Why Give & Take Doesn't Belong in Relationships
There is amazing joy possible in relationships. We can truly love and feel loved. We can merge together and experience union. We can feel safe to grow and be vulnerable. We can be strong for each other. We can feel the kind of intimacy where we can let down all of our guards and be fully seen and loved and accepted.
This is the kind of union that we are designed for.
“Give and take” doesn’t belong in that kind of relationship.
“Give and take” asks us to put a certain amount of something into a central pot – both giving and taking in equal value. It assumes an amount of compromise so that things are “fair”.
But these dynamics are based on the assumption that there is real separation in the relationship – that there is no real intimate connection. This is what leads us to having to keep score – like we are on opposite sides of something.
So what else is possible?
Giving & Receiving
Instead, let’s consider the relationship of “giving and receiving”. This dynamic shifts our focus from a central pot where we can both equally give and take from to focusing on the connection between us. This is where the energy of the relationship is focused on energy flowing between us – increasing magnetism and strengthening our connection.
Within this connection, our love for each other flows. And it is actually very easy and joyful.
It begins with wondering what our partner desires, needs or wants and then we joyfully giving it to them. We want to do it. It is a joy for both partners and every time it happens, your bond gets stronger and stronger.
One of the reasons that we struggle with this is because we have had relationships with “takers” and this takes all the joy out of our giving.
If this is familiar to you, I highly recommend Adam Grant’s book “Give & Take”. He explains that, in the beginning, we happily give but soon realize that our partner neither appreciates what we have given (a big part of true receiving) and never desires to give. We continue to give making excuses for our partner until one day, we are simply drained dry. At this point, we then become “matchers” – we only give to the same amount that we receive.
This is where the concept of “give and take” is born. In order for things to be fair, we agree to both put in the same amount and then we can take the same out. But there is no joy in either the giving or the taking and any connection that was once there is lost.
But What About Compromise?
We are told that compromise is important in relationships. We can’t always expect to get things our way and we should always let our partner get their way. Right?
While both of these statements are true, this perspective assumes that we are separate and not connected to the other person. If we love them, why would we want them to do something that they didn’t want to do? Really, this is just another version of “give and take”.
What we really need is greater communication and creativity.
The old way of thinking in relationships can be very combative – that “I got my way” or “he got his way”. Like we are warring sides and each one wants to be the victor.
New Choice in Relationships
But this is not the goal any longer. This is no fun. This isn’t union. This is separation.
Historically, this was often our only option because we couldn’t divorce for religious, legal or economic reasons. We were stuck. We had to stand our ground or we would be trampled.
But we don’t have to stay for life any longer. This old programming can be released. We now have choice.
We can choose love.
We can choose connection.
We can choose relationships that are nourishing and joyful.
We can relearn how to enjoy giving.
We can rediscover that we are worthy of receiving.
Imagine the joy here. Two people vulnerable enough to receive and in love enough to give joyfully.
This is what creates union between two people.
This is what brings us happiness.
This is where we can cuddle up at the end of the day with our loved one and know “Yes, this is the love that I knew was possible.”
"Living in Masculine & Feminine Union" is a wonderful course where you can dive deeply into all of the connections in our lives - romantic, friends, children, and everyone that we love to be with.