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Honest Talk About Relationships, Heartbreak And Dating - Rob McPhillips EPISODE 30, 17th November 2020
The 5 Relationship Commitments
00:00:00 01:34:17

The 5 Relationship Commitments

Commitment sounds like effort. It sounds boring and dull.

Yet total commitment is easier than partial commitment.

We're always committed. But what we commit to determines the level of quality of our relationships. Here's what I suggest we should commit to...



Welcome to honest talk about heartbreak, dating and relationships, relationships, the podcast helping you navigate your path to happy ever after with your host, Rob McPhillips. So tonight, we were talking about the five commitments and the five commitments that we have to be committed to in order to have the relationship of the quality that we warm. And the idea is that we have those commitments so that we're not forever judging each situation individually, so that we know what we're committed to and what conditions we're committed to them under.


And so the commitment, the five commitments are to build a relationship of equals based on trust, respect and kindness, to learn what it takes to make a relationship work. To take complete responsibility for your relationships. To commit to choosing a partner based on the qualities and their ability for a long term successful relationship and a commitment to to being the quality of partner that you expect. And so the the idea is that if you have the commitment to those, those become your boundaries, those become your the standards that you aspire to, and so that you're able to nip problems in the bud.


OK, so welcome, everyone. So the topic tonight we've got is the five commitments and basically. The the idea is that. One hundred percent commitment is easier than 99 percent. Okay, so before we actually start with the main topic, I'm just going to run through expectations. And if anyone is new to the meeting and insight of what's going to we're going to do ahead. So the whole point of this group is to having a safe place to honestly discuss relationships.


So everyone's opinion is valid. No one's opinion dominates. It's not about being right. It's just about having a place, a safe place, that we can discuss relationships in a way that maybe we wouldn't with people that we see in our everyday life. There's no stupid questions. Everyone's anything that you could be struggling with, other people who can act out as well. It's always good to clarify and redefine. So how it works is in the main room, we have a discussion this the audio is recorded and so then you can catch up on any time that you've missed out on the breakout rooms are private, so that doesn't get recorded.


And I want his other than the people that you're discussing with. If you can if you can have it, Kameron, because this is a person-to-person interaction, it just makes people feel better, especially in the break room. Some people feel some people feel uncomfortable and it's going to change how people perceive you if you don't have your camera on, because people are going to think, who am I talking to? So, of course, there are reasons sometimes because of bandwidth, because of where you are and what you do.


You can't if you can in the breakout room. If you just explain to people why you can't have the camera on you or you don't have the cameraman, OK? So I think that's most of it. If there's any problems in the breakout room, if you leave, I'll be in the main room and I can reassign you. I'm going to put a link in the chat later. That's for any feedback, comments or suggestions. OK, so let's start with the main the main topic, so the topic is the five commitments.


And so basically this is about. The fact that if you haven't made a decision is tyring to make decisions, so if you. Wait until you see how you feel, you end up never going to the gym, you end up eating the cake, you end up buying the impulse buy. And in the same way, with dieting and relationships, it means that if you go to a dating site and you're not really committed to it, you're going to give up when you have a bad interaction in a relationship, which means it's more stressful because you're always thinking, am I in this relationship or am I not?


Would I you should I leave? Is the grass greener? So you always have to make like one different decisions. And research shows us that making a decision is tiring. And so the less decisions we have to make, the more energy we have for the big decisions. So in a blog post, I share some information I shared about Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, who basically made the decision to always wear the same thing. And they wore the same thing because it meant that they never had to make a decision about what they were going to wear.


So they had the energy freed up for the big decisions. So. If you have basically the gist of the article I wrote was if you have if you make Clear-cut decisions, it means you never have to make a decision whether to change the game, whether it's about whether to do this or to do that, whether you're in the relationship or not, it means that you just get on and do it. And most of our energy and most of the anguish in relationships is about my decisions.


So. Yet I don't believe that you will, you always need to. Relationships are going to be conditional because. You're not in a bad or a good decision then. Because you say that it's tiring, but it's also sort of. There's a need, a desire to make a good decision, so time spent thinking about and weighing up the consequences of making the decision, is that not worthwhile just to make a good decision yet?


Definitely. So. For example, I think there was there was a spate of there was a time like the 80s and 90s when. All business groups that were basically taking what was in the Japanese style of business of Khoisan and continuous improvement and things like that, and basically one of the differences when they go over their ideas, they didn't always work because there is a different culture. And one of the important parts of the Japanese culture is that it seems to be that they all agree.


But actually, they spend a long time before they make the decision in private discussing it. And they they hear all sides of this, quite a lot of diversity in the way that they make the decision. But then once they made the decision and they all agreed to it. So, yes, I think you should make it. You need to spend a lot of time on working out what the right decision is and obviously should review it sometimes. But I think and really what I've done in the five commitments that we're going to talk about is.


What I believe are the keys to the key decisions to commit to so. I think you should make a decision, but with that is conditional. So people want unconditional love, but the reality is humans for the most part, are capable of that and.


If someone I don't think anyone should stay in a relationship where there's abuse, where there's violence, where there's control, where there's manipulation. So I think there needs to be clear. Boundaries of what what is unacceptable? But what you don't want to be making a constantly remaking the decision is. I don't feel so great today. Am I am I still in this or this person is more attractive and maybe I've got a chance with them should, you know, chopping and changing because that kind of chopping and changing is always going to is never going to lead to lasting happiness.


So it's really yes, so there's a lot a lot of build up to make the decision and to be clear. And yes, you can change the decision. Because as we evolve and as we change, we get more clarity and we can make better decisions. So I think. The what would they now is who go to small breakout rooms. To actually start for one minute. And think about how does this apply in your life? So for some of us, it's going to be.


So, for example, I've been trying to give up sugar and I've mostly given up I've given up chocolate, but sometimes it's like you had you've had dinner and you really feel like a cake or a biscuit. And that's the worst time to make a decision. So that's really my plan. So some people decide to exercise light based on how they feel and then they go to work and they are not too tired. And so they end up never going to the gym.


Some people go out and make a decision to buy something when they shopping based on whatever it feels like a good deal of the time. For a lot of people dating, it's like they get a couple of bad. They have a bad experience, they have a bad message and they go, dieting doesn't work. I'm giving up. And in relationships, it's they have a bad day. They're not feeling good about their partner in that day, that week.


