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Mar/Apr '18: Heart Berries > Relationships & Love: Expectations, investment, sacrifices, needs, too much or not enough?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 14, 2018 08:54PM) (new)

Good evening everyone!

I have seen a few threads about pain, trauma and psychology which are topics approached in Heart Berries but I have the feeling that the theme of love and relationship in general is also an important subject in this book. If I am wrong mea culpa! :)

Before going further I would like to share a few quotes from the book:

"He said you wanted too much"

"I was more worried about how you might change your mind on us than I was worried about my son's heart"

Let alone traumas and pains, this book raises many questions about relationships. Here are a few questions that could be a good starting point for a discussion:

How do we know that our expectations are "too much" and that what we give is "not enough"?
How to best communicate expectations? Is there only one way? Do we need to communicate our expectations?
Is reciprocity in terms of giving and receiving achievable?
What are we truly looking for?
Do we have the same needs or not?
What sacrifice are we willing to make?
Is love the most important in a relationship?
What define a relationship? What define love?

I am pretty sure there are many other questions but those should be a good start, feel free to add other questions to enrich this thread and to give food for thought. Of course relationship and love are not restricted to a couple and need to be considered in family and friendship as well.

Ps: sorry I changed the title and it still does not entirely cover the idea of the thread, my bad.

Have a good night!

message 2: by Shayesteh (new)

Shayesteh | 10 comments I don’t really know the answer to all these questions, Florian, and I’m not answering them in relation to the book, because I haven’t got the chance to read it, yet, but they are all good questions needing to be thought about, both in general and specific to each case.
As my experience goes, I do believe that love is the most important thing in a relationship. Where there is love, there is absolutely nothing impossible. While love being the most important thing, it doesn’t mean that any of the partners gets to limit the other one in any case. A person in a relationship has to be both considered as a unit and still as a person. Meaning they can’t take possession of each other, in any way. Limiting each other in the confines of a relationship would be the biggest mistake a couple can make. And yes, they can and should communicate everything, and as long as they’re open and honest about it there would be no problem.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Florian wrote: "Good evening everyone!

I have seen a few threads about pain, trauma and psychology which are topics approached in Heart Berries but I have the feeling that the theme of love and relationship in ge..."

Hi Florian,

Too many questions to answer for me tonight as I'm so tired from this allways too short week-end. ; )

I'm gonna answer to only two of these now and the rest will come soon when all my energy will be back after a lot of sleep and coffee. : )

Is love the most important in a relationship?

I think, Yes, if no love, no clean and worth relationship is possible.

What are we truly looking for?

According to me, a person who support us with whom we feel good with and who is really similar to us in any ways and with whom we can learn a lot and enjoy our life in a funny way. And as a man, essential point for me, a simple and sweet woman. : )

message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 15, 2018 06:03PM) (new)

Hello Lewis!
I understand, short week-end, it makes them even more valuable in a way. Each moment being a precious one :)

No worries for answering the questions. Sometime questions need longer reflections :) To be honest I wrote those questions knowing that everyone would have their own answers that will potentially evolve along the time. Shayesteh mentioned that they are both specific and general and I agree. I also agree with Shayesteh those questions need to be thought and I hope other people will bring other questions in that thread.

Maybe the answers that people will write will help other in their reflections. That is the point ;)

Have a good night! And bon courage!

message 5: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 194 comments Marking my place so I an come back and add a comment.

message 6: by Pam (last edited Apr 16, 2018 01:39PM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
I think the answer to most of these is communication. Be it sexual, platonic, or familal relationships.

Knowing your partner, their joys and shames, dreams, desires, turn ons and turn offs is big. And let's be clear, this isn't some face book stalking stuff. I'm not talking about their favorite soda. Deep stuff. If you redeem this info by not talking to your partner, then you don't know them. If you treat this like a survey - a one stop shop for quick easy answers than you don't know them.

How do they like showing you that they love you? I recommend the cheesy but super helpful The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

(This is also why it's so hard for individuals dealing with trama or who are voiceless to have a good relationship. They cannot speak about their wants, desires, needs and often do what the other person wants. Your communication is as important as understanding what your partner is or isn't saying too)

So after communication what's the most important thing? Trust. People need to know you're not going to hurt them.

message 7: by Michaela (last edited Apr 16, 2018 07:18AM) (new)

Michaela (yuvilee) | 124 comments I would second that, Pam. Communication is the most important part and most problems with relationships arise from wrong communication and/or faulty regulation of emotions. It's why couple therapy was invented. I'd recommendThe Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert, cause it's more scientific.

