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Buddhism and heartbreak

edited November 2010 in Buddhism Basics
I must say that thus far for me, no experience has been as impactful as that of heartbreak. You could say it prompted me to delve even deeper in philosophy (and subsequently buddhism) to find some peace of mind.

I was not happy to find how much it made sense that, to find true peace, forgetting the idea of romantic relationships indefinitely, might be in order.

I'm speaking as one who is not ready to give up on the idea of having a long lasting romantic relationship in the future.

I have only been in love once in my life. I have grow more peaceful since things ended a few months back but my mind still has a lot of questions. I don't want to get back to my ex, but my belief in the feasibility of a romantic partner has been severely hurt.

I have always been very romantic, very idealistic about love. I have had my first real relationship at an age where most people probably have already had some (23). It was intentional. I told myself I'd have to be in a relationship for all the right reasons, and didn't let other peoples advise and talk of sex or romance or anything else sway me. My relationship role model has been that of my parents who have been together for more than 40 years and who were each other's only long term relationship. I always wished I had something like that one day, and regarded the experiences of most people in today society's (my siblings included) with a certain sense of pity - on and off, on and off, completely irrational and being slaves to their ephemeral emotions.

My ex loved me very much, and told me I was special, even though she had had a lot more experience that I did, and had been in several long term relationships. She even spoke of how much the thought of having a baby with me made her happy. She has recently moved on and has a new boyfriend. She has always been honest with me but I'm still shocked at how fast she moved on.

I care for her immensely but I know we weren't right for each other despite our deep love. You could say that I was the catalyst of the break up, even though it hurt me terribly - I knew we would never be happy together in the long term due to a lot of context which I don't feel like sharing here. No regrets, we did the right thing as she eventually agreed.


She told me I need to open my heart to love again, since I've been depressed ever since I learned of her new boyfriend. I don't act or say much, but we kept in touch just to check up on one another. She moved on. But how?

My issue is not with her, but with human nature. She was just as attached as I was I think, and yet she leads her life without ever looking back. I think she isn't very skilled, because she doesn't learn with her mistakes....but she does have a big heart. She would never hurt anyone intentionally.

The question that keeps bugging me is, what is the point? What is the point of being in a romantic relationship if nothing is sacred to it? How can I ever expect to have kids and raise them in a healthy and durable environment, if relationships are so fragile no matter how deeply in love people might be?

How can she have moved on, and I'm still hurting? Are these people that are in and out of relationships again and again doing nothing wrong, and I'm the fool for putting so much weight into it?

What advice in the light of buddhism would you guys have for me? How should I view romantic relationships? What should I want for me, and what is asking too much? I'm not a co-dependent fool, I can assure you. I'm very independent and have good self-esteem.

I want the suffering associated with this to end, but at the same time I recognize I'll never be fully realized without a relationship. But make no mistake - I'm quite wary of rebound relationships or "looking" for love again. I don't look for love. I probably won't want it for a very long time and I'm at peace with that. I think my ex can't bear to be alone for long, but that's not me. I just want to believe I can build a long lasting romantic relationship in the future, with someone better suited for me (and I her), and while there might be no secret formulas, there is a perspective that might help me.

Thanks for reading my long pathetic rant.

Comments

  • edited November 2010
    Epicurus wrote: »
    She told me I need to open my heart to love again, since I've been depressed ever since I learned of her new boyfriend. I don't act or say much, but we kept in touch just to check up on one another. She moved on. But how?

    Her love for you changed form.
    The question that keeps bugging me is, what is the point?

    None. It is what you make of it.
    What is the point of being in a romantic relationship if nothing is sacred to it?

    It depends on what we actually mean by love. Venerable Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche said love is a state of emotion, is very ambiguous and we hardly really know what love means at all. A lot of the time, we are taught different things about love, we idealize it. It's a sort of aspiration we have that cannot be realized because a lot of the concepts that surround love are abstract, and we are conditioned to thinking it is beyond possible human experience, that it's like chasing the horizon. It is too abstract to be of any concrete human experience and because of that we begin to look at our relationships in a very misguided way.

    When we fall in love for instance, we feel that we're meant for each other, and everything is rosy. But then gradually things deteriorate and we think we're not in love at all. The interesting thing here is that we always think that love is something sacred, it is the least human thing that one can have. One has to see love as a simple human experience. There is nothing particularly divine about the whole thing, when we begin to look at the concept of love in this particular context.

    Love, like any other emotion is a human experience, and it is a strategy that we have developed to relate to another person, or other people as the case may be. So first of all, what we have to realise is that there is no such thing as a love that is so pure, and so fantastic, that it is going to cure all our neuroses, all our problems and that if we have a little taste of the elixir of love, then all of a sudden we are all going to become so happy and the whole thing is going to become a rosy way of life. That is not necessarily a very good picture of love, because normally we tend to think that love is not like that.

    But what is it? What we might regard as love, is completely beyond human experience; it is just a concept, that is too remote from immediate human experiences. So when we begin to look at the whole thing that way, then we begin to realise that love, like any other emotional experience, like jealousy, pride, etc, is an emotion. As an emotion, it is something that we have constructed, we have constituted, and therefore love, anger, jealousy and so forth are skills that we have created. Usually we don't want to acknowledge that. We would rather see emotions as simply happening to us, completely outside of our control. When we look at our emotions that way, then the whole thing is a cop-out, because we do not want to take individual responsibilities and we blame the whole thing on our emotions. When we have an argument, how many times do we say: ''I didn't really mean it, I didn't really want to do that, but I couldn't help it. This thing just suddenly overtook me and I had no control at all." If we really look at the whole thing, we begin to realise we meant every single word we said, and we also meant whatever we
    did. We actually know, in terms of extreme agitated states of mind, what we are doing, because in fact we know how to get to a person's weakest point and we know how to make a person feel insecure. We also choose those moments to attack the person very intelligently and skilfully. When we act out emotions we simply continue to do that again and again and we do not gain any insight into our emotions. So emotions are not something that we have to release as we go - just like when we want to have a piss, we can't resist, we just go and piss, then we feel relieved afterwards. Emotions are not like that. Emotions are consciously developed.