And so they decided maybe I'll be better in a different relationship. So we'll take one minute to think about how does this apply to your life? What area are you making decisions based on how you feel in the moment? Is this exclusively for relationships or does any of you know, first of all, is to think about any area so it could be excited to be. It could be money, work, whatever. OK, everyone's back and you can meet everyone again by yourself so we can arm yourselves one at a time to talk.


Anyone got any question, comment or insight in that on that concept, on the idea of making a decision up front al-Qaida's. I think it's good to have a balance of being disciplined or organized the way I tried to perceive it that you were saying, Rob, is it's not good to be doing everything off a boss. Believe maybe that's disorganized or. It's got to be organized, put. Is it because some people might be very old and too organized to planned a robbery relative, you said tossed you out for a pint tonight, a bit like I always do in Washington.


Would I always go to the gym on a Monday? And these very little flexibility, not friends, family, potential partner, it can disrupt things and make things not as good as they could be. They could be better if you don't be flexible with people. I described I knew a female friend. It was very organized about chores and this is my day off. I always do my washing on my day off. She was like not my friends, but she was like potentially meet someone as well.


Well, I told her myself, I said. A year later, two years later, I said, I've seen changes in you that when you're texting me. It seems as if he'd been more flexible with this new leaders on this aid, an hour to go because I wasn't interested, but I said I see it seems as if you're not being so rigid with that person. Maybe that's because it's more of a person that you think they might be the one and you, whereas all the people you did, either it was you or the Arab or you're willing to make that more effort to be more flexible.


And I still think there's a good balance between being organized, because sometimes it's good because if you're organized and it can accommodate other things, if it was organized tonight, you could say right. Teased or dressed. And I asked myself and then some somebody randomly might say, well, and the good old days, do you want to come to the pub randomly? But you might say no, sorry, I've still got potatoes. Are you Zarganar? You might have the night free.


I'll be that flexibility and doing things on impulse switch date where Rob actually go. Text does talk about oh, we hadn't planned it. As the most disorganized and spontaneous person, I am fully with you, I think it is it just for the big decisions, for the real, really important things. I think this is like you make those ahead of times. But I'm just going to bring in Catherine CACC. Good to see you here. Yeah, thank you.


Thank God they worked out for me. So what came up for me that I think it will definitely free me up to have time and energy to make bigger decisions is to predetermine what I'm going to have for breakfast and and dinner, because I don't really I don't have a preference. It will just make my life easier. But I really care about lunch. So then lunch will be a little more flexible. And every day I have something different, but I might have a theme.


Mondays is Taco Monday since I could do it their way and they just do it that way. But that can be applied to anything else. The things that are not as important and that we do a lot of marriage, why not have it set? So then when something big comes up, then we already have the energy and excited to do it. And also we have flexibility. Our own schedule is our own decision. So something changes. You have the freedom to say, I changed my mind or I have something planned, but because that sounds more fun, I want to do this.


Yeah, I think. I've had that kind of thinking about like if I if I set a time when I'm going away, I don't always have to make the decision because otherwise I'm sitting there and I'm working and I'm thinking pretty hungry, really fancy. Three and half the time is an excuse to get out of. You like to procrastinate. Alan.


Yeah, I remember about 14, something like that, I was I was on a bus to school and basically the stop before school was where the shots were. And it was it must have been like the longest space between bus stops in the world. It was massive, about four miles. So it was a big decision. Do I get off and get a chocolate bar and not walk to school or do I go to school?


And by the time it made my decision, I realized I was actually off the Boston. I couldn't believe it. I was like, wow, what's going on there? And so I automatically taking myself off the bus because the impulse of the chocolate bar was more important than the war. The school. Well, I've never forgot that because I think it's an important thing of. It's did it automatically and I think where we come, where it will lead to potentially and this is the automatic thinking, because if something is we breed automatic, we are happy to automatically.


And. Thinking, as you said, it only requires requires energy, and even if we know what we're going to have for our economy, we know what we're going to work already.


Then those decisions don't take away the energy. And I suppose we can then apply the energy elsewhere in our lives. I say in the group that I despise going to Japan when I will put it off and put it off and put it off. Well, I do spend a lot of time thinking about what will have me saying, you know, I asked for of food, I think it definitely is definitely something to it. And I think maybe getting some sort of balance in place would leave people in a better place more.


Hello, Fresh really worked for me with food. Because they just give you you just pick them up a couple of weeks in advance and then it's just which pack Imran is Imran.


Maria, it's Maria. Sorry, it's my surname. Yeah.


So I'd love to I forgot his name, but the person who said about the balance between being organized and the impulse thing, I would see it more as being open to new possibilities. Yeah, I also have a set schedule in terms of like breakfast and lunch because it kind of gets annoying to decide. But I am open to, you know, something new happening or something coming up in the day because that just kind of, you know, makes things more exciting.


So I'd have to agree with the balance between decision making and, you know, openness. I personally, I hate routine, so I've never had any kind of well, I never thought that I had a routine and I basically did everything based on how I felt and what I felt was right at the moment. But what I found is having some kind of structure and some kind of routine frees you up. It actually frees you up rather than controls you.


But but I like for me just to have a routine and to be as structured as that's said, that would really I would have no energy from that. So I like to have spontaneity, but I need some structure to be able to function properly and.


Arrowood, you did you want Antonino? Yeah, sorry. Well, I suppose one thing I want to just throw into the middle was that I mean, this is quite right. There needs to be a balance and that balances will depend on your natural character. You know, some people are more organized, some people are more creative, and they may very well prefer the flexibility.


But I find that indecision is very tiring because it plays on your mind all the time. So if by if you lose the contrast or control and you can't make a decision or, you know, you should make the decision, but you play games with yourself not to make it so, you know, you should do something, but instead you find something else to do. So it doesn't have to do that and you're left with procrastinating. That then comes kind of in the back of your mind.


You know, you should pretend you're not doing it. And that can because the stress that causes tiredness, physical therapist, you know.


Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And does everyone feel that they've got the concept? Is anyone still down or still not quite sure how it would apply to them? Just that you say the having structure frees you up, so could you just talk a little bit about that, please?


