JdR Podcast 369

Still Hoping Your Partner Will Change? The Keys to a Real Relationship

This woman feels that she and her partner are no longer really together in the deeper purpose of relationship but hoping that might change. What is the value of commitment, and will marriage help? This is a talk about what relationship is for, and what's required from both if they are to build together.

"The highest meaning is the deeper meaning within that both are walking in, together. That’s worth more than a marriage, or than a relationship. And it’s what makes a relationship real."

—John de Ruiter

This dialogue also appeared on VOD-000

Podcast Transcript

With John de Ruiter from the November 8, 2018, Bad Meinberg, Germany Event

Q: I would like you to speak about true relationship. What is the ground for true relationship, and what value is commitment in a true relationship?

John: A real relationship is where the humanness between the two of you is your ground of being together; that your way, together, is through connective dearness; that everything in your selves is secondary to that. The place of commitment in such a relationship is that commitment gives form. It gives form to meaning.

Q: It gives form to meaning?

John: If there is a depth of meaning that’s there, without the commitment, then it’s easily a relationship of exploiting each other. If it’s really about the meaning, form is given to that meaning, a form that contains the meaning, that holds the meaning, that gives a place for the meaning.

Q: Can you give an example of what would be an exploitation without a form?

John: Being together for what that connective dearness offers your selves: the feeling of it, the sense of purpose that’s in it. If it’s referenced to your selves, then it wouldn’t take very much, if something comes along that offers your self something different, you might easily abandon the meaning of the connective dearness that’s there. But if the meaning comes before your selves you’ll easily give form to that meaning. You’ll easily give supportive form, enabling the two of you to build, in a relationship, something that’s deeper than your selves. That makes the whole relationship not for your selves, but for that depth of meaning that you’re finding between the two of you.

Q: Is this depth of meaning expressing itself in dearness In daily life?

John: Dearness at personal expense, dearness at expense to what satisfies your selves, dearness that comes before the polarization in your selves, dearness that comes before polarized likes and dislikes. That makes the relationship real and not about your selves.

Q: So it’s not about the feeling of dearness; not about the experience of dearness.

John: Yes. You can fabricate a feeling of dearness in your self with someone else. But that kind of dearness has no deep root to it. As soon as the feeling of it is gone, the meaning is gone. Then one or both of you will always have to fabricate the feeling, give the other the feeling of dearness, or there seems to be no real relating.

That’s a superficial relationship, a relationship of emotional performance. Dearness has to do with nurtureful connectivity that is deeper than your selves. It manifests in your selves, but doesn’t come from your selves.

Commitment in that means that you will, together, unconditionally build: building with meaning instead of, for convenient emotional and mental reasons, breaking something. It’s easy to break meaning; it’s difficult to build with meaning. Building requires a quiet maturing. Breaking requires only being given to a fleeting emotion. It isn’t worth giving commitment to deeply building with someone if the commitment isn’t mutual.

Q: Can you say another word for mutual?

John: That you are not both in it the same.

It’s not worth giving such a level of commitment if both are not in it. If you give it and the other isn’t in it, you‘re blinding your self because of hope of it coming. A real relationship, real relating, isn’t based on hope. It’s based on meaning: both of you coming from the same place and moving in the same direction, and giving form to that.

Q: So it’s not only about staying in openness and softness.

John: In a real relationship, it’s about having a depth of understanding between the two of you of what matters more than your selves, and that your whole relationship is for that level of meaning. That makes the relationship not subject to inner weather. You are there to build in a depth of meaning together, regardless of the weather.

You don’t need to be in a relationship, but if you’re going to be in a relationship – a real relationship – the conditions to that are clear. A condition is that there is a follow-through of meaning into your selves. Without the follow-through, the real relating, the depth of meaning will be broken as soon as there is a conflicting emotion.

A real relationship is conditioned on deeper meaning together than your selves, where greater meaning within matters more than your selves. Without that the real relating will be conditioned on how each of you feels. Love isn’t conditional. A real relationship, a real relationship of love, is conditional. You can love someone regardless of what that person is like, but you can’t be in real relationship regardless of what the other person is like. A real relationship, real relating, is completely dependent on two coming from what’s real, coming from what you really are.