    The situation can be resolved through making proper measurement of it, through making a proper judgement of it, through making intellectual assessment of it as well. So we stop thinking that emotions are related to us as impulses. If we can see things that way then we begin to re-orient our whole situation in relation to ourselves, or other people or another person.
    We begin to develop our relationship on a whole new foundation and then we begin to take more responsibility for actions and so forth. We in turn begin to blame less and less our emotional blindness which makes us go crazy and then afterwards go and say, "it was stupid of me to do that but I just couldn't help myself," and the other person is supposed to act as a forgiving person and come to some reconciliation and of course that gives you some kind of satisfaction as well.

    Sometimes we go out of our way to have drama, to act it out. Then we make it up and making it up is so fantastic, it is so uplifting that we have to go through the dramatic thing again only to say I didn't really mean it. So in this particular situation, what we have to realize is that this is what we do and when we say something, that is exactly what we are saying, that is exactly what we are doing. We have to take responsibility for those actions if our relationship is to be genuine and sincere. There is no panacea that can be introduced out of thin air that will solve all our problems in our relationship. For example, unattainable love, the concept of romantic love that we have which is supposed to demolish any problems we might have in our relationship, with one stroke.
    How can I ever expect to have kids and raise them in a healthy and durable environment, if relationships are so fragile no matter how deeply in love people might be?

    Look at relationship on human terms, and unconditionally.
    How can she have moved on, and I'm still hurting?

    Attachment.
    Are these people that are in and out of relationships again and again doing nothing wrong, and I'm the fool for putting so much weight into it?

    Uh, it is a consequence of your way of thinking, but you owe yourself some compassion.
    What advice in the light of buddhism would you guys have for me? How should I view romantic relationships?

    Understand the 3 marks of existence. All things are impermanent. All divided emotions lead to suffering. There is no self.
    Thanks for reading my long pathetic rant.

    I hope I am helping more than harming with this. :(
  • edited November 2010
    I agree with your 6 big paragraphed thought, for the most part, but your advice is a bit too abstract if you don't mind me saying. Yes, 3 marks of existence. That is the canon. But we ARE talking about the middle way here. There needs to be a way to be in a relationship and at peace. Concretely, what you advise me to do in my case then? To enjoy them for how long they last? To forget long term plans like kids since they are impermanent by nature? What do you mean by looking at the relationship on human terms and unconditionally?

    - Yes, she moved on because she is less attached. But isn't romantic love all about attachment? How do long term relationships flourish if there is no sense of attachment?



    I dunno if you are helping more than harming lool. :) But I thank you for your help. If you feel comfortable I'd love to hear your PERSONAL view on romance and and you choose to regard it in your life (if at all).
  • edited November 2010
    Epicurus wrote: »
    IYes, 3 marks of existence. That is the canon. But we ARE talking about the middle way here. There needs to be a way to be in a relationship and at peace. Concretely, what you advise me to do in my case then?

    Look at relationships realistically and not idealistically.
    To enjoy them for how long they last?

    That's a part of it. Dropping expectations is a huge part.
    To forget long term plans like kids since they are impermanent by nature?

    Whose plans are these? Think about it. You have already created an expectation from a relationship that hasn't even happened yet.
    What do you mean by looking at the relationship on human terms and unconditionally?


    No expectation. A relationship should have none.
    Yes, she moved on because she is less attached. But isn't romantic love all about attachment?

    No it is not. It's about mutual unconditional love. One that can withstand any trial because of equanimity.
    How do long term relationships flourish if there is no sense of attachment?

    Forever.
    I dunno if you are helping more than harming lool. :) But I thank you for your help. If you feel comfortable I'd love to hear your PERSONAL view on romance and and you choose to regard it in your life (if at all).

    I view all relationships as something that I cultivate with boundless unconditional love. This love expresses itself in many ways. It doesn't have any agendas, and I don't project my desires on my partner. I see them for how they are when I date. I just broke up with a 3 year+ relationship because I found that his love was conditional and that he didn't mutually respect my fears. So we parted ways romantically but we're still good friends, and I love him. ;)
  • edited November 2010
    How can you have unconditional love in a romantic relationship if they are BASED on conditions??

    What is the DRIVE to be in a ROMANTIC relationship, if there are no expectations? If people didn't want something in return they would not feel the need to be in a ROMANTIC relationship. Unconditional love can be practiced outside of romance. That's where you truly give without expecting anything in return.

    Be honest with me. What was your drive in even pursuing the relationship if it was all unconditional? If it's unconditional you don't discriminate! You give the same ammount of love to everyone you know, not choose one person to be withe specifically.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Epicurus wrote: »
    How can you have unconditional love in a romantic relationship if they are BASED on conditions??
    It's never unconditional. That's a romantic myth.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Unconditional love would be the love you have for all sentient beings... including those who burned the jews in ovens, those who were burnt, a fish, and a rapist.
  • edited November 2010
    Exactly. So how to approach romantic relationships?!
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Jeffrey wrote: »
    Unconditional love would be the love you have for all sentient beings... including those who burned the jews in ovens, those who were burnt, a fish, and a rapist.