OK, so if every if every day you wake up and you've got no set time to be up, then in the morning you're lying in bed and it's cold outside and you're just snooze a little bit longer, snooze a little bit longer, and then you can end up in two hours before you've actually got up. And then if you have like you don't have some kind of, like, morning routine, like you're waking up and what do I do?


I shower, do I have breakfast or I shall have to have breakfast.


And then so constantly you're never sure what you're doing and. So you're you're always waiting for is there something better or is they were or, you know, based on how you feel.


So if you want to take you to see dating, I never really like planning up ahead. I have now and I have ages away. And so when I when I was dating, it would be like I wouldn't sort of think of the weekend. And so then it'd be like Friday. And I summarize message asking, are you doing something tomorrow?


And but most of the time people have picked up things like that ahead of time. And so I think typically men tend I don't know if they're waiting because if they got other. Options or whether they're waiting because they just haven't planned ahead, whereas women, in my experience, tend to be like organizing things with friends. Does that make sense? Is. Yes, thank you. OK, and does in in reply to you in the comments and I would say not necessarily because this.


Because you are probably more anxious people, I think depressed people just feel so bad that they just can't do it even if they have that routine. I don't think it's necessarily. Yeah, I think it more sort of anxious people. Yeah, I was just just pinched off your idea of where he was going down the route. Where to Alighieri. Get up and just keep using lab wise. Sometimes you need to push yourself. Go right when you get up popularism structuring my life.


I think it's OK to say right to get up. I'm going to be productive.


Yeah, I think that's slightly different. But depressed people are so down that they don't have energy to do even though they might made the decision. Okay, so so so the next thing we're going to look at, if everyone's got a general concept, is the five commitments. And so the first commitment is to build a relationship of equals based on trust, respect and kindness. So. What we do is we go to the breakout room so everyone can get involved and discuss.


Are you committed to building a relationship of equals based on trust, respect and kindness? Is that clear? Any anyone got any questions? Is anyone going to say no to that? I don't know. I put it first because I thought it was the main point I wanted to be inequal.


The the thing is that I don't think people necessarily disagree with it, but they then base the relationship on other things because someone's heart, because someone is convenient. So that's really the decision. And let me know if anyone disagrees.


Well, then I guess that's what your definition of commitment is. Good question, Betty, commitment. How do I define it without saying the word so something that you decide? It's a it's a decision you've made, so. You still going to take a little you stick to no matter what, but with conditions? Yes. So but you decide the decisions when you make the commitment. So that is not because I don't feel like that today. I don't feel like that's right.


So can anyone help me out?


Because I'm struggling to make sense? Rob, it means that your actions align with your words or your values.


Yes. You see the word yes. You say the word and then you have integrity to that.


We can't deny. Sorry. Is it that you kind of invest in that as well? You you you make that kind of stick, obviously, with the conditions, but that's your intent. You set in your intention.


Yeah. So it's like you make a marriage vow and then the idea is that you live up to it and the same thing you make the condition. I just think you should have a clause is clear on what the the breaking points are equity as well.




It's having the integrity of living up to your word. Yeah, I think that's that. I think you've pinpointed that issue really well. Come back.


So did anyone. Is anyone not committed? Did anyone disagree? I don't think we disagree. I think we had a really interesting discussion around what it actually means to be equals and the importance of.


You could be equal, but completely different and perhaps a good relationship. Could it kind of hold the difference? And the other thing we had quite an interesting discussion around was trust and we use the kind of kind of compared to the idea. Do you trust somebody from the outset?


And trust is only lost when they kind of do something so that you lose trust for them.


Or is it more that you it's kind of OK to be kind of quite guarded and not fully trust until time has revealed the person is trustworthy.


And I think people had kind of different approaches to that in the group that we were in, which was quite interesting. What's your approach? What do you think if you had to jump on site?


Or I'm sitting on the fence person, so I'd never jump one side, but I, I felt as a female and I didn't want to massively gender it because maybe it's just me as a human being that I would personally feel too vulnerable to think, oh, I completely trust this person.


When I met them, I would I feel like I come to a situation with an open mind and an open heart, but just a level of guardedness to kind of keep me safe.


So that would be I think this person is really nice and the same kind of where good things here, but, you know, kind of take baby steps and just kind of see what happens.


But for somebody else that might be too cautious and somebody else might approach a situation where they would see that as perhaps a little bit guarded or closed.


So we all kind of, I guess, very different as individuals.


OK, as a quick show of hands. Which side of the fence you are? So if you put your hands up, if you think that you trust from the outset and if you're yeah, you can use reactions if you're not. If you're not on camera, right? So we've got one, two, three. Can your hand up exactly what is your question?


OK, so the question is, do you trust someone implicitly from the outset? Or do you wait and see what from the evidence and trust them from the evidence, so if you trust them from the outset, hands up. One to. Free for. OK, so four and five, OK? Personally, I think based on my experience is I think you should trust when you have evidence.


Accessories such as they should assume, I think you should give people the chance, you should give them the benefit of the doubt, but. Like, you wouldn't trust you wouldn't trust someone with all your money, so why trust them with your heart? And it doesn't mean you're very reserved.


You wouldn't love unconditionally. You won't trust without having some sort of reason to trust the very held back.


Is that sort of. How you would advise relationships to.


Be conducted? I guess so. I think you give people the opportunity, you give people the benefit of the doubt, but with your like if you were doing a financial transaction, there is would you trust the person implicitly from the outset? It depends on the context, I suppose, I mean, some things are legally bound, some things and all sorts of. I mean, I'm not handing over my money, you know, there are there is lots of regulations as to how transactions take place, you know, I mean, they're not sort of with a bank.


You have some sort of contract, you not.


So it's you know, so you trust the bank based on the fact that these laws protecting you. And so you you seem to have. So you're kind of trusting in the law and the systems of banking. Yeah, OK, so right. So let me let me give a little bit more detail in that I don't think you should be like I'm not going to have anything to do with you because of this. I'm not going to trust you because of this.


What I'm saying is you'd be open to the relationship, but I don't believe that you can know someone until six months or a year in. And if you're believing that everything and everyone says, then what happens is there are some people that will paint you the picture of everything you wanted to see to believe in, and they'll tell you that they are everything that they dream that you want.


