NT Home Page
Neo-Tech Home Page
The Ultimate Leverage for Riches
Neo-Tech Advantage #108
VALUE EXCHANGE IN FRIENDSHIP AND ROMANTIC-LOVE RELATIONSHIPS
Without value-generating interactions, two people are of little direct value to each other -- at least no more value that any two random people might be to each other. Valuable human relationships evolve when two people deliver objective values to one another. That exchange of values measures the value of a relationship.
Aside from the intrinsic value of human life that exists among all people, a person is not a value to others by merely existing. Instead, a person must deliver competitive values to be a value to others and society. Otherwise, that person will be a drain on others and a disvalue to society. And a person must continue delivering values to be a continuing value. Moreover, one must continue adding new values to existing values to experience value growth within one's self and within a relationship. Value growth is a self-created, pyramiding process that requires rational thought and constant effort to sustain. Such a growth process is the essence of human living. For value growth fills life's needs and delivers life's major rewards -- abiding prosperity, romantic love, and happiness.
To fully experience life and sustain value growth requires continuous thought and effort. The need for value growth is not someone's philosophical theory or ethic. That need is an integral part of reality: Constant value growth is required for the conscious organism to function properly. A person makes a disastrous error by failing to put forth the honest, integrated thought and rational effort needed to produce growing, competitive values for others.
Tragically, most people choose to stop their growth early in life. Many stop in childhood -- soon after exerting that mighty learning effort required to read and write. When they stop exerting that effort, they stop growing. The quality of their lives then declines until physical death. ...Without growth, a person cannot experience abiding prosperity, happiness, and psychuous pleasures. Without growth, a person misses the point of conscious life. Without growth, a person dies.
Growth Death is a great, unnecessary tragedy. It never has to happen to anyone; it is imposed on no one. Growth Death occurs only when the victim chooses to avoid the integrated thought and rational effort required to produce and deliver net, competitive values to others. When Growth Death occurs, then all value-based friendships and love relationships stop growing and begin to die.
* * *
Both romantic-love relationships and friendships can involve deep psychological, philosophical, and communication interactions. But the distinguishing characteristic of a romantic-love relationship is its physical-sexual sharing. That sexual sharing, in turn, offers physical and psychological intimacy unobtainable from any other human relationship. ...Those unique physical/psychological intimacies can lead to growing psychuous pleasures.
Friendship is a necessary ingredient of romantic love. Without friendship, no basis for romantic love exists.[ 84 ] A romantic-love relationship has all the ingredients of a value-oriented friendship plus the powerful ingredient of physical intimacy and sex. ...Friendship can be more personally intimate and involved than any other human relationship except a romantic-love relationship.[ 85 ]
The value of friendships should neither be underestimated nor overestimated. A person can achieve unlimited psychuous pleasures and happiness through romantic love alone, without any close friend beyond one's love partner. Friendships alone, no matter how valuable or extensive, can never deliver the full spectrum of values and happiness available from a single, friendship-based romantic love.
The following two ingredients will deliver a prosperous, happy life:
- achieving self-sufficient independence through honest production of competitive values for others
- achieving psychuous pleasures through romantic love.
In other words, a person needs only his or her productive work and a romantic-love partner for a full-range, prosperous, happy life. But productive work is a basic requirement for achieving romantic love. In that sense, productive work is a cause and romantic love is an effect.
Productive work is the basic requirement for human values. And romantic love and psychuous pleasures are the rewards for achieving those values. ...One cannot experience self-esteem, happiness, and romantic love without productive work. But one can experience self-esteem, happiness, and productive work without romantic love.
Friendship can offer great values and pleasurable experiences. Yet, friendships, especially close friendships, can in certain cases drain valuable time needed for high levels of business, creativity, and achievement. In a demanding business or intensely creative work, a person with a valuable romantic-love partner can often reach higher levels of achievement and happiness with few or no other friends. Friendships, moreover, are subject to errors that can turn into liabilities which drain a person's time, productiveness, efficacy and, thus, happiness. But value-generating, business friendships are generally the happiest, most exciting, most valuable of all relationships, except the romantic-love relationship.