    Yes, fine, but if you found out your romantic partner was secretly burning jews in ovens as a hobby, how long would your romantic relationship last?

    I can open my heart to George W. Bush without foolishly hoping that he will feed my craving for emotional connection and validation.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Fivebells, we agree that romantic relationships are not unconditional.

    I was just pointing out that there was unconditional love in the context of buddhism. It is thought of (at least in yogacara) as being covered up by distorted ways of thinking. As we sit in meditation we see clearly those distortions and let them go; dissolve them if you will. Part of the love being unconditional is that it is discovered rather created (at least in the yogacara).

    A relationship can help us to stretch towards unconditional. It can challenge us. For instance when we have a fight or something and we let it go eventually and forgive eachother. Letting go of anger is in the direction of unconditional love as it is an example of removing an obstruction. (not that feeling anger is wrong if you express it skillfully and clearly). So in that sense you CAN feel a sense of learning something postive. That is what the other poster has experienced in her relationships I believe. But no if she found her lover was burning people in ovens she'd run like hell.

    Healing your own emotional wounds can help unconditional love manifest. As can not being ruled by others emotional wounds. As can metta practice.
  • edited November 2010
    If you love everyone equally.. it might be logical to take one as a wife or girlfriend.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Jeffrey wrote: »
    Fivebells, we agree that romantic relationships are not unconditional.
    Sorry I misunderstood you.
  • Mr_SerenityMr_Serenity Veteran
    edited November 2010
    I'll try to make it simple, because without my heartbreak I probably wouldn't have got into Buddhism.

    The Dalai Lama suggests that if there is a solution to a problem, there is no need to worry. And if there is no solution, there is no need to worry.
    After a severe break up you can do whatever you can to mend the relationship, but you must be able to see your limits. For a relationship to be fulfilling, the love must come from both sides. If it only comes from one side then it is no longer a relationship.

    So what is done is done, and no need to worry when it is over. You may think you lost the perfect one, but she/he was obviously a bitch for betraying you, thus they weren't perfect. And it's time to let them go. What fixes lost love the best, is getting it again with someone new.

    And to get that is a process that you can work on instead of dwelling on what is lost.


    fivebells wrote: »
    It's never unconditional. That's a romantic myth.

    I offer unconditional love to my women when I get one I really like. So it's not a myth with me. Unfortunately I haven't met any women that think the same way I do :lol:.
  • edited November 2010
    TheFound wrote: »
    If you love everyone equally.. it might be logical to take one as a wife or girlfriend.

    How so? Forgetting for a second no one can actually love everyone equally (unless he/she has achieved nirvana perhaps).
    After a severe break up you can do whatever you can to mend the relationship, but you must be able to see your limits. For a relationship to be fulfilling, the love must come from both sides. If it only comes from one side then it is no longer a relationship.

    The relationship has ended. I don't want to mend that relationship. I'm talking about my outlook on the future.
    So what is done is done, and no need to worry when it is over. You may think you lost the perfect one, but she/he was obviously a bitch for betraying you, thus they weren't perfect. And it's time to let them go. What fixes lost love the best, is getting it again with someone new.

    She wasn't a bitch and she didn't betray me.

    And what fixes lost love the best is getting again with someone new?!

    That's exactly what I disagree with. That's how people end up in one relationship after the other without ever getting one right.

    TheFound wrote: »
    I offer unconditional love to my women when I get one I really like. So it's not a myth with me. Unfortunately I haven't met any women that think the same way I do :lol:.

    If it was unconditional you wouldn't say unfortunately. You want something, so it's not unconditional.
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `   South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Epicurus wrote: »
    The question that keeps bugging me is, what is the point? What is the point of being in a romantic relationship if nothing is sacred to it? How can I ever expect to have kids and raise them in a healthy and durable environment, if relationships are so fragile no matter how deeply in love people might be?

    I'm sorry, but I cannot see all the posts and the ones I can haven't dealt with this issue.

    Romantic Love is the kind that needs not even ever be requited, viz, the troubadours. By Very Definition, the Beloved escapes the ability to be defined, as his or her magnetic hold on the Lover has no boundaries.

    The point of being in an intimate romantic relationship is to make skirmishes into the inner sanctum, as it were, of the magnetic field. There, in mystic communion, the Beloved becomes One with the Beloved.

    A loving relationship in which both parties continue to be valued, enraptured at times, and understood by the other is just simply NOT a fragile relationship.

    Lucky be the man or woman who should find this great Prize.
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 2010
    Epicurus wrote: »
    (. . .)
    My relationship role model has been that of my parents who have been together for more than 40 years and who were each other's only long term relationship. I always wished I had something like that one day, and regarded the experiences of most people in today society's (my siblings included) with a certain sense of pity - on and off, on and off, completely irrational and being slaves to their ephemeral emotions.
    Notwithstanding this, your parents still have to go through their separation, at one point.
    My ex loved me very much, and told me I was special, even though she had had a lot more experience that I did, and had been in several long term relationships. She even spoke of how much the thought of having a baby with me made her happy. She has recently moved on and has a new boyfriend. She has always been honest with me but I'm still shocked at how fast she moved on.
    The people who end the relationship, are the ones who control things. It's those who care less, who control most.
    I care for her immensely but I know we weren't right for each other despite our deep love. You could say that I was the catalyst of the break up, even though it hurt me terribly - I knew we would never be happy together in the long term due to a lot of context which I don't feel like sharing here. No regrets, we did the right thing as she eventually agreed.
    Well ok...Who actually terminated the relationship? Who of you two actually said, "it has to end, I think we should break up."...?