And then you'll find out six months or a year later, they were just playing you or whatever, and if you then trusted them and you trust them implicitly and you believe everything that they say on face value, then what happens is suddenly you're you're in a relationship where you're trusting them and letting them. Latinum, basically. Control your life and a fabulous person. Yeah, yeah, so what what what I would say is you give everyone every chance to hurt you because that's the only way that you're going to know if you can trust them or not.


But you don't commit to anything. You don't commit to trusting them until you have evidence.


That shows that shows that they are wary of trusting. Does that make more sense? Yes, if I understood correctly, I thought at the beginning of this session, one of the statements that was made was about commitment and being committed fully or something like that. Now, based on what you just said, it's just a lot of doubts in my mind about what exactly you meant by your statement, because if you're not going to commit fully and it's like, well, I don't trust you, then how do you like open up?


How do you allow yourself to be hurt or like, put yourself there to get to know? Yeah, because I think that by taking that step and saying, well, I'm going to put in this much and hopefully this is who they say they are, yet there's a potential to be hurt then, is that the end of the world? So, again, my question about what you were saying about commitment is just like announcing this. It's kind of contradictory.


OK, so what I what I mean is, first of all, you commit to the relationship, so you commit to the relationship. OK, can we can we pause this for one minute?


And I just want to do something else and then we'll come back and make sure that this point addresses it. OK, OK, so everyone's agreed that they're committed to the relationship of trust, kindness, respect. OK, so we've agreed that. So now we've all been in relationships. We've all been committed. We can't find anyone, so this is obviously this is a certain group, but we probably go into relationships with people who are quite similar to us.


So. So maybe or we thought they were so I'm guessing that most of us haven't had that relationship of trust, kindness and respect.


So why why not? There is a. Sticking to the commitments, all the lights here. The biggest. Well, truthful at the beginning. One of my examples I gave. Was good about not being truthful about any debt they've got already of their past relationship history might not be so truthful about what I got. Yeah, I've got loads of that I've got of. Three examples. OK, and did you did you then stay in the relationship, that's all.


It depends what they defended. You know, if somebody said, yeah, well, I was unfaithful once, but yeah, I'm trying to think what maybe I might do because somebody said, well, I was it I was in this relationship and the relationship was dead.


So it was more of a friendship. But that. So they explained the departed, their reasons, and you chose to trust their defense. OK, so has anyone been in a relationship maybe four years, five years, 10 years, 15 years into the relationship and the relationship was completely different? Then you wanted at the beginning, but you stay in it. Because you're in that relationship, yes, OK. So that yeah. The. Where we were when things started certainly changed when think, of course, if it is a long term relationship, life events can change the pressure on them.


And I bet the stresses on people in that relationship and.


I guess if you don't have the. Mutual understanding of what matters in a relationship.


It's easy for things like the kindness to disappear, the respect to disappear, and then ultimately, if that really breaks down.


Your trust in that person, that trust in you, starts to erode as well. And then that, I think, is when a relationship is probably when when all that starts to disappear.


I think a relationship is in a very kind of broken place. Yeah. So the first commitment so far, just your testing, the first commitment is to the quality of the relationship. So you're committed that the relationship is going to be that level is going to have that kindness, that trust and respect, because what will happen if you don't have commitment to that quality of relationship that because you're in the relationship, you you will.


It will drift, it will drift, and it will will not be as good and but you'll stay in the relationship without those things. And so what's happened is there's a problem, you have to fix the problem in order to maintain the trust, kindness, respect, you have to change how you operate, how you relate. And so having commitment to the quality of the relationship means that. You're committed to that being constant. And what you do is going to change in order to maintain the.


But so where you're having difficulty is because I said commitment and enough said can be committed at the beginning. So what I'm saying is. That you get to know someone, and I'm not saying that you'd be closed. I'm not saying that you make a decision that someone's bad automatically. But I'm saying that in that period when you don't know, like you meet someone with a dating site. You know nothing about giving them what they've told you six months or a year in, you've seen enough of them to know what to trust.


So if we can trust people from the outset, we're going to read everyone's profile and everyone's kind, everyone's loving. Everyone loves long walks. Everyone every man loves fishing, every one loves romantic dinners. And everyone's been a saint in their past relationships.


What everyone says is all the same, and so we're going to believe everyone's will the same. So does that make more sense to your point? Now, a bit separately, because I still believe that with life you go through a lot of changes, things evolve, you yourself, you evolve. So whatever you thought was what you were committed to in the relationship could evolve into something that is not what you wanted at the beginning of of that relationship. Does that mean you should walk away?


I'm not a believer of that. I don't believe that just because something is no longer what I wanted it to be. I walk away, I believe. And is there an opportunity here to understand why this is evolving and changing? Have I changed as things about me changed? Is there a way to fix it? So again, for me, things not working out or things like, OK, there's no kindness anymore. It's not a deal breaker.


It's it's actually a point of reflection that says this is an opportunity, yes.


Is there something I can do here? Is this an opportunity for me to reassess who I am and what I have been doing all this time and those sort of things? I'm still a bit not really sure if I. Yeah, not that I'm not really sure. I don't quite agree on a first statement and then the second statement because I'm still conflicted in my mind about. But I mean, I think it would be best if we move on eventually.


I'm sure I'm still OK.


Yes. I think language is something sometimes difficult and we often have disagreements based on different opinions. But you will evolve in what you want in the relationship will evolve. And I think what you were saying is akin to that. You would say that was a point of reflection. And I'm not saying that you give up when the relationship doesn't have those things. I'm saying you're committed to bringing the relationship back to that quality. So what do you do as an individual?


And it may be that you do you agree or disagree? You know, all of us have to make our own decisions. But that's my point. I just want to address Louise's. So. Because I think otherwise that's going to be a barrier for Lewis. Louise, so so your point is that you have to let a relationship happen to get to know someone. Yeah, I think there needs to be a degree of flexibility and. Just. A desire, a mutual desire to know someone and not be so held back.


And Richard. So just a natural sort of inquisitiveness and openness. OK, I agree. What were you thinking that I was disagreeing with? Well, you just mentioned that we don't love or we shouldn't love unconditionally, and you also just yeah, I mean, you just made two statements, which I thought were a bit sort of narrow minded.


