The Golden Rule for Meaningful, Intimate Relationships. ~ Ben Ralston {Video}

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For most people the dream of relationship and the reality of relationship are very different.

I believe there’s just one thing we need to do in order to be able to finally start attracting the dream into the relationship.

This is the Golden Rule…


Spread the love—share! Also feel free to leave a comment and let’s have a discussion about it!





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Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Author’s Own


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anonymous Apr 4, 2016 8:30am

Hi Ben, LOVE this video, thank you…this is what the world needs more of, so badly, in so many ways. True heartfelt intimacy, a quality you've demonstrated here so openly and eloquently. At the end of the video there's a message saying you'll cover HOW to be authentically intimate, but I can't find it…can you point me in the right direction as am interested to see it. Love and thanks!

anonymous Oct 28, 2015 7:46pm

Courage, authenticity, intimacy, space…we get it! You’re video illuminates all these characteristics and more.

However, the Truth of the matter is, Commitment. Dedication to “keeping it Real” is not easy, in fact, it’s terrifying.

Dedicating yourself to this “attitude adjustment” and taking responsibility of quirky flaws, insecurities, inflated reactions, delusional misunderstandings and superior sense of entitlement, is very tough and painful.

Many function largely as victims…seeking refuge in the very best of who we invite into our hearts, and when these pillars of expectation fail us, the open wound of our own broken selves are exposed… and what do we do with that? – we run, blame, cheat, indulge, ignore, numb the truth… It’s ok though, this means we’re not ready for our real adventure quite yet.

It’s a trip to acknowledge ourselves… and to allow that shit shine…and then be able to share what we’ve learned with wisdom, confidence, humor and love. It’s a contemporary ‘Hero’s Journey’, at least one of them anyway.

Some people just “get it” though; from the outside, some people seem so centered and grounded in themselves and in the space between… I believe them to be veterans of some deep struggle that can never be fully understood unless you too have crossed over.

Personally, I have just begun the most exciting and elevated relationship in my 20 years of brilliant leaps (belly flops) into the dating abyss. And let me say still, it’s a challenge to just be me…and not to react, take things personally, let stuff go, stay rooted and embrace the space. Conversely, inspiring the other to do the same, by association, as a flawed model, is tastefully ironic!

Thank you for inspiring this rant by sharing your journey, recollections and impressions in this video. Cheers.

anonymous Oct 27, 2015 11:05pm

Omg! I would so love to have u as my therapist. Everything u said made complete sense. At this point in time in my life, this was exactly what I needed to hear. I've been trying to put what I felt into words. And u have now given me the words. Thank you so much. Bless xx

anonymous Oct 27, 2015 9:52pm

This is beautifully said and I couldn't agree more. Thank you! Good vibes your way.

anonymous Dec 31, 2014 12:00pm

I loved this. thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us!

    anonymous Oct 27, 2015 7:25pm

    That was such a beautiful explanation of intimacy. Growing up I always tried to fit a certain box, be seen,, not heard. And it eventually it caused me much anxiety and depression at about age 16 and it followed me for quite some time. I was always so terrified of showing who I was to people, to the point where I gave up. And for awhile I was comfortable with that. Which is so terribly sad now that I look back on it. Now I’m 26 and recently moved to another state (from KS to CO), and I have noticed that the more I open up and the less afraid I am to show my true colors, the more I attract the right people in my life, more authentic people. It’s an amazing feeling, to finally just be me, and I hope everyone gets to experience it. Self love is so important, once you love yourself it all falls nicely into place.

anonymous Nov 11, 2014 3:18pm

Thank you so much for this video. Six months ago I met a man and we started fooling around, talking… He told me then that he was not ready for a relationship and so we agreed to just be casual. The problem with that is that we have a very wonderful connection on many different levels. I am a woman that tends to be authentic, I’ve been called an “over sharer” or that I open up too easily. My friends warned me about getting hurt with this man. The thing is, I didn’t want to be anything than authentic. I have been patient with him and he wants to change, has been working on it and has been changing and growing slowly and he thanks me for this. I think the problem is that people get scared what another person will do with that authenticity that we are putting out there. I am not afraid. No matter what happens, I will be okay. I will continue to grow. I will continue to love.

anonymous Sep 3, 2014 12:04am

Speaking from experience I can only say, you are absolutely right and I whole heartedly reccomend the practice of being authentic in every relationship. It makes life more fun and people more interesting as the feedback you get will be so much more authentic as well. And as for the relationship of ones dreams with that certain significant other, well, once you have found the one to be yourself with, who gives you the space for that, you will never want or accept anything less.