    She told me I need to open my heart to love again, since I've been depressed ever since I learned of her new boyfriend. I don't act or say much, but we kept in touch just to check up on one another.
    Bad idea.
    Very bad.
    Very, very bad.
    Bad.
    Yup.

    Bad.
    She moved on. But how?
    because she could.
    It's really that simple. She managed what you cannot.
    You broke up, but she was more comfortable with the idea of living her days without you, than you are about living your days without her.
    My issue is not with her, but with human nature
    No.
    Your issue is with your poor perception and lack of acceptance of the nature of others.
    You are the source of your problem.
    Not 'Human nature'.
    She was just as attached as I was I think
    Eer... no, I don't think so....
    ,and yet she leads her life without ever looking back.
    QED....
    I think she isn't very skilled, because she doesn't learn with her mistakes....but she does have a big heart. She would never hurt anyone intentionally.
    Oh, on the contrary. I think she's very good at it.
    She's loved completely, then moved on.
    I would at this point, advise you stop looking at her actions, reactions, responses and habits - and focus on you, and you alone.
    She's history.
    Gone.
    Out of your life.
    No longer in the picture.
    off the radar.
    Ex.
    Not an option.
    Off the attention board.
    Not to be considered....

    The question that keeps bugging me is, what is the point? What is the point of being in a romantic relationship if nothing is sacred to it?
    Whatever is sacred in it, is what you put into it to be sacred.
    A good relationship never stops being sacred, whether the relationship continues or not.
    The sacredness of a relationship is for you to nourish, during, and after.
    How can I ever expect to have kids and raise them in a healthy and durable environment, if relationships are so fragile no matter how deeply in love people might be?
    I think you are failing to see the difference between healthy attachment, and unhealthy attachment.
    Relationships are not fragile
    it's the people whom are fragile.
    You are currently too fragile.
    And I think you always have been.
    How can she have moved on, and I'm still hurting? Are these people that are in and out of relationships again and again doing nothing wrong, and I'm the fool for putting so much weight into it?
    You place too much emphasis on having a significant other in your life to give your life meaning.
    The state you must cultivate is to make Love, relationships and commitment sacred, to yourself, on your own, for yourself, before seeking someone who can share that with you.
    Your happiness, serenity and well-being anre not dependent on having a significant other, in your life.
    Your dependency on this cohesion borders on the neediness, and it makes for an unhealthy outlook.
    As you have been shown....

    What advice in the light of buddhism would you guys have for me? How should I view romantic relationships? What should I want for me, and what is asking too much? I'm not a co-dependent fool, I can assure you. I'm very independent and have good self-esteem.
    Not from where I'm sitting.
    This may be the perception you have of yourself, but I see somebody with very high expectations from their partner who is looking for an ideal that cannot exist.
    Not until you understand that everything has a beginning, a middle and an end, and that you can - and should - love as passionately, as COMpassionately, fully, completely and givingly as you can - and be prepared in equal measure, with equal emotions, to release, and let go, when the time comes to let go.

    I want the suffering associated with this to end, but at the same time I recognize I'll never be fully realized without a relationship.
    Big mistake.
    BIG.
    Huge.
    if you really and truly believe that you will never be 'fully realised without a relationship' - then you are setting yourself up for many, short-term, unfulfilling, unsatisfactory, heart-breaking and brief liaisons.
    because your desire is almost an obsession. And that shows in your contribution to the relationship, and that is why you fail.
    This is how - and why - your ex- has moved on, apparently so easily.
    Because she loved sensibly.
    You loved to excess, and smothered with your desire for perfection.
    That is what she meant when she hoped you would open yourself up to love.
    because what you seek, isn't 'Love'.
    It's unrealistic, and unattainable.

    I'm not suggesting you lower your standards.
    I'm strongly suggesting you take a long hard look at them, re-evaluate them, and reconsider your motivation, objectives and criteria.
    But make no mistake - I'm quite wary of rebound relationships or "looking" for love again. I don't look for love. I probably won't want it for a very long time and I'm at peace with that. I think my ex can't bear to be alone for long, but that's not me.
    While you make comparisons between your outlook and hers, you will never move on.
    You need to stop focussing on her input, contribution and perceived attitude and opinion, and look to yourself, for there is where the issue lies.
    I just want to believe I can build a long lasting romantic relationship in the future, with someone better suited for me (and I her), and while there might be no secret formulas, there is a perspective that might help me.
    The perspective is to completely embrace and accept that nobody will ever completely embrace your perspective.
    You will never find your mirror.
    You will find a person with ideas, attitudes, opinions, ideals, desires, dreams, goals and objectives different to yours - and that's ok.
    You need to accept that whoever you meet, will not always be in symbiosis with you, or have the same aims.
    Sure, you'll meet in the middle, 95% of the time.
    but there will be times where your views are polar opposites.
    and you'll have to deal with that rationally, head-on, and accept it, not run away from it.
    Thanks for reading my long pathetic rant.
    That's ok.
    Nuthin' on TV, and I had nothing else to do.....:p
    :)
  • edited November 2010
    Epicurus wrote: »
    How can you have unconditional love in a romantic relationship if they are BASED on conditions??

    That's the mistake. There aren't any. I loved myself, he loved himself, and we loved each other. We wanted to express it intimately. We didn't expect anything. We let it go the way it naturally went without the confinement.
    What is the DRIVE to be in a ROMANTIC relationship, if there are no expectations?

    Loving-kindness. Obviously, an intimate expression of loving kindness.
    If people didn't want something in return they would not feel the need to be in a ROMANTIC relationship.

