And what effect does such a relationship have on our spiritual growth?

I don't remember where I first heard this concept, but I have witnessed it in operation on many occasions. Do you believe there's any truth to it? Have you seen this dynamic in anyone's relationship(s)?

Assuming that control of a relationship is not a healthy and helpful thing with regard to spiritual development (feel free to argue that it is), why do people choose to be in that kind of relationship? Is it to avoid getting hurt? Is it due to insecurities from getting "burned" in the past?

Can such a relationship be turned around, or are these the last throes of a doomed relationship? Should a spiritually conscientious person remain in such a relationship? Why or why not?

asked 19 Nov '09, 09:00

John's gravatar image


edited 19 Nov '09, 20:18

''Cares the least'' simply means not attached to it. when you are attached to the game, you are no longer the one holding the control keys. you are controlled by the game itself. it could be a personal relationship, business relationship or any other experience. we only notice it in personal relationships because we are alerted to every detail. but if we paid the same attention in any other experience, we will notice the same effect. now the question is, what is your opinion if you are involved in a relationship like that? .. for me, if I trust my partner, I would be very happy!! .. but I will always stay focused on what is going on. another alternative plan would be taking control myself, but if the other partner is a control freak, then we will have a struggle, and sometimes war and a ''sleeping with the enemy'' situation. no body wants that. so it must be handled with extreme wisdom. or it will turn things upside down. '' Should a spiritually conscientious person remain in such a relationship?'' .. no. this is NOT for spiritual people. Besides unbelievable pain, for them it will be a total waste of time and energy. I experienced this 3 times in my life ( yes, I'm that stupid ) so I would suggest to STAY AWAY if you are spiritual. keep the control game for business. but in personal relationships, look for love and peace. that's it and that's all. once it gets complicated, fix it or leave it BEFRE it gets ugly.


answered 20 Nov '09, 03:56

Adel's gravatar image


You know John, I'm gona get of the grid for this one. Yes, tha answer is true, that the person who cares less has more power and can control a relationship if that person CHOOSES to. Like Asklepios said their's a bunch of stuff on the internet that you can research, and you can find how you can be such a person. THe real case is what does it mean to "care less" and I would like to, on my own examle, to give you what it means and how I got to caring less and what does it mean for mean.

Well in spiritual terms, caring less is the state of being that consists of being in a state of no self-pity. Your either are past that point or before, but it's an unavoidable place, that each person that goes on a spiritual path has to go thru. What is the place of no self-pity? It's when you examine your life from ALL angles. It's when you acknowledge the past as the gift it was and a oppoturnity for learning. It's when you let your supressed emotions surface. When you forgive people that you felt grudge for. When you thank the people you owe thanks to. In other words when you leave no stone unturned. You examine your life from ALL angles and possibilities.

Once you've done all of those things you will come in a place in your life when you will totally ACCEPT every past, present and future situation in your life as YOUR creations. What does it mean it's yours? It means that everything happens for a reason, at exactly the right moment of time and place and that if you are at that place, it means their is a reason for being so. You don't ponder on where your gona be next but you realize that you just where you should be, because their's something you chould acknowledge here. And when you act in that situation impeccable you can say you have come to a place of no pity.

What does it mean a place of no pity? It simply means that you realize that YOU are responsible for EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERY-little-f***ing-THING that has ever happened to you. It was their to show you something, reflect back to you for your own growth, for your own reasons. Now, before coming to that place you might'ev felt that you are doing good in your spiritual work, but their are some sticking points. For example you can't forgive your father for not being at that ball game or for embaressing you at a party. You can't get over a friend that stole your girlfriend one day. Things like that, which are somewhere under the radar, and are drainning your energy and pulling you back.

Now when you arrive at a place of no pity you realize that EVERYONE is alright. Their is no one to save. Their is no need to try to change other people. You realize that you have a certain detachment out of all the drama that people seem to have around you. You are at ease with everything that happens. more and more you realize that where you are is good and their is no need for judgement, no need for getting angry at ANYONE or keep a grudge with anyone. You can say you have a barrier around yourself that keeps all this role-playing that were doing here on Earth, sane. If you are at that place good for you, if your not, you will get their if you want.

So how does that kind of person live in a relationship, understand in intimate one, with anyone? Well first of all that kind of person LIVES in the NOW. That means that that person NEVER gives promises that she can't deliver. When she's around another person she's so in-tuned with another person that they have the same thoughts at the same time, she gives the other persn 100% of her attention and never wonders off with thoughts. She can't live without that person when she is with her, but when they depart she is detached completetely ready not to see that person ever again in his life. Does it mean he won't? No, but it means he can't make plans for the future because their's a higher force responsible for where will his life take him. He listens to his heart and can always walk away if he feels it's the only way to keep growing. It will break his heart at that moment, but at the next he feel will stronger and confident facing other challenges of his life.

