The 3 Levels of Relationship
What are relationships for? Why do we enter one and what makes us stay in it? Can we enter a relationship for all the bad reasons?
The Oxford dictionary defines a relationship as: the way in which two people, groups or countries behave towards each other or deal with each other; the way in which two or more things are connected; the way in which a person is related to somebody else.
We enter relationships for various reasons but if the driving one is not to please ourselves, the relationship is a vehicle to amplify the experience of life. Imagine you just found that you won the lottery - what's the first immediate thing you are going to do? Most of us will call a family member, a friend or a loved one to share the experience and the good news and to relive the exstatic feeling.
There are 3 levels of any relationship. The longevity of any relationship is directly dependant on the level. It is normal for relationships to transition from one level to the next and great communication between the partners is key for this.
Level 1 - Selfish
Both partners are looking after getting their own needs met, without regard for the other's needs. This is the lowest level of any relationship. At this level, there is little to nothing to keep the relationship together for long. Partners may question why are they in a relationship when they are just as good outside of being in one.
Level 2 - Fair Exchange
The partners focus on fair exchange: "You let me pursue mine, I let you pursue yours." At this level partners tend to operate under the "you scratch my back, I scratch yours" principle. Partners look for reciprocity before they give in the relationship. I am only going to do as much as my partner has done for me. The challenge at Level 2 is that what one partner may see as fair may not be perceived as enough by the other.
Level 3 - Unconditional Giving
The partners focus on giving to each other unconditionally before any thought of receiving. At this level each partner goes to the relationship to give before they think of receiving or looking for reciprocity.
The most common reason why relationships fail is the focus on ourselves and not our partner. In any relationship there are two underlying motives for action - fear and love. If you dive deep into the reasons why your partner or yourself did something you will find that in the root of it was either fear or love. We act either from a place of love or from a place of fear.
To take your relationship to the next level can take the 90-Day Relationship Challenge: