Quid Pro Quo Love is a conditional form of personality love on the Idealized level. It operates on the premise that partners have needs, which we each agree to fulfill for the other. Hidden in this assumption is the perception that they should meet us in the way we request, despite how this is perceived by them (it is perceived as the degree of respect they hold for us). What we ideally seek is for others to honor our potential and respect us for the quality of our being. The problem of Quid Pro Quo Love is that we tend to overvalue our contribution while undervaluing our partnerâ€™s contribution. We overvalue what we contribute because we enjoy contributing it. We undervalue what others contribute because it reminds us of an area where we are not as capable. This creates a comparison, negotiation and intermediation framework that has no end. This is experienced as a situation where we are always trying to convince our partner to bring more to the table to make the relationship work. It is also assumed that more effort is needed if things are not working.
Quid Pro Quo Love promises that if you do your part, I will do mine. As soon as a partner is perceived as not pulling their weight, it allows us to slack off and not fulfill our own commitments. What is most important is to appear that we are keeping our agreements so we can be demanding and distract our partner from criticizing us. Underlying Quid Pro Quo Love is a sense of initial 0ptimism. This optimism soon goes bad when we confront how our partner is not doing things the way we imagined. This happens when we are unwilling or unable to deal with negative fears or discordant desires. The primary indicator of Quid Pro Quo Love is a sense of resistance when doing things the way our partner requests. Since we initially believe that our ideals and repulsions are the same, we become confused when we find ourselves unable to work out the plans we have mutually created. Something always intrudes so satisfaction is constantly delayed while we wait for something else to occur. Part of the reason is that each partner tries to gain control of their own world before they feel enabled to work in a Co-Creative way with the other.
Quid Pro Quo Love occurs when a partner measures the value they provide and compares it to what someone else can provide. On a personality level, Quid Pro Quo seeks to create a sense of equality by maintaining the appearance of balance. Unfortunately, since we always value what we provide more than what we get, this balance is seldom fulfilled. Another aspect is that Quid Pro Quo reflects the larger integration of our body/mind system. Our Body Wisdom, (represented by Sensations and Feelings) is frequently compared to our Concrete Knowing (represented by our Emotions and Thoughts). Whatever we consider our strength is traded in exchange for what we consider our weaknesses. The problem is that these self-assessments are completely personality driven and therefore constantly shift as our internal experience changes. The core issue is the more we define ourselves in terms of a partnerâ€™s needs, the more we lose the connection to our authentic nature, which ends up amplifying limited personality perspectives. Our personality frameworks become based on projections of what we believe our partners need, which actually reflects what we deny to ourselves. These false associations create a Glamour where we believe we need our partner to keep us motivated. (Glamour is the confusion of projecting what we want on others, believing we need to be like them to experience the benefits we want.)
Denial Of Goodness
At the core of Quid Pro Quo Love is the inability to accept our own Goodness. Instead, we seek to prove how good we are with others by making them think we are defining our world on their terms. Quid Pro Quo Love usually starts with feelings of special-ness, uniqueness or trust in some way different from anything we have experienced before. Since we fear repeating our past, we try to avoid any partner who outwardly reflects the problems we had prior. The more fear we have that these issues will resurface, the more likely any choice we make will pose the same concerns, although in a slightly different way. Internally, we project our fears out into the world and are delighted when potential partners share our same concerns. The more they seem to understand our perspective, the more we feel safe and secure with them. Unfortunately, this does not mean the problem does not exist, only that it will not easily come to light.
Many of us have had childhoods where we were taught not to be selfish. Instead, the opposite, being selfless, is put forward as the ideal. The more we are told we are not being good, the more we realize how we are being judged and distanced for our inconsiderate behaviors. Since acknowledgement comes when we do â€˜the right thingâ€™ and take care of others, we realize that looking good is better than being good. This is particularly true because being â€˜selflessâ€™ does not seem to get us anywhere with anyone. Of course, with more expanded awareness, we can see that being selfish or selfless represents two extremes that guide our choices. We come to accept that we have to be selfish to take care of ourselves so we can continue to contribute. We also recognize that being selfless by denying our personality gets us nowhere. We are now coming to see that we need to find a middle way, where our humanity is honored. Goodness is a natural state of being, not something we need to convince people to believe.
All ideals reflect problems in our past where we felt denied or discounted. We can validate this by how we automatically avoid certain internal repulsions, and do not share them with anyone in our life. Ideals are merely projections of what we could do to offset our past negative experiences. In a way, Idealization is a desire for ascendance so we do not have to deal with the ugly truth of our past. Quid Pro Quo Love is really the exchange of certain promises (to take care of each other) so the past is not repeated. In an Idealized state, we naturally reinforce ideas of Goodness, which actually prevent us from being good to each other. We falsely believe that being able to figure out what our partner needs puts us in a position to provide it. The uncomfortable reality is that each person must air out and clean up their own baggage so they are not repulsed by the same in others. We do not take into account that each person needs to complete their own lessons. Until we recognize that any attempt to fix someone creates greater denial, and therefore more resistance, we will continually intrude upon their lessons in a way that keeps them (and us) from being complete. It is hard to see perfection in each personâ€™s unfoldment, yet this is what is required.
It is interesting to note that without balance between our Feelings and Emotions, Glamour steps in to skew our perspectives. Glamour is the projection of Idealized states of being on others, believing that through this connection, we will also be uplifted. Since we are seeking stability, either through having consistent feelings or emotional states, we lose ourselves when these experiences are projected on another person, place or thing outside of us. For example, we can become attached to a hot tub, person, or place, because they make us feel better and more stable in the moment. Glamour is the projection of power over things outside ourselves because we do not feel we can take care of ourselves. This occurs because we are not connecting our Feelings and Emotions together and are unable to manifest our own inner stability. Agitation is the result when we do not feel connected within ourselves. The ability to be present in a state of calm, serene contemplation is what makes us flexible and capable of responding to others. Any disconnection between Emotions and Feelings increases volatility, and makes it impossible to respond without amplifying our out of balance state.
Whenever we are out of balance and are unable to simultaneously express our Feelings and Emotions, we create greater Idealization. Idealization is an out of balance projection of hope based on a denial of fear. We can be fearful on either a Feeling or Sensation level and deny our Body Wisdom. Or, we may be fearful that the Emotions and Thoughts of others will submerge us. Each individual is usually stronger in either their Body Wisdom or Concrete Knowing; this is why we seek the complimentary opposite in our partners. This increases the likelihood of Idealization because we have different ways of contributing and valuing what we contribute. We can also examine Quid Pro Quo Love in terms of the exchange of Protective and Directive Love. Individuals often get caught up using their strengths to offset their partnerâ€™s perceived weaknesses, which means that the person doing Directive Love is attracted to the person doing Protective Love. These differences accentuate our own internal incomplete processes and produce Glamour and drama.
Idealized Personality Love comes in three forms: Infinite Love, Eternal Love, and Love as Service. Infinite Love (where we demonstrate a commitment to loving others completely without reservation) is identified with the feminine framework, particularly since it relates to the motive of Idealized Trust. Eternal Love (demonstrating a commitment to loving others, as they are, through all time) is identified with the masculine framework, particularly since it reflects the motive if Idealized Unity. Love as Service, the combination of the masculine and the feminine, reflects the motive of Idealized Co-Creation. In each of these Idealized Personality Loves, we establish a goal beyond us, then seek to live up to it. While metaphorically this does not seem like a bad idea, in practice it separates us from our creative power. It reflects an over-reaching of the egoic personality nature that does not know how to hold onto and be present with that which it is pursuing. The more we rely on projections to connect to larger goals outside of us, the more unsuccessful and self sabotaging we will be in making these possibilities real.
The Ideal of Infinite Love is not a bad one, as Radiant Self-Unifying Love is persevering and powerful. The problem is that our personality, which is a programmed structure meant to insure our safety and security, is not designed to be the source of Radiant Self-Unifying Love. In short, we cannot program ourselves to love others infinitely because our personality cannot comprehend infinity. Only our creative source or soul has the potential of embracing this awareness of love. Of course, romance novels, which are designed to placate our safety and security fears, try to tell us differently. Eternal Love is also another idea that is bigger than our personality. While our personality would love to believe it can manage itself through time, experience has demonstrated this is not true because we cannot anticipate everything. All growth is a risk because change always shows up in unexpected ways. Finally, Love as Service is inherently real when it comes from our creative nature, but is just a platitude when we operate from our personality. When we are being of service, we are able to contribute in a way where we transcend our personality nature and connect in an inherently larger manner (to our Self and others).
It is interesting to note that we not only have these internal aspirations to love in larger ways from the personality level, but we also desire for others to love us in the same ways. It is ironic to think that we need others to love us before we can feel safe or secure enough to love them. From a personality level, where we do not know our creative nature, we seek out the Idealized perspectives of others (about us) to feel reassured. In this way, if we can count on somebody to love us, and deal with their personality reactions to what occurs without losing their commitment to us, the relationship appears great. If our partner appears to be operating this way, it could be that they are loving us from their creative source and not their personality framework. The real issue is whether or not they are loving us from a sense of abundance, or because they need us to be there. The same is true for eternal love, which is the personalityâ€™s attempt to reassure us that it will be there through all time. How do we validate this experience within? More importantly, how much do we use this reassurance to define how much we are willing to love our partners?
Quid Pro Quo Love reflects the fear we have regarding our safety and security through time. Until we step into our creative nature, where our safety and security authentically reside, we cannot make claims as to the infinite eternal commitment to love we think we are sharing. What is more, no matter how much we attempt to serve our partner (particularly as a duty), we never really know if it will be enough for them if they are operating in their own personality framework. Instead, we need to preemptively commit to loving others in a Radiant Self-Unifying Love that comes from our creative source, and be willing to see if they can meet us in the same way. HA encourages readers to operate from the possibility that love is a direct reflection of our inner experience of Beauty, Truth and Goodness, and needs no reassurance by others. In this way, our love is not dependent upon our Self-Esteem, Self-Respect, or how much we love ourselves. Of course, from a personality level, all connections with others are defined in this way. How much are we willing to show up as Alive, Wise and Aware with others, and that through the exchange of contributions we are in fact loving each other in Co-Creative ways?
The Cost Of Quid Pro Quo Love
The cost of Idealization is self-sabotage, drama (acting out fears and desires in direct opposition to someone) and resistance to anotherâ€™s way of being. Self-sabotage occurs when things feel too good. When Idealization distances us from our hearts, we become free-floating, cyclic and afraid to crash. This makes it extremely difficult to control our circumstances in the way we wish. Initially, we choose partners who seem to agree with us about where we are going and how we will get there. These perceptions seem true because we are repulsed by the same things, and after sharing life stories, can see many commonalities between us. What we do not understand is how we are imposing the need to do things our own way and the inherent resistance to being told what we should do by our partners. The more we discover our differences, the more likely we will back off and try to find other ways to engage the problem. We hope to resolve our issues because we are concerned about doing the right thing (looking good). The hardest lesson to accept is when we get stymied by our partner, it creates animosity and eventually poisons the relationship.
On a personality level, partners who are caught up in Quid Pro Quo Love are always seeking to have the upper hand. Ironically, each partner sees the situation in a way that puts them in the superior position (relative to the other). For example, one might be more confident emotionally and intellectually, the other may be more confident in their Feelings and emotions, which permits them to take action quickly. While a complimentary relationship like this at first feels safe and secure (because each contributes from their strength), we eventually end up resisting when our partner makes a decision for us. Neither agrees to be defined the way the other wants them to. This creates the Inequality Trap, where anxiety, fear and Personality Desires keep us from relaxing and accepting the contributions of our partner. We become confused about our contradictory desire to be in charge and instead find ourselves longing for greater teamwork. This occurs because Quid Pro Quo Love and Idealization dramatically reduce the experience of loving ourselves.
With Quid Pro Quo Love, we blame other people rather than honoring our own responsibility for creating the situation. It is easier to make others wrong than to reexamine our own assessment process. It is less painful to blame others, particularly when we are being self-critical. We may also be using this negative exchange to uplift ourselves in comparison (to them). Until we see our Interdependent Lessons and work to balance and neutralize the expectations we have about each other, we will never be good partners. Interdependent Lessons arise because each partner has something to contribute and something to receive in the relationship. If both partners do not show up to support the process moving forward, neither will succeed. With Idealization, fears always create judgments that our partner is not meeting our expectations. We can see this in celebrity situations where news agencies build someone up only to later tear them down. The irony of this Idealization/Repulsion cycle is the need to find scapegoats in order to sell their services. This is a good example of encouraging people to be attached to certain situations, then later showing them how bad their choice was.
Until we create a sense of personal abundance and no longer define ourselves in terms of the personality frameworks we grew up with (conditioning), then we will continue to butt heads with others over Idealization issues. We become overly dramatic and demand that others meet us where we are without realizing that, by definition, we are not meeting them where they are. We end up believing our partners are actively denying us (and who we are) rather than recognizing is our attachment to our own view that actively denies our partners. Healing Idealization requires letting go of Quid Pro Quo Love double standards, and giving partners the benefit of the doubt (so things can work out). Otherwise we get caught up in never-ending exchanges where we always complain how no one pays attention to us. In extreme examples, this narcissistic view gets amplified by either our attachment to feelings or our denial of emotions. It is no wonder we act this experience out in increasingly dramatic ways to make it seem real.
From a simplistic point of view, Quid Pro Quo Love always attempts to negotiate and get love at a discount. In this way, we need false assurance that others will be there for us to move forward and trust the process. This is ironic, because logic dictates that when we discount love, it sends the message that others are not going to get the best deal. There are also differences in timeframes over which the relationship is negotiated. There are short-term versus long-term considerations. A woman may invest long-term by putting her partner through graduate school, but there are different expectations in a short-term sexual relationship where neither is committed to the other. These perspectives, short versus long, are one way some people maximize their benefits while minimizing what they need to give in return. Quid Pro Quo Love, from this perspective, has a very materialistic focus. Demonstrating Love reflects not just the Passion, the Playfulness, or the connection, but the degree we can manifest our love as supportive partners where we are. Ultimately, when two people come to realize that what they want and what they are willing to provide are not in alignment, it usually means dissolution of the relationship.
The fundamental issue is how we get caught up in personality distortions that keep us from being with others and our selves honestly. The more we cannot be with our imbalances (between Feelings and Emotions), the more we attempt to lose ourselves in our partnerâ€™s Goodness. By avoiding our own doubts, we tend to fantasize about how it is going to be better sometime in the future, which keeps us from ever being present in the moment. This gets accentuated when we think the grass is always greener (on the other side), which distracts us from seeing the brown crabgrass in our own yard. The irony of Idealization is that when we throw ourselves into creative possibilities we believe our partner will empower us to complete, we become disillusioned when we learn they are not there for us. When we end up analyzing the situation in the current moment, we doubt our ability to continue to do what we are doing. We then seek reassurance from others that our partners are the best we can find, or at least the best for where we are in our life right now. This doubt is the flip side of all the Idealizations that preceded it, and eventually we do come into a balanced state. The problem, when this occurs, is we do not hold a positive feeling about the relationship and our ability to keep investing in it.
When we unify our Feelings and Emotions, we grow more in touch with our motivations, which opens the door to engaging others wholeheartedly. Imagine being able to tune in to your inner silence and have a dialogue between your Feelings and Emotions. What do they need to say (to each other) to bring about a greater sense of Co-Creative participation? The opposite of Idealization is intuitive knowing about our choices, which only arises when we can integrate our Body Wisdom and Concrete Knowing seamlessly. Becoming clear about our motivations allows us to examine any projections we have about how we contribute (and how we want others to receive our contribution). Idealization commonly supports us in glossing over differences in the way we trust and want to be. When we are in Idealized states, it is extremely healing to have discussions about these topics, and how we wish to work together as teammates. Otherwise, expectations and unexamined assumptions keep us from engaging each other in effective and cooperative ways.
How much are you investing in doing Quid Pro Quo forms of love with others? The degree you deny your Feelings or Emotions, is the degree you limit your ability to serve others and yourself. Your need to prove you are superior or better than others keeps separating you from them. By denying your natural self-love, you are (in effect) denying your ability to love others, which means you need their love to make you feel whole and secure. What would it be like if you were to let go of needing others to meet your needs? How might you experience the Universe if you stopped fixating on getting your love satisfied through one person? Can you imagine that love is present in all of your relationships, and that loving everyone around you can be a fulfilling experience? While this requires taking an interpersonal perspective, is there a downside to exploring this option? Your fears and unfulfilled personality desires are the main obstacle to experiencing greater cooperation with others. Are you willing to find joy in letting go of Quid Pro Quo forms of love? Can you imagine letting go of the need to track every contribution in every situation with all the people with whom you interact?