anonymous Sep 2, 2014 1:26pm

This is so beautiful Ben, relationship is a space between two people 🙂 so great and true. Just be, be open and just be who you are. Love this video very much, thank you. I'm so happy, so happy! Respect!!!

    anonymous Sep 2, 2014 4:30pm

    Thank you Zvonka! Your happiness is contagious 🙂

anonymous Aug 31, 2014 3:25pm

Happy to do so, Ben. I felt like you were 'getting off too easy'. Thanks for the reply. I too love people deeply and try to cultivate intimacy in all my relationships. It is our responsibility to really "see one another". In my opinion, having sex out of context of a relationship that is held in a sacred space(aka "box") prevents us from really see-ing. I just wonder if you have, instead of allowing the natural expression of love to flow via kissing, hugging, etc., allowed it to move beyond those expressions and expectations and what was the result of that experience?

    anonymous Sep 1, 2014 12:56am

    Hey Dani,
    the conversation became a little bit too much about sex, and that's not what the video is about at all.
    It's actually about allowing ourselves to be deeply intimate with everyone (and obviously 99.99999% of the time that has nothing whatsoever to do with sex). I gave the example at the end – re: sexual but non committal relationships – as an example of that.

      anonymous Sep 1, 2014 5:13am

      I agree. That's just where you lost me, being titled The Golden Rule, I was hoping your example would apply across the board. (my own expectations) There is still some gems to take away. We're all just working on ourselves together.

anonymous Aug 31, 2014 1:18am

I like the idea of "space between 2 people", space for safety and –at the same time– space for freedom. That said, I often hear this non-commital approach, and, like Daniva mentioned above, usually something suggested by men. From my observation of the world so far, It seems that "intimacy" for non-commital men means "physical contact" while "intimacy" for women means "first, mental closeness/trust/authenticity, then second physical contact", in other words: why have sex with someone you don't really know. If sex is to non-commital men just as pleasing as a good meal and convenient as to make no effort in getting to know the being in question, then aren't you transforming this person in nothing more than a commodity? a kleenex? a disposable person in your own self-centered world of pleasure? …This doesn't seem like Love to me. Which is still very different from respecting and honoring the value of life of each being we meet. Eckhart Tolle says in his book The Power Of Now that men are not as awakened as women. I hoped he was wrong, but more and more his phrase rings true as i observe how everyday men are still belittling women in every way. As a therapist, I would have thought you knew that promiscuity is usually a sign of low EQ. Detachment is quite not the same as weekend quickies. Anyhow, good luck to you in finding your balance and in treating others with the same regard as how you'd like to be treated. The morning mirror can always tell. 🙂

    anonymous Aug 31, 2014 12:02pm

    Lucy that's a whole load of projection that you're layering on to what I actually said! Did you read my response to Daniva. I'm not saying I want superficial sex – quite the fucking opposite actually! I want intimacy!! And I would have thought it was obvious (both from the video and the reply) that that was the case.
    So please, examine your own inner motivation for what you wrote – how much were you triggered (by your own 'stuff') in what I said, and how much did you really listen?

      anonymous Sep 6, 2014 9:46pm

      wow, you seem actually furious in your reply. maybe i triggered some of your own stuff. You talk about intimacy with everyone, that is wonderful. More connection, more authenticity, with others, this is much needed and splendid indeed. Then you speak about having physical relationship with people you are not really attached to, and that's not intimacy. Is it? ..Wouldn't you first want to become friends (share interests & experiences) then develop care (more than friends) which leads to Love, to then honor that recognized authentic love with physical bondage? Or do you really think that having a physical relationship early with someone before really knowing them is truly intimacy? Instead of attacking me or throwing the "projection" card on the table, i'd rather talk about the actual content of the matter, if you feel capable to do so. Not knowing is also I answer. I have it sometimes myself.

      anonymous Oct 27, 2015 11:17pm

      Hmm, I had the exact same train of thought while reading several of the comments. Ah yes, individual perception based on our own personal experiences governs the way in which we interact or react to information that is presented to us.

      Sharing a personal experience more often than not can lead to projection in others. How can anyone possibly interpret/understand/potentialize the full state of another's personal experience when the experience is yours and yours alone? I am of the opinion that no one can ever truly walk a mile in another's shoes because the variables will always be completely different.

      Now imagine if, instead of jumping to an immediate response, we sat with our thoughts the moment intense feelings were triggered. Thoroughly chewing on the meaty parts. Opening up a conversation with ourselves about the useful information our feelings present to us time and time again. What are my feelings telling me about my current state of being? Where am I at in this moment? Yes, sometimes we are triggered by ill intentioned individuals. I know I've said this before in previous posts, but I don't get that impression from Ben. Perhaps it's merely a reflection of where I'm at in my present journey. He just doesn't rub me that way.