Is that a fairy tale? You may think so, but not for me. That's how I live. I finally take the time to "smell the roses". Does it mean that I'm cruel to people that I'm intimate with. First of all I NEVER lie to them. I CHOOSE to live my life with truth and integrity, impeccability all the way. I tell them what I'm all about and give them a CHOICE, either they accept it or not and never judge them for ANY of their decisions. You may ask what about marriage? Well I'm not against marriage, I just don't completely agree with it. I can't imagine telling someone I will love her and spend the rest of my life with her if it is a LIE. I don't know where my life will take me. I don't know who will I love 5, 10 or 20 years for now. That's my point of view and I'm sharing it with all of you regardless of what yu might think. I know you can make marriage work but at THIS TIME in my life I don't see it.

Well so how does this relates to the qiestion? Well I don't want to control ANYONE anymore. In fact, I never culd control them in the first place. I could'ev influence them, lie to them etc. to get wht I thought that I wanted, but looking back if I had to do all these things they weren't for me. I'm just NOt that person anymore. I accept, trust and love life as a fullest expression of my passions. I never say sorry for who I am and I never want anybody to apoligize to me for what they do. We are all God-like. We are luminous beings made of unconditional love and we don't have to say sarry for anything. If we act out of our passion, out of our TRUE, natural self and with impeccability in our life we DON'T have to be worried about controlling or being controlled by others. Sure it might happen that people will want to follow us, but that will happen because they see WE ARE who we say we are, and that what ALL of us want ----- F R E E D O M!


answered 19 Nov '09, 23:20

wildlife's gravatar image


edited 20 Nov '09, 09:15

John's gravatar image


I think you make a very good point. "Not caring" can be seen in a positive light if it is understood as unconditional acceptance of people as they are, not caring if they're beautiful or ugly, stupid or smart, mean or loving.

(20 Nov '09, 09:30) John

What about commitments and duty toward children and parents, would you walk away also when you feel like it? Is "freedom" the ultimate service to self?

(14 Sep '10, 08:03) daniele

This is a very difficult relationship, obsessive in character from one person's side. It is also difficult for the other person, who is not so infatuated. If he/she likes the other person but is not in love, the imbalance and the moral struggle to not yield to the temptation to abuse is very taxing.

Typically, the person who is not so deep in love has more control over his/her rational thinking and can better look after own interests. This can go on as long as the person deeply infatuated doesn't wake up and see things as people around see it. Quite often this deep infatuation or unrequited love, which did not find satisfaction, turns to hatred. We cannot force another person to fall in love neither can we talk them into it.

There is another possibility for not turning unrequited love into hate but converting it into a mature friendship or relationship. This is through self-reflection and meditation. When the infatuated person sees this condition as a learning experience, the need to hate the other person not equally infatuated disappears. We see the other person as a fellow traveller on the road of life.

There is a lovely saying by the poet W.H.Auden "“If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving be me”. This shift of attitude helps the infatuated one overcome the constant "Me, me, what do I get out of this?" and obsessive concern of the infatuated. This is the higher and spiritual teaching in basically all religious traditions.

The second part of your question - why do people choose to be in that kind of relationship? Is it to avoid getting hurt? Is it due to insecurities from getting "burned" in the past? I guess we can never find a single answer to that. It could be a combination of what you suggested. People also hope that "This time things will be better!", without having resolved past baggage from a relationship, which 'burned' them.


answered 19 Nov '09, 10:48

Rana's gravatar image


Absolutely right. The person who doesn't give a damn is free from much neediness ,inflated importance and worry.

That person is more likely to control the relationship insomuch as their not at all bothered if it ends. Now this doesn't mean their going to control things like a petty tyrant, it merely means that their more secure in themselves.

The person who cares the most will be far more likely to be dumped and will suffer more as a result of this. It sounds harsh but personal experience tells me this has been the case with me.

Now that's not to say its a hard and fast rule...but its very prevalent.

Ive recently begun not to give a damn about my job...after years of worry I decided I simply couldn't be arsed about it anymore. I couldn't care less about it. offer of a promotion ( last week ) with twice the salary. I quit anyway. Not for a highly paid job I might add....but something fairly menial that I will enjoy more.

Its seems that when excess importance is removed from any situation, job, relationship or anything else the control seems to be more evident. I read this a year ago in Vadim Zelands "Transurfing the Space of Variations". Its proved itself over and over.


answered 12 Sep '13, 13:58

Monty%20Riviera's gravatar image

Monty Riviera

I think this question doesn't apply to this spirituality-oriented website. But the statement is true. The less you care, the more interest you have. Of course it is like this in a man-woman relation, it is a different thing in friendship. If you want to learn more about it, type in Google "PUA" or "NLP". But I think this is highly offtopic.


answered 19 Nov '09, 13:56

Asklepios's gravatar image


In order for it to be offtopic you would have to exclude relationships altogether. That seems like a bit of a stretch, considering how important our relationships with others are to our spiritual development.