I think it's impossible to answer the love question without defining love first. What kind of love would you think most important, Florian? Because most of the time love is understood as romantic love. But that's not the love that lasts in a good relationship. Romantic feelings will fade away pretty quickly. That's why i think the most important thing is a solid base of shared goals and attitudes. If where you want to go in your life does not match, then love will not save your relationship in the long run. So communicating your goals, expectations, emotions, and attitudes is important. Over the years love will change, become less romantic and more like a friendship, but that's good because that love lasts much longer.

message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 16, 2018 02:50PM) (new)

@Florian :

Thanks, il faut une bonne dose de courage parfois, en effet. : )

@Michaela and @Pam :

I'm agree with you communication is important but for me it's not the only one thing needed to keep a relationship working.

I used to compare love relationship to fire.

Fire is the Relationship and to keep the fire alive, we need Oxygen which is Love and Combustibles which is the Lovers and we need to care about the fire to maintain a good combustion which is the Communication and proofs of love.

I really think true love is the root of everything. And for me, true love is platonic love. The most powerful love we can know and the hardest one to find...

If we find the good person (it can takes a while thus we have to be patient), I'm convinced love can last forever.

message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 16, 2018 05:55PM) (new)


@Pam and @ Michaela:
I agree with you, communication is one of the core of any kind of "healthy" relationship. I would not say it is more important than trust. In my opinion, it is more a mix of everything but I have the feeling there is always some kind of complicity both in communication and trust.
I could consider complicity as the most important since many things can arise from it.
How would you define romantism? I mainly ask the question to Michael, but I'll be happy to hear (read actually) opinions from other people! :)

So according to you (correct me if I am wrong of course ;)), there is one and only one person? Or are you meaning that there are a few people with who one can spend her/his entire life with. When they found each other all "the needs" they were looking for are fulfilled, therefore they are not looking for someone else?

Edit: Ok, on my way back home I thought about how I could define romantism and then I realized that my thougths guided me just in front of my door (yes, this sentence may have a couple of meanings :)). So I would say that romantism has a specific focus on the communication and the sharing of emotions and feelings and their contemplation. Therefore, it is potentially opposed to the logic and rationalism. Maybe there is a desire to escape from a reality we do not like and to reach some idealism and utopia. To me, it is somehow related to the dream, not the impossible dreams but our aspiration and how to manage to reach them. In my opinion, since a relationship is made of communication (in that context feelings and emotions) romantism does not fade as long as people are sharing. I may be wrong but I do not think romantism is restricted to couples, I have the feeling it may be extented to friendship or family it will just have a different expression. However, I feel the society where I come from made romantism a couple thing, and I strongly disagree with that :)

I think this partially "back up" what Lewis was saying.

Have a good one!

message 10: by Krystal (new)

Krystal (crazylittlebookpage) | 55 comments Marking my place, wow I have a lot to add to this thread but I can't tonight as I'm worn right out but I will be back and I will add all my thoughts to the thread.

message 11: by Benarji (new)

Benarji Anand | 153 comments I'm don't claim to be an expert on this topic but perhaps my input could be useful to some. So here it goes.

How do we know that our expectations are too much?
When you don't see the result of what you are trying to achieve.

If possible, try not to change the person whom you are sharing the relationship with. Learn to live with their flaws. Learn to see the perfection in their flaws. Learn to accept them as who they are. That would work wonders for your relationship.

...and what we give is not enough?
When you encounter relationship blocks. For example, you tend to argue a lot. A persons reaction is usually due to inaction or action. So these are usually the tell-signs that you need to do more.

Is reciprocity in terms of giving and receiving achievable?
Possible but it is better to have no expectation in a relationship. We'll end up revisiting the first question if we do have expectations and we would feel abused and unappreciated. Actually, the right thing to do is to have a realistic expectation based on your significant other's characteristics.

You should have a balanced consideration, meaning, you should have 60-40 or 70-30 or it would turn out to be an abused and under appreciated relationship but it is okay to feel disappointed. Just talk it out. You would be surprise to learn that it doesn't exist in their "programming" to be more considerate of others but most importantly, talking about it gives them an opportunity to improve themselves to better the relationship.