      A dear friend once asked me during a particularly difficult time in my life, "what do you want to learn from this situation? Any situation?" Will you be the teacher? The student? Or simply continue going about your life by acknowledging that you no longer wish to give "it" (whatever that may be at any given time) your time or energy. Their is choice in everything. They also emphasized the importance of taking the emotion out of a situation and stepping back. Sitting in the emotion for a while. Going inward. Reflecting. Time can grany us great perspective we allow it to.

      To be completely honest I find this very topic a bit unsettlling as it triggeres deep feelings of insecurity. Something I am aware is present in my daily life life. The idea of commitment gives me/us a temporary sense of security. However, I recognize that the only constant secure inevitability is change. That, you can count on. Personally, I prefer to continue to push my boundaries and explore various forms of connection than close myself off to one possibility or way of thinking/being.

      After all, establishing lasting intimate (mental/emotional/spiritual/physical – whatever the heck it means for you) connections is why we are here, isn't it?

      So let's have our opinions. ..but let's also be open to exploring, at the very least, the idea of someone else's personal experience. Who knows, it might open us in ways we have yet to realize exist!

anonymous Aug 30, 2014 7:05pm

You have a lot of good points Ben and I appreciate your articles but I didn't feel like it all quite jived and you lost a little credibility with me when you mentioned allowing yourself sexual relationships without commitment. Especially saying that it wasn't a choice; it just happened. At what point did you become unconscious? Perhaps it's the paradigm between being a man and woman, but a man that has sex without commitment doesn't feel authentic to me. Intimacy to me, is being able to show up without agenda. Which means moving beyond any story at all. I can only be authentic if I do not have an agenda or, if I am in a relationship with someone my agenda should be made clear. Sexual relationships require us to not only handle our own story but handle the story of our lover as well. When we make love we become entwined in each other's stories, which is why it is impossible to show up without an agenda, and why I believe "proper sexual relationships" require some boxes and boundaries in order to truly be sacred and authentic.

    anonymous Aug 30, 2014 11:49pm

    Hi Dani, thank you for your comment – it's good to get 'challenged'!
    Let me try to answer…
    First of all, you equate not having a choice with being unconscious, but I don't.
    For me following my heart fully involves a sense of spontaneity and abandon that is HIGHLY conscious, not at all unconscious. Things 'just happen' not because I'm not aware, but because I'm flowing fully in consciousness.
    Secondly, the sexual aspect of these relationships is not the main one. The main one is to do with love, feeling, warmth. Real, deep, intimacy.
    For example, the girl I referred to in the video at the end – I love her deeply. And if we end up having some kind of physical / sexual intimacy when we see each other, that's always beautiful. Yes, we become entwined in each other's stories, but not with agenda! There is not need for agenda when you're fully conscious. Why not just allow the natural expression of love to flow into hugging, or kissing, or making love? If we are not in a committed relationship with another (which I would prefer, I'd like to point out – I'm not seeking to avoid intimacy, but rather to find as much of it as I can!), then why not allow our other relationships to be as intimate as they can be?
    I really do understand your doubts – until recently I would have run a mile from an article / video like this, thinking "this guy just wants to get laid". But that's really not what I'm saying / experiencing lately…

anonymous Aug 30, 2014 6:22pm


I’m in awe of you and this message about relationships. Being a divorcee for the past two years and taking the necessary time to dig deep into soul searching before entering another relationship I truly needed this. If everyone were to be cognoscente of the message you shared on relationships from a very young age can you imagine how different the world would be, particularly the divorce rate here in the US. In addition, the part about “children are to be seen and not heard” was the basis of parenting from my own parents and grandparents. Being a product of it, I was aware how detrimental it was to me and now make a conscious effort not to do so to my daughter, rather, let her be who she is within the boundaries of respect for herself and others. You are truly amazing and an inspiration of infinite wisdom. Namaste my friend.

    anonymous Aug 30, 2014 11:42pm

    Thank you Megan and congratulations on the great job I'm sure you're doing raising your beautiful daughter. Yes, imagine what the world will look like when this next generation (and the one after!) grow up. We're sowing the seeds…

anonymous Aug 30, 2014 3:52pm

Thankyou <3

anonymous Aug 30, 2014 2:47pm

So how is your relationship with your ex now? I am struggling on that very point: I love my ex (although he is not "the one") but when we do meet up & make love (because we do!), my mind does get a but "fuzzy" & nostalgic…..
Btw, appreciate the "box theory"!