If you are both coming from what is deeper within than your selves, hope isn’t needed for the relationship. If you are hoping that something will change, that’s not a real relationship. That’s hope of something that isn’t there, thinking that maybe something will change. In that, you’ll be fooling your self. If it’s already deeply, quietly there in both, build with it and break nothing. If it isn’t deeply quietly there in both of you then it’s not a real relationship.

Q: I cannot see clearly if it’s there and it’s covered by patterns, or if it’s not there in the deep?

John: If you stay with that, you’ll see. If you stay in, looking for the difference, you’ll see.

Q: It’s so changing. Sometimes it really seems there, and sometimes not.

John: Is it there when the emotion is there, and not there when there isn’t emotional support? If that’s the case then it isn’t deeply there. If you see that it’s there and it doesn’t require emotional support, that’s a depth. If it’s not there without the emotions, then you’ll be in an emotional performance, to always feed an emotion to keep the meaning that’s there. That’s not real.

Q: From my side it’s no question. It’s not up to the emotions. But you said for real relationship, the commitment has to come from both.

John: Without that the meaning that is there isn’t free to become solid, isn’t free to have form.

Q: What happens then, with the meaning?

John: It will be easily broken, easily left for something else.

Q: What can I do?

John: Build only if you can build together. Commitment means that if you are really building together today, that you are into the same tomorrow and every other day. The weather won’t affect you. Building, then, clearly matters more than the weather.

Q: So I only build or investigate support, give in, if I sense truly the same from him?

John: And that isn’t about your self. That’s all about deeper meaning.

Q: Is it fixed? Or is there space for development, still?

John: Only space for the development of something that is real. That development isn’t depending on someone changing. The real development isn’t a personal development. It’s the development of meaning, the development of what is there that is real. If that’s not being clearly lived-in and carried, then that isn’t going to develop. Then you’ll be hopeful of what is developmental that isn’t there in the first place.

Q: So is it like that, that either someone has deep meaning or commitment, or someone has it not? Is there not the possibility that this changes?

John: If it’s not there, it isn’t going to easily change. If it isn’t there, the change will be at personal cost and that’s why it’s not there.

Q: But it could be with the personal cost.

John: Don’t live on what could be. If you are going to build together you’ll be building in what already is and that both are really in. You need to build with meaning and that doesn’t take two. You don’t need someone else for you to build with meaning. But if you are going to be in a relationship that’s real, both need to be building with meaning in a way that isn’t conditioned on the self, that isn’t conditioned on experiences and emotions, that is grounded in meaning that is deeper than one’s self. That’s how you build alone and that’s how you build together. A lot is required to really build in space and time.

Q: What do you mean by “in space and time?”

John: It requires holding space in a deeper level of meaning, unconditionally, over time. That’s commitment to deeper meaning, at personal expense. Without that, meaningful relating is fleeting. It can quickly come in and quickly leave. It’s subject to the weather. Like a fair weather relationship, when the weather is really pleasant it’s easy for the real relating to be there. When the weather is difficult then energy is given to the difficulty instead of to deeper meaning. But in a real relationship, that requires two.

Q: A marriage would only be an expression of a real relationship.

John: Getting married won’t fix a relationship. It can express the depth of meaning that is there, together; a surface expression of how deeply in the two of you are, together. If you are looking at getting married to increase the meaning, and if the other is open to give it a try, I wouldn’t marry. I would hold the whole relationship in question. If it’s all about meaning together, meaning continues. It will grow and develop because it’s clearly there.

Q: Do you have a suggestion for how I can move in the next time?

John: With a depth of meaning that requires two. The form isn’t the greatest meaning. When you’re in a relationship, that the relationship is there isn’t the highest meaning. If you are married, the marriage that is there isn’t the highest meaning. The highest meaning is the deeper meaning within that both are walking in, together. That’s worth more than a marriage, or than a relationship, and it’s what makes a relationship real. Marrying won’t fix what isn’t there. It can only highlight, in the real, what is already really, clearly there.

You’ve started looking at something. I wouldn’t put it down. You started to assess a value. You’ve picked up holding something in question. I wouldn’t put it back down. If you do you’ll be closing your eyes. In that way there is only moving forward and not moving back to something that was. If your eyes have opened, then move forward only with your eyes open.

Q: It feels demanding and real.

John: Demanding in a way that doesn’t require someone else to change. So then the demands, in your seeing, are really on you.

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