* * *
In the end, reality prevails over life. The total experience of every person's life always moves toward justice as reality asserts itself: Productive, rational individuals increasingly gain prosperity, love, and happiness from life. Conversely, unproductive, irrational individuals increasingly lose prosperity, love, and happiness -- no matter what the surface appearances.
Abstract values of a friendship are normally not negotiable for tangible and material values. Likewise, tangible and material values normally cannot be converted into abstract values. Occasional exceptions do exist. Exceptions occur mainly in romantic-love relationships because the intense physical/psychological interactions tend to pull abstract values and material values closer together. At times, within a romantic-love relationship, those values can become interrelated. For example, emotional and sexual love provided by one partner can tangibly increase the creative, productive output of the other partner. Likewise, certain tangible values can amplify abstract values. For example, creative and productive accomplishments of one partner can increase the emotional love, sexual exhilaration, and psychuous pleasures of the other partner.
Generally, in a friendship or romantic-love relationship, an exchange of abstract values (be they healthy, neurotic, or a mixture) is taken for granted and occurs naturally. In friendship relationships, much of the abstract value interchange consists of open, casual exchanges of ideas and suggestions -- a type of easy two-way communication that often is mutually valuable. Indeed, such exchanges of ideas and suggestions occur in most good conversations between friends or lovers.
Other abstract values exchanged between two people in a valid love or friendship relationship include psychologically pleasing or enhancing reflections, consistent encouragement (especially during difficult times), mirroring various psychological values, understanding feedback of the other's thoughts or activities, and the exchange of practical ideas obtained from each person's unique life experiences.
Sometimes abstract values from a friend or love partner can be beneficially integrated into one's personal life to increase awareness, productivity, and happiness. Generally, abstract values are offered freely, without the thought or expectation of material or tangible payment. In a love or a friendship relationship, no one needs to measure or weigh that natural interchange of abstract values. For that exchange is freely taken and given as a natural, pleasurable, expected part of any good relationship.
Thus, abstract values cannot be used to pay for material values. For material values must always be fairly traded.[ 86 ] Material values represent irreplaceable segments of a person's life, effort, and time required to earn those values. Every productive human being needs to trade (not give away) his or her produced values in order to survive, grow, and be happy. If material and tangible values are not traded mutually and fairly, then a portion of a person's life is sacrificed to another person at the expense of both people. As a result of that unfairness, both happiness and friendship decline.[ 87 ] [Re: "Two Letters about Friendship and Love", pages 379-389; Neo-Tech Reference Encyclopedia.]
Those who misunderstand the nature of friendship or romantic love may try to use abstract values as payment for material values. In doing so, they are exploiting their friendship or love relationships. Such people unjustly extract material values from others for the "privilege" of those others being in their presence. They unilaterally deem their abstract values as payment for tangible and material values. That kind of exploitation, aside from being unjust and parasitical, poisons the relationship.
More important, habitual trading of abstract values for tangible values diminishes that person's ability to produce and deliver tangible values. Such unfair trading leaves that person increasingly incompetent and dependent on others for material or tangible values. ...The potential for friendship, romantic love, and happiness is always the greatest among value-producing men and women who fairly trade tangible and material values in their relationships.
[ 84 ] Valuable, family-love relationships also develop from a base of friendship.
[ 85 ] A friendship or any human relationship changes irrevocably upon having sexual relations. But a sexual relationship is not synonymous with a romantic-love relationship. Still, a romantic-love relationship must by nature involve sex.
[ 86 ] Fairly traded, tangible values do not necessarily mean evenly traded, tangible values. Moreover, a highly competent, nonmystical housewife can through integrated thinking and consistent efforts contribute great tangible and material values to her husband's ability to work more efficiently and effectively, thus, generate more values and income. For that, he fairly trades by providing his wife with tangible and material goods.
[ 87 ] If either partner is net destructive to the other, the relationship should end. [Re: Concept 95, Neo-Tech Reference Encyclopedia]