What Level Have Your Past Relationships Been?

It’s funny when you watch a film from a films perspective you watch it. But when you watch it from a perspective of observing it, you have a totally different understanding of it.


So what did we see there? I mean you could see that people get into a bubble of just doing stuff and they get to a point where they haven’t actually realised that a patter has formed. And there is no real connection at all. They’re just functioning to survive.

Does that make sense?

There are four levels I want to talk about. It will be interesting to see where you think they were as we go through. So I’d like you to write this down.

So four levels of a relationship. This can exist in intimate relationships definitely, but also in family relationships and friendships. Some of it doesn’t apply directly to close friendships. But think about family members, think about parents. But if you are in relation or going to go into another relationship or have been in a relationship in the past. Be aware of this as well.

So level one relationship basically what we call trading. You are trading something with somebody else to be in that relationship. So you’re giving up, it could be physical you’ve just met and it is a short-lasting relationship. If we are talking about couples, very physical, it’s very intimate and it might be that you’re not matched to be together for a long time. But at that moment in time you just meet each other’s needs. You just bring something to the table, “if Ii give you this, you give me that.”

Sometimes it is financial, sometimes emotional. It might be that one person is emotionally closed and they’ve got together because the other person is in a slightly better place and they just need someone who is vulnerable. I’ve seen couples where one person is very strong and they’ve brought a wounded person, they’ve felt sorry for them and that’s become a relationship. And instead of that relationship only lasting for the length of that short period it carries on. But the person that was wounded now has grown and sorted themselves out, but then outgrown the original person.

Does that make sense?

I did a couple’s intervention; funnily enough mum was me Savanah. We did this years ago. They came to our house. And this woman had been in a physically abusive relationship previously and she met a guy that was really gentle, had himself had a few personal challenges. And he was so soft and so inoffensive that he was directly opposite to what she’d been in for the last two years.

Does that make any sense?

So she naturally connected with this guy because he was safe and she could bring something to the table vulnerability, he brought security to the table. And they got married within about two months. So they met got married in two months. We met them a year after they got married and they were just completely in different places.

She said he is not the guy I thought he was. That’s because she has now repaired herself. She had come back out of her wounds out of a bad relationship. She now knew what she wanted and felt strong, and he was definitely not what she wanted. And he asked me if I could fix the relationship. And as soon as they were about 10 minutes, we knew it wasn’t going to happen.

So the intervention ended up with them splitting up, but they basically met on a level one relationship. He is trying to achieve a level four relationship; it was just never going to happen. Because they had come into the relationship in the wrong space to start with.

For the kids here it’s a bit like you falling out with a friend of yours and there’s someone else at school that you don’t necessarily get on with as well. But because you’ve had a bad fall out with a friend you go and hang out with somebody else for a while.

And this happens to adults as well. And then you’re there for a bit then your other friend goes, “lets hang out again.” Then you go back to the other friend again. So the other person you’re friends with they feel wounded because they’ve had somebody become their mate.

This happens a lot by the way. I see it in schools unfortunately a lot.

But with intimate partners that’s not a good place to be. They’re usually short lived by the way.

Level two relationship is your classic post-war type relationship. I don’t want to label things but we know culturally certain Asian marriages have arranged marriages where because of financial situations, casting, etcetera. But in the Western world this would often be financial dependency. So two people connect, they meet, there is kind of an intimate relationship to start with, but there’s an underlying you’ll often see this with older and younger people. Somebody is a lot older they meet somebody who is a lot younger, could be he or she, doesn’t matter which way around it is. But one is more supportive emotionally, financially. Quite traditional type relationship.

One of the people tends to be more stable. So the old relationships that we used to see back in the 40s, 50s, where husband was the financial person stable because back in those days there wasn’t the availability for ladies to work. And that relationship stayed like that for years and she or he grew more unhappy for example. Don’t get me wrong, they can work, but they’re not a wow relationship. If you gave it a colour it would be like a greyish colour, it just gets by.

And some of you may have witnessed it or seen it in people around you. Parents you may have had that experience yourself. 

What I’ve noticed is if I’ve done any interventional work on the level two relationship, the minute the person that’s providing the dependency, i.e. the person earning the money or quite strong emotionally. If that person gets ill, sick or financially loses their stability. I find that the relationship tends to break up, because it has been held together by the dependency of one being stronger, financially or emotionally.

That’s very common.

Or you’ll see a situation where the financially dependent person, the one that they’re relying on that person passes away. I’ve seen this where one half has died and the person that was of all these years dependent suddenly gets themselves on their feet, goes into a new relationship and that becomes an amazing relationship. Compared to the one they were in for 10, 15, 20 years.

And I’m not saying it’s good or bad, I’m saying these are the typical forms they come in.