The benefit of Idealization (when we become aware of it) is that it helps us identify our repulsions. Are we repulsed by Protective, Directive, or Quid Pro Quo forms of love? How much do we currently play into conditional forms of love to take care of others? To what degree have we examined the cost-benefit of various types of love with different people? Notice if the conditional expressions (of love) actually support your intention to love your partner more completely or fully. Since conditional forms of love are based on personality behavior motivations and attractions, they may seem more real than Radiant Self Unifying Love. If so, it indicates we still are working on accepting and loving our creative nature. When we are able to make the shift from personality focused experiences to transpersonal, creative connections, we will see more clearly the limitations of all conditional forms of love.
Goodness is the antidote to Quid Pro Quo Love. Being in a state of Goodness frees us from the need to look good. The more we develop a state of humility and sincere humbleness (because we have no need to exert our superiority), the easier it is to be Co-Creative. Quid Pro Quo Love operates from the assumption that our partner needs to perform to serve our needs and common goals. Since performing encourages an inauthentic over- or under-doing, it results in an inability to operate mutually. The fear of being exploited by our partner prevents us from working as a team. When we can be in our own experience of Goodness (and not what we think Goodness looks like), it is easier to see when others are doing the same. We learn that being ourselves can be counted on by our partners because we honor our own natural Goodness. People organically find the best ways to express themselves and contribute. We trust that our partner is doing the best they can, and they trust that we are doing the same. This creates a state of conscious Unity and Co-Creation. Temporary imbalances are eventually offset, as new possibilities manifest over time. We always look for new ways to contribute and expand on what we have done in the past, which shows up as new ways of supporting each other. Because we can naturally relax and be calm with our partner, we are able to better mix our creative energies and therefore surpass our safety, security and personal needs with each other.
It is time to take ownership of our creative nature. Are we willing to be abundant, and create partnerships that allow us to go beyond our own limitations? If so, we must stop identifying with Quid Pro Quo exchange frameworks. We need to imagine that where we are going is more powerful than where we have been. Most of all, we need to pay attention to how our creativity interacts with the creativity of others moment to moment. Consider how investing in Radiant Self Unifying Love can release us from the whole mental calculation and comparison process (with others). What if we could trust the people around us to fully be creative and work with us in a flowing way? What if we were able to learn and grow with them and be surprised about the new things we could do together? This is our chance to step into a world of our own making. It is an opportunity to develop our creative nature so our personality frameworks do not overshadow who we are. It is time now to take a stand on how love does not need to be expressed in a fixed way. It is time to remember that who we are is limited only when we operate in conditional forms of love. Imagine how different our life will be when we shift into being love, not just doing love. We will find ourselves being able to grow and respond to circumstances and people around us in ways not previously believed possible.
By accepting, yet differentiating, our body experience from our intellectual knowing we can neutralize Quid Pro Quo Love. It is only when we confuse our Feelings and Emotions that we get lost in projections we forgot we made. Feelings are in-the-moment reflections of our body sensations. The more we can be where we are and claim what we need, the less we will get caught in Romantic Mythology, daydreams or outright fantasies. It is useful to appreciate the beauty of our in-the-moment experiences rather than getting lost in self-generated flights of fancy. When feelings are projected through time, they become emotions that direct and control our sense of well being. Since emotions are reflections of thoughts, they end up being used to measure what we get out of a situation and compare it to what others seem to get (that we are not getting). Envy becomes the driving force of Quid Pro Quo Love; the appearance of fairness is used to legitimize our demands.
Quid Pro Quo Love can be identified by the following:
1) Do you believe a partner should always contribute equally and equitably to mutual goals?
2) To what degree do you make demands on your partner proportional to your contributions?
3) Are you able to distinguish Body Wisdom (Feelings) from Concrete Knowing (Emotions)?
4) Do you experience anxiety, tension or constant concern about the wellbeing of your relationship(s)?
5) How often do you find you are negotiating or positioning yourself to justify increased demands on others? Do you hold back when others do not produce for you?
Quid Pro Quo Love is an amplified drama that wears partners down because the people doing it are not connected to the source of their true feelings and emotions. Drama is used to manipulate others into providing what is needed, or else we make their life difficult. Quid Pro Quo Love is inherently unstable, which means that over time perceived infractions pile up and get compressed. Nothing a partner can do can be offset when we cannot forgive their trespasses. Quid Pro Quo Love always compromises Radiant Self Unifying Love.