of yourself & loving yourself unconditionally are keys to being in a healthy relationship because then you do expect the best for yourself. And you can give the best of yourself.

      Do you have relationships that bring value to your life…or diminish it? Right now I have both...I am working on having relationships that bring value and not diminish my life. I also think each person in a relationship needs to work on themselves in addition to working on the relationship.

    17. RG – I am going to have to completely agree with Randy on protecting your mindset by closely guarding who you listen to and who you allow to influence your life. I have found through my first year of study of prosperity that there is not one prosperous person who does not practice “information filtration.” Your thoughts and your philosophy are the most precious thing in your possession. Yet so many allow invaders in with their broke mindsets, and victim mentality. If you what to rise above your going to have to build some walls to keep these invaders out. Some view this as cold, but those are the invaders. Contributors are never met at these walls with resistance, they are welcomed in through the gates and escorted to the table of shared ideas and prosperity.

    18. I love my family but my sister and brothers did not provide anything in my life were negative and were not prosperous, not abundant. I decided to relate to other people. The most difficult thing in life is not to relate to someone you love. Now I have a fantastic wife, our relationship revolves about prosperity, wealth and abundance and every day my life is spectacular. MV

    19. Randy,

      I agree. I am becoming someone that is worthy of a quality relationship, otherwise I am just going to attract the wrong people.

      There is nothing noble about sacrificing yourself to others, even if you love them. Been there. Done that. Made my life worse. I don't get our society's obsession with self-sacrifice though... Does it sell movie tickets?

      It does suck to be alone sometimes, but I have to become someone who can receive real love. That means I have to be in good health mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

      Quite a tall, intimidating order, but I have to keep going.

      Mauricio- I am honestly considering distancing myself from my family. They're very negative, and rarely supportive of behavior which leads to prosperity and happiness.

      Did you have some difficulty because of that?

      I have noticed that the majority of people, are either obsessed with their career to the point where it's harmful, on the downward spiral of doom, or just don't give a damn.

      A select few are on the path to prosperity. I am glad to be one of them.

      Thanks Randy

    20. Hmm. After reading a few of the responses I see how differently people think about having relationships with others. Some will tolerate alot, some won't. I myself only hang around with people because I like them. For me to like someone has 2 very simple criteria : they have to be a nice person and they have to be real. By real I mean geniune, and by genuine I mean they are just being themselves, without any pretenses or agenda. I don't care if they're rich or poor, they just have to meet those 2 simple attributes. I will avoid people if I sense that something is wrong or just plain don't feel comfortable around them. I don't believe you have to "work" at being in certain relationships. A good relationship is either there or it isn't. Both parties should naturally be fair to one another. If any reltionship is too taxing to you, then get the hell out - immediately.

    21. To add to this... I am reading a best seller book by Debra Berndt: "Let Love In"
      http://letloveinbook.com/

      Debra tells you how to:
      * Let go of feelings that you are unworthy or unlovable
      * redirect your focus to a new, true, and empowering self-image
      * envision yourself in a happy relationship & make that vision a part of you
      * Let your guard down to let love in (taking down the walls that we build to protect ourselves)

      One of the things it is helping me to realize is that I am responsible for only myself.

    22. Relationships are not things. English doesn’t do a good job with this very well. English tends to ‘thing’ every ‘thing.’ The way you hold onto a thing is you grab it by where it isn’t. I mean you don’t put your hand through the pencil, table or whatever you are holding onto but your grip is literally where the ‘thing’ isn’t. Now if you treat your relationships like things you actually are relating to where they are not, holding on to where there are not is not relating… and that’s not what relationships were designed to accomplish and yet most people I know spend more time relating to what isn’t there than what is. We even do this to ourselves.

      Also there is only one ‘thing’ more powerful that a relationship. If an ego ever experiences being at risk in a relationship, it will sacrifice the relationship or whatever is necessary to eliminate the risk whether it is real or not. Even sane egos are crazy.

      MLM is relationship building. Imagine if there was only one single giant MLM in the world and everyone was in it. Every one of us would either be your downline or your upline or your cross line. Would that change how you relate to them? Should it?

    23. As a happily married man for over 30 years I think you are on track. The best relationships are those which give both people involved something to enjoy and learn from the other.
      I have a friend who I have known for 45 years and when I'm around him I work to try not to get depressed. Actually I simply ignore him most of the time. I limit my time with him since I cannot afford to have him around. The same is true in my businesses, if there is no positive return I quickly terminate the relationship.

    24. This is so true! I used to complain that people "used" me. Well, guess what? They used me because I ALLOWED their behavior to continue. When the light bulb finally went on, I severed all ties with the "users." One such person was a famous business celebrity, and my friends at first couldn't believe why I would disassociate myself with him. My response was very close to what you said, Randy: The value exchange wasn't there. I won't hang out with someone just because their "famous" if they continue to diss me, ignore me, and violate my trust. (Once this person asked if a conversation he and I had could be included in his blog. I politely told him I did not want any part of what we talked about made public on his blog--even if my name was not used because it would have been very easy for his readers to figure out whom he was talking about. The next day...you guessed it...he had details of our conversation on his blog. That very night I cut all ties with him. To me, the most important thing in a relationship is trust. Without that, there's nothing left.

    25. We're a bunch of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You've performed an impressive activity and our entire group will be grateful to you.

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