    That's the problem, you want something from the other person and that takes the pure love and makes it selfish. A poem comes to mind:

    <table align="CENTER" bgcolor="#ffffff" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td>L[SIZE=-1]OVE[/SIZE] not me for comely grace,</td><td valign="top" align="right">[SIZE=-2] [/SIZE]</td></tr> <tr><td>For my pleasing eye or face,</td><td valign="top" align="right">[SIZE=-2] [/SIZE]</td></tr> <tr><td>Nor for any outward part,</td><td valign="top" align="right">[SIZE=-2] [/SIZE]</td></tr> <tr><td>No, nor for a constant heart:</td><td valign="top" align="right">[SIZE=-2] [/SIZE]</td></tr> <tr><td> For these may fail or turn to ill,</td><td valign="top" align="right">[SIZE=-2] 5[/SIZE]</td></tr> <tr><td> So thou and I shall sever:</td><td valign="top" align="right">[SIZE=-2] [/SIZE]</td></tr> <tr><td>Keep, therefore, a true woman's eye,</td><td valign="top" align="right">[SIZE=-2] [/SIZE]</td></tr> <tr><td>And love me still but know not why—</td><td valign="top" align="right">[SIZE=-2] [/SIZE]</td></tr> <tr><td> So hast thou the same reason still</td><td valign="top" align="right">[SIZE=-2] [/SIZE]</td></tr> <tr><td> To doat upon me ever!</td></tr></tbody></table>

    Unconditional love can be practiced outside of romance. That's where you truly give without expecting anything in return.

    Then your idea for a relationship is corrupted.
    Be honest with me. What was your drive in even pursuing the relationship if it was all unconditional?

    Love of course. We wanted to make each other happy. To express how we feel about each other. There were no expectations of anything in particular.
    If it's unconditional you don't discriminate!

    That's right, when we got into a car accident we loved each other, in times of hardship we loved each other. Even when we were mad at each other we forgave, reconciled and made the effort to understand each other. That is the no discrimination. The circumstances didn't change.
    You give the same ammount of love to everyone you know, not choose one person to be withe specifically.

    Of course, but you express your love for them in different ways.:lol:

    For example, I intend to show my love for criminals by preaching Dharma for them. I show my love and appreciation for my parents by honoring and respecting them. I show my love for you by comforting you in times of pain. I show my love for you by trying my hardest to help you seek happiness. I showed my love for my ex, by letting our relationship go so he could find greater happiness too. None of my love is conditional, but it is expressed in different ways. :D
  • Mr_SerenityMr_Serenity Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Epicurus wrote: »
    The relationship has ended. I don't want to mend that relationship. I'm talking about my outlook on the future.

    Your outlook on the future is based on what you want. Not what other people tell you to want. And obviously you know a bit of what you want because you're coming across as aggressive and debating pretty hard for someone who is asking for advice.

    You either know what you want, or you don't. Everything good in life is worth fighting/struggling for. That includes the goal of making good relationships. They aren't easy to get right, but even if they fail once. It's possible* to make a good one that lasts. That is why it's worth to keep improving and shoot for that.

    She wasn't a bitch and she didn't betray me.
    It is good you feel this way. But if she didn't betray you, why was your heartbroken? Hearts only break from loss, and she did not die. She left you. After claiming you love someone and leaving them so easily, that is a form of betrayal or abandonment, you can call it either, that is why I mentioned it.

    It doesn't mean you have to dwell on that negative aspect.
    It's over now. That is the point I was making. Instead of thinking about how great she was and that she didn't betray you, you can let the whole thing go, and let it stop effecting your life when you want to.

    And what fixes lost love the best is getting again with someone new?!

    That's exactly what I disagree with. That's how people end up in one relationship after the other without ever getting one right.
    Notice I used the word *best. As in the most effective. I *didn't say that is what fixes lost love is only someone new. But look, you can do as much as you like to fix it, hobbies, philosophy, community, pets, etc. And you will be able to find peace.

    *But the feeling of sharing your life with a partner you love is unique. There are many things in life that can make you happy. But most of us are genetically coded to want to reproduce, or at least share our life with a special partner.

    To do it well is a whole process of building yourself up. Both physically, financially, and mentally. All fundamentals of a strong relationship. But then again, even if you do it as well as you can, it is still possible that both sides will not share the same love for each other.

    Even if this happens though, it is a goal that one should keep in mind, but not be obsessed with. It's not easy to make a good lasting relationship that is mutually beneficial. This is why it is special. Because it is something you can work for that has the potential of a great and unique reward.

    There is nothing else like it, that is why it's worth seeking. Again that doesn't mean being desperate for it and getting any girl off the net or in a bar. That means building yourself up in anticipation of it and becoming more ready for it, doing better with each coming relationship. Until you get it right, or you die and you know you did your best.

    If it was unconditional you wouldn't say unfortunately. You want something, so it's not unconditional.
    When a relationship gets to the deepest level of trust it can get to, I do offer my unconditional compassion, and loyalty. I hope that is not too hard to understand, we may just come from totally different cultures. But I come from a warrior culture that does not really believe in divorce and only gives up when there is no other option.

    I have the nature to want to make all my meaningful relationships work out at least from my side of the fence. That is what I mean by unconditional. If they don't work out well, I can let it go.
  • edited November 2010
    federica wrote: »
    Notwithstanding this, your parents still have to go through their separation, at one point.

    And they won't betray the memory of the life they had together to jump in to a new relationship.
    Well ok...Who actually terminated the relationship? Who of you two actually said, "it has to end, I think we should break up."...?

    None of us exactly. We had to put a term to it because we lived in different countries, and on her end specially, that couldn't ever change.
    because she could.
    It's really that simple. She managed what you cannot.
    You broke up, but she was more comfortable with the idea of living her days without you, than you are about living your days without her.

