In his recent podcast, Bentinho Massaro argues that relationships, as we know them, may contradict the love, mutual respect, and generosity by which they’re inspired.
His “Relationship Fallacy” does not seem thought through though, as he is contradicting himself throughout the podcast. While his perspective is valuable to listen to, I have some concerns about it that he does either not seem to put too much attention on or is not aware of. To fully understand my notes, I encourage you to give the podcast a listen.
Bentinho wants people to confront their insecurities, not use relationships to limit their own or their partners’ growth. But none of it has anything to do with relationships being bad or anti-love.
The whole talk is from his perspective and comes off condescending and ideologic until he clears it up after over an hour. His open, non-committed lifestyle fits his life and how he wants to develop, so he is only describing his perspective on relationships and not how other people can and want to use it to grow in all kinds of ways. At the same time, he is unaware of how he is doing the same he is arguing against, demonizing “relationships” and not criticizing the context within them.
His description of relationships as an agreement to hide insecurities can be applied just as well to his lifestyle. He says, when he is in contact with someone, he is making an agreement to:
Being in a loose relationship and that he rather focusses his attention on his career/helping as many people as possible and not on one person. Being in a relationship would need it to be “worth” it for him.
This means he himself is limiting his “relationships” with agreements to such specifics because he is avoiding his insecurity of not being able to focus on his career or help as many people as possible while being in a committed relationship. As well as the fear of the relationship not being “worth” it.
Relationships and agreements within them are neither good nor bad. It all depends on what the parties in the relationship make of it. A relationship with agreements can be focused on avoiding insecurities and limiting each other’s freedom, or on excelling growth by mutually focusing on each other. Both ways can lead to incredible levels of love but have their own limitations; one day you either get confronted by the insecurities or by the want to develop outside of the relationship. Both can be overcome in various ways; you will come to an agreement (!) with your partner on which things you want in your relationship. If you want to focus your relationship on spiritual growth or avoid insecurities by agreeing to never cheat on each other; both are agreements. If you want to keep an open, non-committed lifestyle, that is also an agreement. And agreements can be negative as well as positive. He rather seems to focus on the negative part to bolden his claim against “relationships”.
His perspective reminds me of libertarians who want absolute freedom but ignore that absolute freedom includes the freedom to kill, rape, and steal. Or free-speech absolutists who ignore that it includes the ability for companies like Twitter or Facebook to delete your messages or accounts by using their free-speech. Absolute freedom in relationships includes all the constellations he mentions throughout the podcast. Cherry-picking only his perspective and current relationship dynamic comes off ignorant.
But the most important aspect that is not getting enough attention in this conversation, is the ability to work through insecurities and grow beyond what you are now alongside your partner. You and your partner have different desires, but if both of you are truly committed to your relationship, then you will work on aligning your goals, wants, and needs, and develop a truly deep connection. You will have a mutually exclusive relationship focused on learning and growth. You will sacrifice whatever distractions come along the way and see the relationship as a spiritual practice. And if your partner is inspired in a certain direction outside your relationship, you will talk it through and develop your relationship in a different direction.
1:38:39 “The condition of an agreed relationship goes against the very nature of love, which is unconditional.”
Unconditional love also means loving someone conditionally, with all their limitations and shortcomings.
1:38:48 “Not every single one person can fulfill all our needs.”
This is such a limiting mindset. If you and your partner are committed, then you will find a way. At the same time, if we constantly get all our needs fulfilled, then there is no point in growth. If you can just go to someone else to get the sexual pleasure your relationship is lacking, then there is no need to work on your current relationship to deepen it.
This podcast was insightful for me to understand how I view my relationships, although I was triggered by the cognitive dissonance throughout, as well as how the two women just listened and agreed with everything he says. They don’t offer additional insight or question his perspective.