    anonymous Aug 30, 2014 11:40pm

    The fuzziness and nostalgia is the very thing you need to examine closely. What is that? You know you are not each other's "one". So the nostalgia is a longing for something that is not real. Therefore it is fear based. Be with that feeling fully – the nostalgia – and go deeply into it, and you will see that it's fear. Free yourself from that fear and I can guarantee you one thing – you'll be a lot closer to finding a relationship that truly fulfils you!

anonymous Aug 30, 2014 2:20pm

Ben thank you for your video and your unique perspective. What happens or how do you handle insecurities when they come up? What about being open to the idea of intimacy without commitment but the other person wants to see other people but doesn't like like the idea of you being open to others

    anonymous Aug 30, 2014 11:38pm

    Insecurities definitely come up. Then the only thing to do is 'heal' them – look at them closely, deeply, find out what they're really about, and free ourselves from them (see the reply I made to Krista, above). That's the very reason why I'm attracted to this level of intimacy – because it brings up our fears and insecurities. But it takes a very mature and fearless person to do this – I guess it's not for everyone.

      anonymous Aug 31, 2014 9:01am

      Thank you so much for both replies. I firmly believe that the only way the be free of our fears is to face things head on… And dig until you find the real root of the problem. I would also think that both partners would have to be mature and fearless for this to work. It really can't be onsided. Beautiful insight.. Thank you so much, again.

        anonymous Aug 31, 2014 12:05pm

        yes, it absolutely can't be one-sided. If it's one sided get the hell out. The sooner the better. I've spent many years in a one sided relationship where I wanted more authenticity, more intimacy, more consciousness and the other wanted less. Of course, I learnt a lot about my own stuff in the meantime (why did I allow myself only that, why compromise so much?), but if you can avoid that, do!

anonymous Aug 30, 2014 2:09pm

Great video. What you're suggesting is spot on. Terrifying, but spot on.

    anonymous Aug 30, 2014 11:36pm

    Terrifying, yes, it can be. Because it brings up all our fears.
    But the alternative is much more terrifying to me – to live all our lives whilst only avoiding our fears, suppressing them, and therefore always being ruled by them.
    As we face those fears and allow ourselvse to be terrified by them without being ruled by them we slowly become more and more fearless, more powerful… until we're truly free.

anonymous Aug 30, 2014 9:51am

Ben, what is your take on the level of intimacy one would sustain with an ex while in a new relationship?

    anonymous Aug 30, 2014 12:53pm

    The thing is that it takes two to tango. All you can do is remain open to your ex. if your ex is open to you, then why not be completely intimate with them (I don't mean sexually – that's a whole other question, right?!)

anonymous Aug 29, 2014 10:21pm

This is so great! Spot on! Thanks for sharing your whole heart!

anonymous Aug 29, 2014 7:39pm

Thank you Ben so much for the video. I am finding my authentic self again after my divorce, I had put myself in a box, never thinking I could ever want a relationship again. I have emerged well through yoga, meditation. Thank you for talking about the space between. I never knew how much that space would mean until this point of my life, I am in a new relationship for over a year now and I feel its the first time I have ever really wanted the entire relationship. I feel like its the first time I ever wanted to understand someone completely with no judgments. Do you think I am staying in 1 box still? I will message you on Facebook…I look forward to your other videos and blogs as well. I wish I would have found you on the web years ago!!!!!

    anonymous Aug 30, 2014 12:50pm

    Hi Celeste, no it sounds to me like you aren't in a box at all now. If you want the entire relationship, and want to understand someone completely with no judgment – that's real intimacy! Just watch out that as the intimacy deepens blockages don't come up – well, they will: watch that you face them squarely, observing what happens internally (how you feel) and what kind of reaction you make. In other words stay authentic, stay courageous.
    Feel free to msg me. And more videos on the way.
    Thanks for your comment.

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Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston has been practising personal development—necessity being the Mother of invention—since he was about six years old. He’s been teaching and sharing what he’s learnt along the way for a couple of decades. His main thing is Heart of Tribe retreats—whose very purpose is to help you fall back in love with life, no less. Leading these retreats alongside his woman Kara-Leah Grant—also an elephant journal writer (that’s how they met!)—they combine a deep well of lineage-based yoga teaching experience, with expertise in healing trauma and various other methods of personal development. Ben also works with clients one-on-one via Skype, writes, makes videos from time to time, and is passionate about parenting.
He lives in an intentional, tribal community in the hills of Croatia, where you might find him gardening barefoot and talking to the rocks. Connect with Ben on Facebook or YouTube or check out his website for more info.