    You make it too clear cut. Last month I dated a girl for 2 weeks, to get to know her and we even kissed. But all the while I still had mixed feelings about my ex. When she told me she was seeing someone my heart sank and I knew I should end things with the girl I was dating.

    So it IS possible to start a relationship without being completely over someone. I "could" too.

    Eer... no, I don't think so....

    How do you know? She cried everyday. Initially she even was the one begging me to keep in touch with her via email (which I did). We were separated by context not lack of compatibility or love.
    Oh, on the contrary. I think she's very good at it.
    She's loved completely, then moved on.
    I would at this point, advise you stop looking at her actions, reactions, responses and habits - and focus on you, and you alone.

    How did she move on anymore than I did? By starting a new relationship?
    I'm only focusing because I need to understand if what she's doing is the way things should be done since I don't have much experience with relationships and she has a lot.

    But I know she has been consistently dissatisfied with not getting a relationship truly right. So if what she is doing is so good how come she is not happier?
    The sacredness of a relationship is for you to nourish, during, and after.

    Exactly, not something to banalize by going after a new relationship out of love for being love.
    Your dependency on this cohesion borders on the neediness, and it makes for an unhealthy outlook.
    As you have been shown....

    My dependency on this borders on the neediness? How do you know how independent I am? Just because I still love someone after we ended things? That seems a bit harsh.
    and be prepared in equal measure, with equal emotions, to release, and let go, when the time comes to let go.

    If attachment is so bad, why don't we all have polygamous relationships? We could love dozens of different people and not feel attached.

    If letting go, is about trivializing what has happened, then I'm not gonna do that.


    This is how - and why - your ex- has moved on, apparently so easily.
    Because she loved sensibly.
    You loved to excess, and smothered with your desire for perfection.
    That is what she meant when she hoped you would open yourself up to love.
    because what you seek, isn't 'Love'.
    It's unrealistic, and unattainable.

    You are assuming too much again. I'm beginning to feel offended almost. First you say to love unconditionally and fully, and now you tell me I loved with excess....all the while not knowing what happened in actuality.
    not run away from it.

    I didn't run away from any hard work. If I didn't respect her privacy I'd post some details about our relationship to show you how much I gave.


    You talked about impermanence but how does that affect my decisions for the future? Should I date a girl because she is cute or intelligent? Should I date her because she is sexually attracted? In the midst of all this unconditional giving you talk about, how do I know which person to give it to? What are the good reasons to want to get to know someone better enough to love her romantically?
    federica wrote: »
    That's ok.
    Nuthin' on TV, and I had nothing else to do.....:p
    :)

    Thanks. I don't shun help, but I would ask you to please assume less about what I did.
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `   South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Hey, Epicurus:

    What Fede said still makes perfect sense to me from the perspective of detachment. The sword of discernment has to be sharp and sometimes very hard. Let go a little. (I deleted my former second post above, btw, as it said nothing at all.)

    Fede is right. Life is fragile and that's why the Dharma is vital for our happiness.
    Nobody is finding fault with You!

    All our attitudes and the actions that spring from them stand in need of further examination.

    We're all in the same boat here. We can all let the sorrows overcome the joys if we let them, if we don't just let things go.

    If our happiness depends on something over which we have little or no control, we can never hope to be happy. Life is fragile; therefore cherish each moment. We may never pass this way again.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited November 2010
    As a practical guide I support feds idea to never keep up with an ex.

    But as a buddhist I believe you are connected in your heart. If you believe in future lives you probably will meet again.

    And I don't know about romantic lovers but you NEVER give up on your friends. Even when for practical reasons you cannot be with them.
  • edited November 2010
    Exactly. It's agape. And she was my best friend. I don't care about romance, I would go to great lengths just to see her happy. I want her to be happy. One more reason why her moving on like this brings discomfort to me...I'm pretty sure she didn't embrace and truly overcame the pain of our breakup. She was emailing me about two weeks before she met her new boyfriend saying how much the wonderful memories were tormenting her. I know that jumping to a new relationship like this like she always did, is not good for her. We are never gonna even meet again. I accepted that, long ago. I truly love her and want her to be happy...pains me to see her fooling herself.


    I will to Fruit Punch Wizard and Mr Serenity later but thanks, don't think I didn't read your posts :)


    Nirvana : I understand you know...how attachment is the bane of our existence. But still I don't trust myself to ever achieve nirvana.....it's just too hard. I want to ride the middle way possibly....IF it brings me more happiness than my current mindframe. But I don't want to devalue the connection I have with people. And I believe one can be happy in a long term relationship. Not without pain of course, but with work and compassion.
  • edited November 2010
    Take your time, know I'm still here for you if you need to talk.
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 2010
    Every single person on here who has given you constructive input, you have rejoined with argument, contradiction and challenge.

    What exactly is it that you want from us?

    As someone who has trained as a Relationships counsellor, and being Buddhist, I see the two sides, I really do.
    But they have to occasionally be dealt with on separate levels.

    One the purely emotional relationships front, first of all, you're over-thinking things, and seeking too many answers about her and her state, to ever get closure.
    The only person who can give you any type of satisfactory closure on this, is you.
    You need to stop focussing on the whys and wherefores of her thoughts, words and deeds, because unless you are able to physically access the depths of her mind, you will never have definitive answers.... just more questions, to those answers. And Minds change, from one day to the next - so even if you got one answer now, you could ask the same question in a week, and then possibly gain a completely different answer.
    so you need to Let Go, of needing to know.
    It's fruitless, futile and self-defeating.