OK, can you tell me what those statements were? Well, that we don't love unconditionally was one of them, I forget what the second one was now, OK? And if you can just sort of maybe extrapolate if you could just maybe give more of an example as to why you don't love unconditionally, if you can sort of give a reason as to why that would be the right thing to do.


OK, so so if you love unconditionally, it means I love you, whatever you do. And I think the closest we come to unconditional love is with our children. Yeah, definitely, yeah. However, there's been psychological research, so there's basically seven types of love and unconditional love is a Catholic love. And so there's been research where researchers have tried to look into a gap in love because this is the ideal and they've had to abandon the studies because they couldn't find examples and they found instances, but they couldn't find people who love unconditionally.


And so my it's something I might not know.


Well, I want to love your people in the way that you love your children, or isn't that something to have that degree of compassion? Yes, definitely.


And as an individual, we I think we should love as much unconditionally. I think we should. My basic philosophy is we should love people as much as they allow us to, meaning that we accept people as they are. Yeah, my the problem like why I would never say that in terms of relationship advice is because lots of people go into relationships with a romantic ideal and that and a belief that they're going to love someone whatever they do, and they end up being cheated on and being abused, being lied to.


And they tolerate these kind of relationships. Being of a basic principle that people will treat you well, people will give you the minimum that they have to. And if you accept that kind of behavior, people will just carry on doing it. And I think I can just get away with this and I can go sleep with other people and I can not give any attention and change my ways and they'll still accept me.


So they were talking about giving someone the chance to hurt you. So I guess that's what you're saying if you.


So in terms of giving someone in terms of giving someone the chance to hurt you, what I mean is you be open, you date someone, you'd be open, you be curious, but you I don't think you should commit until you know the person. Because many people have a wonderful six months, a wonderful year with someone who turns out to be the biggest nightmare that I've ever met, and they then spend years in damaging, destructive relationships because they're trying to recapture the magic of the first three months and they become controlled.


And what I I believe that in relationship, we. We we have to hold each other accountable, so we have to be better for the relationship and our partners have to be better. And if we accept them as being less when we say this, that's okay. I'm still going to love you. You still get that. You don't have to try anything, whereas I think we should.


Encourage each other to be better, to be better partners. Earlier on, you said something and I can't remember exactly what you said, but there is a notion of being in love with being in love with the idea of being in love. Yes. Versus actually growing to love someone. And I think it's worthy of this session to decouple those notions.


Because some of what I'm hearing, I kind of hear that a strand of that notion of it's the concept of being in love itself that is driving our perception of the love that we think that we. We we are experiencing with someone else or. Yeah, I think that's a really good distinction. We can love we can love people and I think we should. I think we should love everyone, but we don't have to be in a relationship. If we don't have to sleep with them.


We don't have to wash up after them. We don't have to mother them or five of them. We can love them for who they are. But if they can't give you that quality of relationship, if they can't treat you with kindness, with respect and trust, then how can you have that relationship? They either have to like you have to sort yourself out to be the best partner you can. If they can't, then they have to they have to rise up to to the level of being worthy of your of being married.


The relationship. I don't think they have to be worthy of love, but worthy of the relationship. And Fernando is patiently had his hand up for a while. Sorry for taking so long. It's guarantee. And not just us earlier on to raise our hands for voting, OK, like, OK, does that clarify things?


Yeah. Thank you. Right, OK. Can I ask a question? Yes, you just that when you said give them a chance to hurt you.


Do you mean open up and the next day? Yes. Yes. Then after the. Yeah, because you can't know someone until they've had a chance to hurt you. So over like over six months a year, you've seen people in different contexts. You've seen people when they're able to to put on a show. You've seen people when they're in a bad mood, you see them in all with different people, different contexts.


It's it's when you go. And when someone has the chance to hurt you and that you know that you can trust them, it's when someone has been in this situation to take advantage and they don't that you know, that they're worthy of trust. So I think you be open. I don't think you actively mistrust, but you'd be observant of whether trust is is a judgment in someone and it's a judgment based on evidence. Yes, so so, yeah, I think you you gave the opportunity just by being open, but then you come in once you have the evidence.


Yeah, that makes sense. Thank you. OK, if right, so are we ready to move on to the commitment to, I think, anyone still stuck on one? OK, so commitment to is to you learning what it takes to make a relationship work. So. You know, we talked about how relationships go and friction happens and people relationships end up not being what we hoped they were. So the first commitment is to. A commitment to to the quality of relationship that you want rights, a commitment to is learning what it takes to make a relationship work.


And so. Will go into a breakout room so everyone can discuss this, and the topic is the second commitment, what it's committed to learning, what it takes to make a relationship work. Now.


What are the implications, what are your examples from your own personal relationships? And I think most of us, if not all of us, have been in relationships that have ended up not being what we want them to be. And it's my contention that it's because we don't know, because we've never been war and nobody's ever taught us and we've never been told even what the skills are to develop to make a relationship work.


So. That's the topic for the breakout rooms. Is everyone clear on that? Yes. All right, chin up. Are these your are these your is this your your.


Yes, whatever the question was going to be, if this is coming from your your creative mind.


Yes. My suggestions for commitments. OK, so does anyone have common suggestion inside?


I thought that the way you worded the question was quite interesting. Are you asking, are we committed to learning?


And I thought it means that we should keep going, that regardless of what happens, or rather if we get the inevitable setback and we're not getting what we want in a relationship, we shouldn't just stop. We should keep going. So we've got a commitment to our own learning and our own growth and having a willingness to try and stay open and put in the effort and the hard work.


And definitely I believe that the quality of your relationships is we talked about it being a journey, and it is. It's it's like your personal challenge, said the person that you have a relationship with, so every relationship is going to end and I know that I have kind of a. romantic view, but every relationship is going to end this.


You're going to end and therefore it's going to end in a breakup. And you I believe that you can meet someone and I believe that you commit fully. But I think I saw I didn't say at the time when it came up to Alan about the conditions. And I think he articulated really well. I've seen a woman hasn't seen it.