What are we truly looking for?
In a relationship? Love and respect. Someone who takes the trouble to understand or at least co-exist with us peacefully. A companionship. A lot of sex. ( Don't be shy in our basic instinct. It is important too)

In life? You are the captain of your ship and master of your destiny. We exist because our parents either pre-planned or unplanned for our existence. No, we don't have a special purpose like Jesus. Just find things that you are passionate about and work towards it. Only you can give your own life purpose. Don't expect for someone else to do so. Definitely not your significant other.

Do we have the same needs?
Almost never. No two humans are made EXACTLY the same. We are unique and cater to different interests and preferences. You would be considered blessed to find someone who shares the same wants and needs. Don't worry if you don't, just compromise. The most different you are, the more you have to compromise. Just that. You don't have to end your relationship on terms that you are different.

What sacrifice are we willing to make?
Do whatever that doesn't kill you. Don't really worry about overdoing or under-doing. Do it because it is convenient for you that you are able to make that sacrifice. Never go out of your means and capability to achieve it. If so, we'll have to revisit question one; the one with the high expectations XD

Is love the most important thing in a relationship?
Why else would two people would try to co-exist if the motives aren't for love? But love comes in many forms and it means differently at different stages of our lives. Just because you find that your man stop doing things that he used to do during his 20s while he is in his 30s, it doesn't mean that he love you less now. Love had evolved. You are stuck at an old chapter. You gotta allow yourself to grow with the relationship but it is also not wrong to rekindle his thoughts and to have some expectations for yourself. (It is contradictory but there are no right or wrong in a relationship. If you are unhappy or sad, don't bottle it up. Talk about it. Don't try to live a perfect relationship. At the end of the day, we ain't robots.)

Even in relationships that doesn't work out, somewhere in between "hi" and "goodbye", there was a lot of love. So don't engage in a relationship, if you don't feel something for the person.

What defines a relationship?
Two people wanting to be together.

What defines love?
Two people never giving up on each other.

P/S : I do realize that some of my answers are too basic and perhaps generic but yeah, just stating the obvious then. So i'll also share my favorite quote from my favorite song, "This is love, this is life" by Bon Jovi.

"When times get tough, we're still worth the fight"

"who cares who is wrong or right when we turn out the lights. We'll find forgiveness when we are in each others arm tonight. It ain't pretty but somehow we always make it through"

message 12: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments start from a position of respect for your potential partner and yourself and things will work out. do not and you may well end up with those illustrated so well in Heart Berries.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

@Florian :

I mean there are few people with who one can spend her/his entire life and be 100 percent compatible with.

And yes, when we have both found what we seek and thus both hearts filled, why spend energy and time to look for someone else? : )

@Keith :

Thank you to communicated us this precious list. It'll be very useful for me and others I guess. ; )

@Bernarji :

I'm not agree when you write we are the master of our destiny. I truly believe that a lot of things (if not the majority) which happens in our life is out of our control. And love is a good example to illustrate that. I know a lot of people who found their girlfriend by the randomness of their life without even looking for one. I truely believe in destiny, everything happen for a purpose both bad and good things.

message 14: by Benarji (new)

Benarji Anand | 153 comments @Lewis master of our destiny simply implies that despite the circumstances that are out of our hands, we make the best of every situation. Simple put, everybody goes through problems. There isn't a single person who doesn't have problems. Even Bill Gates does, despite all the money that he have in his bank accounts but how you react to problems shows your character and strength. Being master of your own destiny is basically like that old famous saying that when life gives you lemon, you make lemonades.

Also, I agree with you that the love that comes to us unprepared are the best kind of love. We don't go looking for it. Just accidentally in love.

message 15: by Michaela (new)

Michaela (yuvilee) | 124 comments When looking at expectations, i found this video a while ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsFJF...

It talks about friendship, but i think the point about being bad at guesding what another person gets/wants out of a relationship also transfers to other kinds of relationships. So talking about expectations could probably save people from wanting too much or staying with someone where they cannot gove enough.

message 16: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Arthur wrote: "Does anyone else care that this guy (Florian) is encouraging us to casually use terminology and discussion points that are only useful in a therapeutical setting?

I think he should be kicked out.

May I ask you why you are so adamantly against Florian? This is now your second post where you call him out specifically. Why is that?

message 17: by Gerd (new)

Gerd | 428 comments Arthur wrote: "Does anyone else care that this guy (Florian) is encouraging us to casually use terminology and discussion points that are only useful in a therapeutical setting?

Care to explain?
Because I really don't get it, tbh.

I'd say Ross makes the perfect point, mutual respect is the key starting point in any kind of relationship.

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