(19 Nov '09, 14:42) Vesuvius

I see now. I answered like it was only love relationship between a man and a woman. My mistake.

(19 Nov '09, 19:58) Asklepios

Thanks for expressing your concern, Asklepios. I considered whether to ask it, but reviewed other questions with the "relationship" tag and felt my question was "in bounds". Further, the dynamics within our relationships have a lot to do with our spiritual development, either helping or hindering. I have edited my question to make that connection more explicit. Thank you.

(19 Nov '09, 20:06) John

@John, thanks for the edit

(20 Nov '09, 07:06) Barry Allen ♦♦

You're welcome.

(20 Nov '09, 09:12) John
showing 3 of 5 show 2 more comments

Well any kind of an relationship is an give an take. An friendship or an woman/man loving relationship. But more the woman or man loving relationship and more if they are married is an give an take loving relationship. There will be days and times when one person is giving more or taking more than the other one.

No, it is not an 50/50 relationship because different days, different situations, different choices will be made plus factor in all of the variables that come into play of an loving and even an friendship relationship it takes more some days than other days.

Now, the one that loves the most is usually the one that is trying to make sure the relationship last and works well together; the one that love the least is usually not trying as hard to hold the relationship together for he/she don't have their heart and soul invested in this relationship like the other person does. It might be as severe as they don't care if the relationship even last at all.

Yes, things can change and can be turned around but only if the other person wants to change and help the relationship be turned around. No, you can't make someone fall in love with you and you can't make your self fall in love with someone.

But than again I change my mind yes you can make someone fall in love with you if you find out all what that person dis-likes and likes. Listen to what they say, be there for them, in othere words be their idea mate which they have dreamed about than in time you can ware on them and before they know it they will have fallen in love with you but this is not real love. Because you need to let people fall in love with the real you not the you that pretends to be what it is he/she likes dreams about even than they will not be actually in love with you(because you are pretending to be someoone who you are not).

If the person wants more out of the relationship friendship or loving relationship than they will have to decide do they deserve more and do they want more. If they want more than step outside of the relationship an look at it and see will you accept this person the way he/she is because most likely they are not going to change.

Most people just need to open their eyes and look at both you and the other person and say yes or no it is or it is not worth trying to save but changing someone else is most likely not going to happen. Ask yourself 3 questions (1.) Are you happy (2.) Do you want this person in your life 5 years from now) (3.) Can you do something to make yourself more happier with this relationship and do you want to even try?

Now if you can not answer yes to two of those questions than I think you might need to prepare yourself to the fact that you might be in an relationship that will not get better and you might need to back away from it be it friend or lover. This is your choice and your call.


answered 20 Nov '09, 01:32

flowingwater's gravatar image


edited 20 Nov '09, 01:38

It depends on how large the gap of not caring is. It is hard to quantify but at a certain point that relationship is really no longer a relationship. It can not last like that forever.

However, if the difference is not that relatively different, then it would "appear" that the other is subject to effects of the other who cares less and is less likely to be in the driver's seat. They may feel like their fate lies in the other person.

I believe the reason many people do stay in these types of relationships could range from their twisted mind likes such a relationship to guilt of breaking a religious "pack", and every thing in between, kids, money, emotional, sex, fear, guilt, etc.

However, in general, the person who just doesn't care at all probably has more problems that the other person who is caring. Even thought they may be less in control, they may still have a better lot and quality of their being.


answered 02 Dec '10, 19:41

Back2Basics's gravatar image


I have been in a long-term relationship most of my life. Just because you are detached of the drama and can see clearly what's happening doesn't necessarily mean you love/care for your partner less than your partner does you. We have to step away from the drama to be able to make our decisions. If you interpret this as control, you can, but in truth it is simply part of sharing yourself without loosing the you in the relationship.

Thank you, namaste


answered 05 Dec '10, 12:19

daniele's gravatar image


Nope. If the person who cares "the most" is truly caring- they will see that this relationship may not be even, and thus expect better in their relationship- ultimately they could choose to leave the person who "cares the least" if it is in their best interest- i.e. the relationship is unfulfilling, or energetically lopsided. They would then be in control. You only are in control as much as you give away your power or allow yourself to receive.


answered 22 Oct '12, 14:34

Kanda's gravatar image


After been married for 30 years to the same woman , there are a couple of problems with your question in my eyes. I am one of the lucky ones and must say that CONTROL and CARES THE LEAST, does not enter the relationship. Everything is equally based and support is constant. That does not mean that it's perfect but it works very well. The relationship where someone cares less then the other does give power to the person that cares the least, that's natural, but its not a good situation to be in. Power is not what you should be looking for in a relationship.


answered 12 Sep '13, 12:25

Laucan's gravatar image


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