So I believe that you be committed to the quality of the relationship. And not everyone is different from ours. And I think you be committed to the quality of the relationship and then it's up to you, because having having a great relationship is about you being in the right state. Having the right partner and building the right relationship together and you can't. You can't control another person, so it's not necessarily always going to be that person, and that's why I'm saying you committed and until the conditions are met, but if you have a commitment to the quality of the relationship, you are the right person.


You'll not aspire to inspire and evolve together and the wrong person you're never going to have that relationship with. And so what it means is you're then faced with a choice of do I take a subpar relationship with this person who I'm already dealing with or do I stand firm? This is the quality of relationship I demand and. I think that's how you determine the quality or. Their level of partner that you commit to. So. So, yes, so I believe that.


It's always learning how to be better relationships, and I think most of us, I think all of us have been given a deck or a framework for relationships that just doesn't work.


So. So this is really starting from that point. That and with the aspiration that we can we can be in charge of our relationships, we can through learning how to make them better, make them better.


So and I know, like I was joking and people have said in the past that I'm quite negative because I have this positivity that all that I mean, we can have the right relationship, we can find the right partner.


We can build the relationship that we want and find the person. And the way that we do it is by resolving all the problems and the barriers in the way of it. So that leads to commitment, the third commitment, which is taking complete responsibility to ask you before you move onto the third commitment, which is more important, the quality of the relationship or the partner.


So keeping on to keep hold of the partner that you've had for however long or maintaining the quality, which would you think is more important?


So mine is you commit to the quality of the relationship. OK, thank you.


And and my reason for saying that is that if you commit to the partner. And it's going to follow the pattern of most relationships, which is dwindling down if you commit to the quality the partner that's committed to, you will also work and making the relationship better. If you commit to the partner that's basically accepting unconditionally, which means that if the partner. It is not as committed to a relationship as you. It means that they it's easier for them if you say no, look, we need to sort this out.


Our relationship isn't working. We need to fix this. We need to do this. We need to do that. We need to work on this together. Then you have the relationship. And if the partner is is the one that's going to work on that. Then you have the right partner and the right relationship, if the partner is, then you're just going to end that relationship. And so basically, if you've committed to that partner, your quality of relationship is dependent on them.


And if there's someone that is committed, then you probably haven't got that problem already. If you have got that problem, then they're probably not going to bother because they're not. An already committed to that. Does that answer your question sufficiently? Yes. OK, so commitment number three is taking complete responsibility for my relationships. Now, does anyone have a reaction to that? I think it sounds great. I don't think it's always easy is not to blame someone else and make them responsible for things, but it's 50 50, isn't it?


Or yeah, I think it sounds good.


And it's so like you say. People always have, you know, like my partner or whatever, but if you take responsibility and ultimately your responsibility is being in the relationship or not, it may be. Did you see that what you meant by that?


So taking responsibility for your relationships, the relationships that you choose to be in or the mistakes that you make within the relationships?


Well, I spent it ice, and I suppose you do. Yeah. I mean, ultimately, we all over the country stepped into it ourselves.


But basically, if the quality of the relationship is what I want, all I'm going to take responsibility and I'm going to work on all of you.


But sometimes it could be that your you do take responsibility.


But it may become quite complex because you may recognize the. You do not have the quality of the relationship that you ideally would like the.


You may have children and you may feel that.


The stability and the commitment you have to that situation and the kind of, yeah, just the stability may outweigh your desire or a particular moment in time to have the quality of relationship that ideally, you know, you ought to.


I mean, that's just a real example of why sometimes people might compromise on a relationship. And you've talked about other reasons that people do.


Yeah, I mean, obviously, in that situation, I stayed in my marriage longer because of my kids. Yes, I understand that that's the reality.


But I guess there's two sides to taking responsibility. That one side is some people will take all responsibility and I think everything is down to them. So and then the other side is some people take no responsibility. So it's recognizing that you make your decision, but. And what's really behind it, what the real driver of it is that. If you don't take responsibility for your relationships, you're always going to be a victim. It's going to be the wrong person because the other person did this.


There's nothing that you can do. And so basically you're stuck. And so the reason that this comes third and not first is if you commit to the quality of the relationship. Then this is like I'm going to do everything in my power in that relationship, so it may be that a year or two years or however long you decide, you decide to stay in a relationship, but that's your conscious choice of balancing off, you know, different responsibilities and feelings.


So there's no God, but we all have our own, you know, what's right for us and how we feel. And sometimes we need to take time to to work out and to see that kids are going to be OK. Because even when you made the decision to jump from a relationship, they still, you know, other things to navigate. And sometimes you're not ready like you might have gotten and talk about these six years between the average person during their marriage is over and telling the other person, and sometimes we're just not ready, we're not in a place, we need to be strong enough.


So. So those are all the things. But if you feel it's not your responsibility, then you're always going to be a victim and there's nothing you can do. And the worst thing that can happen is you to feel that you're not in control, because while you have control, there's something that you can do when you have some optimism and you have some energy. If you feel that there's nothing that you can do, then. You know, that that's despair and depression.


But sometimes we think that we are giving their partner a favor and we have to be aware of that as well, because they may want out or they may want to change in certain things, but because they are not sane and they are being passive, in a sense, you think that you're doing it for their sake, you're not going to upset the apple cart and upset them because they. But so you have two people who are unwilling to make the first move and being totally dissatisfied or dissatisfied to some level.


So neither is trying to make the effort to address the issues that's causing the relationship to deteriorate. So neither neither party is happy.


Yeah, yeah. And it just comes down to not being honest. And when when people aren't honest and it's like the other one of committing to the like, the danger in committing to the partner versus the relationship means the partner has less incentive or less interest in working out having a great relationship. And it's a comedy about it. But there's someone out of business, but is the enemy of good. The enemy of great is good. And people settling for good means that they can never have great.


And so a mediocre relationship can never be a great relationship.


If you settle and if you say that's OK, I. Okay. I think that one's quite straightforward, so we move on to who we're running a bit late, so commitment for is now. So tying these together is commitment to choosing a partner based on the qualities for a long term successful relationship. So does. Does anyone have a reaction to to that initially? Can you say that again, please? Yeah, it's been it's commit to choosing a partner for the for the Qualitest that commit to a partner for the ability to have a satisfying long term relationship.