    You also need to break off contact, completely because your heart and mind are in too fragile a state to cope with this connection right now.
    When the moment comes that you can see her, standing in the arms of another guy, with two children at her side, the dog and the people-carrier, and think, genuinely, from your heart, that it's just great to see her with another guy, and happy - THEN will be the time to establish a friendship with her.
    But at the moment, all you keep doing is picking at and pulling the stitches from the fresh wound of separation, and your heart will never get the chance to heal.
    This is just torturing yourself and inflicting excess pain, where it's not necessary to do so.

    Remember then, that the majority of the pain you are experiencing is completely self inflicted, because you permit thoughts to snowball and create scenarios and enigmas in your head, that your logic and reason simply cannot deal with.
    Your emotions are not who you are, they do not define you, but currently, you are giving them too much free rein.
    You are not your best friend right now, and you should be.

    On a Buddhist level, you really are experiencing the second Noble truth in it's full force of ferocity.
    Letting go is not about trivialising anything.
    Where did I say that?
    Letting go is about Self-Respect, self-preservation and cherishing your right to be free of the shackles of the emotions which tie you down.

    If you cannot let go, then the problem lies with you, and has nothing to do with her, the relationship, what she is doing, why she's doing it, and what you think about it.
    Letting Go is the fundamental essence of the lesson held in the Four Noble Truths.
    And if you cannot - or will not - let go, then you are failing yourself, in your practice, because you are defying, or refusing to acknowledge and face that the Buddha is right.
    His main, fundamental teaching is, and always will be, the origin of suffering, and cessation of suffering.
    The understanding, knowing, acceptance and practice of this fundamental, unshakeable Truth is what Buddhism is all about.
    I am urging you to practice.
  • edited November 2010
    I guess the main issue I have with understanding the feasibility and the value behind this detachment is....

    ...what is the difference between letting go and repressing pain? Isn't repressing keeping the mind occupied with distractions to cover up the pain? That's what I don't want to do and what I think she is doing (I know I shouldn't focus on her, she's just the closest example of the alternative - what other people do that I'm afraid doesn't produce good results in overcoming pain).

    Isn't embracing pain first, a way of letting go? What would be repressing pain?


    And, I don't reject help. I just I'm wary of the pitfalls of mindlessly believing the advice of someone without questioning to understand it's essence first. I always be the devil's advocate. You could say I am a moral perfectionist and want to always ensure the outcome is balanced. I'm wary of repeating the same mistakes over and over again, that's why I analyze my thoughts and the world around me as deeply as I can.
  • edited November 2010
    Epicurus wrote: »
    I guess the main issue I have with understanding the feasibility and the value behind this detachment is....

    ...what is the difference between letting go and repressing pain?

    Repression is a type of aversion. Letting go means confronting your attachment and letting go the fetter that holds you back. It takes wisdom to cut it out.
    Isn't repressing keeping the mind occupied with distractions to cover up the pain?

    Yes, and it's more than that. It is an aversion to the thing that is making you suffer.
    Isn't embracing pain first, a way of letting go?

    Yes.
    What would be repressing pain?

    Attempting to avert your suffering using compartmentalization. This is a good brilliant set of questions. As I said, if you still need to talk we're here for you, but the problem comes with confronting the fetter that is making you suffer. I think the thing that is holding you back from realizing it is an idealized expectation of a perfect relationship. This only causes people to fail to meet your expectations which leads to disappointment. It also causes you to only to look for people to meet their personal needs. This is exploitative and selfish. I think the word "relationship" needs redefining in your mental dictionary before you can move on.
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 2010
    I'm afraid I completely agree, and it's a point I myself was trying to make, in a previous post....

    It matters little what kind of perfectionist you are - you are doomed to failure, because if it's moral perfection you seek, you will never find it by hoping people can conform to your perfectionist strictures.
    you need to let go of a lot of things - not the least of which is your perception and expectations.
    Truly, please believe me, we're not trying to be critical or cruel here.
    Quite the opposite.
    we're supportive, and are hoping to help you see that the source of your suffering, clinging, grasping and reluctance to release, is a huge hindrance to your healing and growth.
  • edited November 2010
    That's the mistake. There aren't any. I loved myself, he loved himself, and we loved each other. We wanted to express it intimately. We didn't expect anything. We let it go the way it naturally went without the confinement.

    Loving-kindness. Obviously, an intimate expression of loving kindness.

    Yes, but how did it come to be? I mean does initial attraction still happen in a healthy relationship of unconditional love? You still feel in love with the whole mixture of longing, lust and all the other emotions?

    I mean how do you know if you are failing in love for the right reasons? And how come you can't fall in love for someone you are not attracted to if it's all about unconditional love?
    That's the problem, you want something from the other person and that takes the pure love and makes it selfish. A poem comes to mind:

    Lol, I'm reminded of how I questioned my ex at the beginning whenever she gave me a compliment of how attractive or cool I was.....I always wanted to make sure she wasn't falling for me because of those things.

    So I really understand the poem. But like I asked before, how can we fall for the right reasons. Why don't I fall for lepers with a golden heart? I'm certainly not obsessed with looks at all (quite the contrary) and I hate superficiality....but what is the right balance? Is it okay to approach a girl to get to know her...because we find her beautiful....see? I just punish so much over these things....don't want to be superficial and do the wrong thing...
    Then your idea for a relationship is corrupted.

    Then why don't I fall in love with a man? Or with a girl I don't find at least a bit attractive? If it's unconditional why do we only fall for some people?
    That's right, when we got into a car accident we loved each other, in times of hardship we loved each other. Even when we were mad at each other we forgave, reconciled and made the effort to understand each other. That is the no discrimination. The circumstances didn't change.