How would you go? So basically, it's a lot of people pick a partner based on the fact that they have a great time dating, based on the fact that they really feel something for them, that they are really attractive, that they think that they're stable or that completely unlike their last partner. But the dating relationship is very different to a domestic relationship and it needs different qualities. So it's choosing someone for their ability to be kind, trusting, respectful.


Does that make sense? Well, I'll be saying without I mean, you're not just saying, OK, I've chosen somebody who is a good person in my definition, and that's what I. So a good person, but also someone someone that you can someone that you can get along with, but it's someone that you can work out your differences with, it's someone who when you have an argument, they have the chance to hurt you, that they dump someone that when they have the chance to take advantage, they don't.


So. It's based on someone, someone that you can so that's that that's that that's your definition of a good person. And I get that. But they're going to be kind of special to you as well. Can't they? Yes, yes. So the danger is that you have you have you dating and you have a great life, you have a great time dating and you go, Oh, this is the person. I love this person. They're wonderful.


And like pretty much every young new newlywed couple, it's it's the thing of but we love each other, so nothing else matters. Are we so alike? And then 10 years later, they can't even look at each other. So it's recognizing that you can have a great time dating someone. But that person, it's fun and exciting is probably unstable and very difficult to live with in a domestic environment. So it's it's the quality. So, yes, it's you do do the dating.


So basically, my idea is to meet someone. You're open, you get to know them. You spend six months a year getting to know what they're like. You have a great time.


You get along with them, especially because you're going to have those feelings come to mind.


Yeah, but they must have. Yeah. Which will get on to the.


So I just thought you meant the mind but not this one. No. Both. Yeah, because you have to. The thing is you get you got. Yeah. If you don't have a good time dating somebody really bored with that is, you know, like you're really dull, you've got no attraction to. But they're a nice person. Yeah.


No it's not making and it's not getting carried away by lasta by your heart but also knowing like yeah. These are the challenges next five 10 years.


OK, right, so we're running a little bit over, do you want to have a. Discussion group, talk about this, so shall we move on and then just have one discussion talk? To rack up, yeah, let's move on.


Okay, so the fifth commitment is to being the partner that you expect and this is only you can't expect because the other side of of you is in order to have the better relationship you want, you have to be the best partner.


And then you demand that the other person be the best partner and they should demand of you. So the point of a relationship is you both have to be better than you are singly because it's easy to be happy on your own. But to be happy together is harder. And so it takes more skills, more knowledge.


OK, so we're we're running close the time or maybe even slightly over time. Do you want to break out of a discussion group or you want to have a discussion group here?


I'm happy here, um, I could put a quick point point to what you've just said, though, Rob, and I think that goes round like a post that got shared on social media. It's a. Would you date would you try to think the exact words we've all seen it, would you let somebody de would you let your daughter day among like you? Yeah, it's the headline, A View, if you like your daughter, then you need to be a bad person.


Yeah. Yeah, so to me, that covers it, if you don't think. Your daughter will be rid of today and unlike you, that maybe you should also change. Will. Yeah, in a century, and so the reason for the word commitment is that we need to commit to this and if we can commit to those five and navigate everything around that. Then basically, that's the key, that's like the north star of what guides us, because what happens mostly is we let go of one, those commitments we get too involved in this person, you know, and this is why I think unconditional love.


Is such a danger. Love unconditionally, but you don't necessarily stay in a relationship without condition. And I think the way I put it is basically you have to have that unconditional in which the relationship stands. Otherwise, everything else is going to is going to fall apart.


So. Oh, thank you. Yes, I did or anyone else have, I was going to quickly jump in there, if I may. One thing I was going to say was how do we hold up the mirror? Because you OK, you make all those commitments and you you're committed to this. You think you are six months, one year, two years down the line, you call track. But as far as you're concerned, you're still to hold up the mirror and realize that you don't want to strangle.


I think that you each have to hold up the mirror for each other because we can't see it, which is why it's the commitment to taking responsibility for your relationship is because otherwise, if you don't commit to that, you're going to you're going to blame the other person, the other person. And so when you look at people on dating sites, they are mostly. Yeah, my ex was this, my ex was that. And you could talk to the ex who would tell an entirely different story.


So I think it comes down to slaying the dragon and slaying the dragon is a process of we have differences, we have problems, here's how are we going to resolve them? So we contract. So we agree. You know, it's clear, honest communication. This is why I expect this is what you expect. You do this. I do this. And particularly if you've got it written down, it's then okay, you know, this is what we and the quality of contracting is.


It's like saying goes it have to be really specific, concrete that you can measure it. I kind of lived up to this or I don't feel we lived up to this.


And then it's the discussion that only works if you have a level of respect that allows the conversation or the negotiation or whatever it is at that point to be done in a way that is not accusing of each other.


And you would hope that that can be done before you get to that stage where it's you did this. It's your fault. I am not to blame, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, because then one partner is usually going to be at a greater disadvantage than than than the other one in many instances.


Yeah, definitely. And that's why the first commitment is the quality of the relationship. And I believe that you, like you don't commit to someone until you slayed the dragon, because if you don't know that, you can make that relationship work. Then what are you committing to? So I think you do the work up front and you do that contracting and you do that well when you're in that newlywed state, you know, like when the newlyweds were all in love and believe that nothing's ever going to be different for them, that's when you do the work.


The problem is that everyone thinks that, you know, like every twenty five year old, you just got married, just like, you know, you always get some family member and it's like you have to work together. It's not always going to be like, yeah, I know, but we love each other and we're so similar. We're so alike.


We get on so well and people are like, yeah, I see them in 10, 15 years. Everyone knows what's coming, but they don't see it. So I think most of us have had had one relationship or one major relationship like that felt so. We have a little bit of experience of this is what we do up front, whereas I think, you know, 20 year olds. Still have that, you know, they haven't been bitten by life, maybe to to have that recognition.


What do you mean by slaying the dragon? Sorry, is that we talked about earlier?


Yeah, we did. We did. One final driving to slay the Dragon is basically the Ferris fairy story is Prince Means Princess.


They fall in love, but they can't be in love.


They can't they have to slay a dragon like the witches can now and then they live happily ever after. So all our mythology says we meet, we meet the one we fall in love. We live happily ever after and we skip the slaying the dragon and the slaying the dragon is okay. Like Daniel says, when you marry someone, you marry their problems. So everyone that you have a relationship with, you're going to have problems with because you're not the same, you know, not 100 percent.


So what you do is you slaying the dragon is how you resolve problem those problems. How can we how do we resolve problems like we're going to have different views on money, sex, children, family, socializing, career, something going on. There is going to be your dragon. Now, how do you resolve it? How can you have that respectful relationship even when you have different opinions?


And so recognizing your differences, your perennial problems, I think common cause it that is slaying the dragon. Thank you. So.


The five commitments and we're a little bit lighter, but much closer to finishing on time then than usually, so what I think might be interesting is everyone is comfortable if you want to share some experience, insight or. Some knowledge for the group. Go, Laura. You're muted, you're muted.


So it just occurred to me when you talk about holding up that mirror so often on a concert, and I can certainly relate to this, that holding up the mirror becomes the mirror of accusation, retribution, unkindness, poor feedback.


Whereas if it was a mirror of.


Mutual respect, kindness, you know, hey, let's kind of give each of us some feedback, and it was done very sensitively. It's so much better to do that to keep problems at bay than when you're both in meltdown and you're just holding up a mirror that's going to show ugly on both sides. It's got to be kind of feedback and really kind of sensitive to the difficulties that you're feeling the other person might be feeling because blame is just blank and just get so ugly in a relationship.


Yeah, definitely, I think that's a really valuable insight, yeah, because, yeah, that's that's just what happens when you're feeling bad. It's really hard. So love is really a lot of it. It's largely about how you feel. And when you feel happy, you love the person. When you feel right down here. We often blame our partner because of how we're feeling. And so it's recognizing where am I and how much is that affecting how I feel?


I think many of us hope live in hope, in that we hope that if there's a problem that will somehow resolve itself without us going through the process and the pain of having to have the talk or whatever it is that we need to do. And so we let ourselves just go with the flow. And then another situation comes on top of the one that we didn't resolve. And and so it builds. I think one of the tools that we probably need to learn is to try to resolve issues as they come up so they don't build up to the point where we start to be accusing and be really, as you saying, Laura, a matter of retribution, pointing, fingers, accusing and just talking and talking past each other, because by that stage, we do not speak to each other.


We are shouting. We are talking over each other. We are talking past each other. We are not absorbing, we're not listening. And so we're not resolving anything, which I suppose is why people like you, Rob, come into play, because then you can be the referee to get us to at least articulate in such a way that the other party can hear without feeling that they are being beaten up by the by the by the accusing party.


But so I think that's one of the skills that maybe gets overlooked a lot. And it comes back to procrastination because who likes to engage in unpleasant discussions? Here's something that we really don't want to hear. Yeah, definitely we do tend to bury our head in the sand. And it's not just in personal relationships. It's so I trained as a mediator and I try as a mediator in doing like commercial disputes and the cost the cost of. I mean, mediation is it's minuscule in terms of the legal costs and basically most mediation is what it boils down to is.


This is what you're going to lose and all the media really does is they're able to open up that communication because they have a private communication with each side. And I like what you're going to lose if this goes wrong. You know what? If you got to in and just having that in between shows how so many disputes and people spend 100000, 200000 in legal costs over just the silly, silly dispute. There was a case in the in the news a couple of years ago, and basically a divorcing couple had about 600000 pound house and they basically lost all of it in legal in legal fees.


And yet it's just. You can it's just about having an honesty. It's like the book is radical honesty. If you can have that in the relationship, then. You don't have the bitterness, if you can say it straight out. But thank you for that. Anyone else got any insights or comments or questions before we wrap up? Could you run this five commitments again, could you have another, um, meetup where would be? When you go through all of the commitments again and every one is that be sorry.


Now, this is Louise.


Oh, so sorry. I couldn't see he was talking and I said, did you see the blog post? I haven't looked at it yet. OK, so the summary said basically what we do is the week before there'll be a blog post with like a summary of information or whether it's a review of a book or whatever, and background information is not in that blog post. And then this is the discussion of it. And so what did you want to go deeper into it or.


Well, probably just the beginning, the opening, OK? Again, just like, OK, and there is the recording, so there'll be a recording out tomorrow of the main room discussion. So yeah, that's who was there. And you can post you can post any questions on the blog post or in the meetup group, although they sometimes you don't really see that, often you don't see them.


OK. And what else so shall we wrap up, I think for me, when I read your blog post and the Five Commitments, it's. It's. Gave me clarity on what perhaps I was already doing, but, you know, not realizing the one thing I wasn't so sure about was the fourth commitment, because I'm at the stage where and I don't know. Where I am, where this is dating doldrums or whatever. I'm not sure about that domestic relationship at this stage, whether I'm just happy being on my own.


OK, so the end goal is, you know, that being a relationship, being marriage, being together, and I'm not sure if that's what I want to go to at this stage.


Hmm. Yes, so. Yes, I mean, there are there are times, you know, I think are seasons in your life and there's times when you don't want to be in a relationship and then there's times when you do and there's you know, you don't need to be in a relationship for the sake of it. I think that's where there's a lot of social pressure on people to be in a relationship. But do you mean that the other person is putting pressure on you to.


To make it more serious or is it something that you feel internally? Not at all. At the stage where I don't think he wants a long term committed relationship or, you know, it's not it's the relationship, it's not progressing. But I also you know. I know. And also from what you said earlier, you know, I know I'm I'm probably could be quite happy on my own, you know, independently. And as I get older, I do wonder whether.


Do I want to could I live with somebody else or whether I've got to the point where I'm stuck in my ways or happy to actually let my own company, I have my own place, you know, it's. Is that the end goal now? I would definitely have said when I was younger, yes, it was, but I'm not so sure at this point. I think the great thing about the time that we live in is that you can be anything, you know, you can identify as male, you can identify as female or any of those.


You know, we we live in an age when we can be homosexual, heterosexual, whatever, and in the same way, I don't think we need to be in a relationship. We can be single. And if you don't feel the pull of being in relationship, I think then in first you get clarity on that. So there's no need to jump in a relationship for the sake of it. If you feel that you want to, then then you can.


But, you know, you can have whatever you want. You can design your life, whichever way you want it to be.