    What I mean by discrimination is in the beginning stages. Why him? How do you know you are falling for the right reasons? Is it true if the emotions are there? But isn't buddhism all about not being a slave to our emotions? How do you know if you are falling for the right reasons?
    Of course, but you express your love for them in different ways.:lol:

    Why, cause we need physical intimacy in our lives, for example? Is that a good reason to do it?
    For example, I intend to show my love for criminals by preaching Dharma for them. I show my love and appreciation for my parents by honoring and respecting them. I show my love for you by comforting you in times of pain. I show my love for you by trying my hardest to help you seek happiness. I showed my love for my ex, by letting our relationship go so he could find greater happiness too. None of my love is conditional, but it is expressed in different ways. :D

    It's good that you mention "so he could find greater happiness". What should be the importance of romance in our lives? How far should we extend and sacrifice to make the other person happy? Should I have left the country to be with her at the time? For a healthy person...where does the romantic person figure in terms of personal needs?

    And thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it even if I make too many questions it's helping me :)
  • edited November 2010
    Epicurus wrote: »
    Yes, but how did it come to be? I mean does initial attraction still happen in a healthy relationship of unconditional love? You still feel in love with the whole mixture of longing, lust and all the other emotions?

    Nope. No lust, longing or stained, emotions. Pure unconditional love and the feelings of wanting to make each other happy.
    I mean how do you know if you are failing in love for the right reasons? And how come you can't fall in love for someone you are not attracted to if it's all about unconditional love?

    I don't know what you mean by attracted to, but let me explain this clearly:

    Loving-kindness
    Definition: Wishing others to be happy.
    Near enemy: Conditional love (attachment).
    Opposite: Wishing others to be unhappy: hatred --or-- not wishing others to be happy: which is indifference or egotism.
    Main qualities: Unconditional, no self-interest, but based on self-acceptance.

    It takes only one condition put on your relationship for it to be one made or based on attachment.
    Lol, I'm reminded of how I questioned my ex at the beginning whenever she gave me a compliment of how attractive or cool I was.....I always wanted to make sure she wasn't falling for me because of those things.

    It feels bad thinking that may be the case isn't it? It's because it ultimately means a person is using you for their own purposes to fulfill their needs. This means that once they are fulfilled they want you gone.
    So I really understand the poem.

    A favorite poem of mine!
    But like I asked before, how can we fall for the right reasons. Why don't I fall for lepers with a golden heart?

    No idea, I've never met a leper, but I know that regardless of their leprosy they deserve love, and to be loved.
    I'm certainly not obsessed with looks at all (quite the contrary) and I hate superficiality....but what is the right balance?

    There's no balance :lol: There's merely opportunity, and then loving kindness takes the positive energy where it goes.
    Is it okay to approach a girl to get to know her...because we find her beautiful....see? I just punish so much over these things....don't want to be superficial and do the wrong thing...

    So contrary to what you said before, looks actually do matter to you. If looks are really important to you you're going to need that good ole' reality check. The Meditation on Aging and Death and repulsiveness of the body should do the trick. :grin: Beauty and our own personal opinions on it don't mean a thing.
    Then why don't I fall in love with a man?

    I'm the wrong person to ask. I am bisexual, and have dated both genders!
    Or with a girl I don't find at least a bit attractive? If it's unconditional why do we only fall for some people?

    Don't say we when you mean "me". I don't care what men and women look like. See this is your problem. Unfair expectations on a partner.
    What I mean by discrimination is in the beginning stages. Why him?

    He was there for me, and wanted to make me happy, and I was there for him and I wanted to make him happy. We cared for each other and wanted to express our emotional intimacy openly. :rolleyes: so I guess it happened by magic? :lol: No form or feeling there. It was just love.
    How do you know you are falling for the right reasons? Is it true if the emotions are there?

    Attachment gives us the feeling of: How can this relationship fulfill MY needs? Real love would ask: What can I do for the OTHER?
    But isn't buddhism all about not being a slave to our emotions? How do you know if you are falling for the right reasons?

    Love with attachment consists of waves of emotion, usually creating invisible iron chains. This love tends to create bonds that may turn very unpleasant. You'll know what they are when you feel them.
    Why, cause we need physical intimacy in our lives, for example? Is that a good reason to do it?

    Scientists discovered that we have a need for the human touch. When it comes to fulfilling the bare necessities and needing warmth and comfort. Warmth and comfort has a much more powerful impact even if our physical needs are unfulfilled. :rolleyes: Scientists did an experiment with monkeys and this proved the value of touch.
    It's good that you mention "so he could find greater happiness". What should be the importance of romance in our lives?

    Simple happiness.
    How far should we extend and sacrifice to make the other person happy?

    As far as we can possibly go. No conditions means exactly that. No conditions.
    Should I have left the country to be with her at the time?

    No, but you should have considered offering an option for a long-distance relationship if you really were interested. If not, then it was a condition based on distance. You should be happy for her for seeking something to better herself. That's what a person who really loves her would do.

    For a healthy person...where does the romantic person figure in terms of personal needs?

    As a companion.
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran
    edited November 2010
    I would recommend a little book by a nun named Pema Chodron. The book is entitled "When Things Fall Apart", and it can be obtained very cheaply second-hand through amazon.com if money is a problem.

    You do not sound as if you are falling apart! But yes, the heartache of love lost stirs us to our core. And life in general has a way of throwing things at us in other ways too. So this little book sums up a totally-Buddhist way to deal with our sufferings. I couldn't begin to match her words so I won't even try.
  • edited November 2010
    I love that book. One of my favorites.
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 2010
    "The Places that Scare You" (By the same author) is pretty good, too.....
  • andyrobynandyrobyn Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Hi Epicurus, a thought from me - my qualification is that my relationship experiences have been the biggest motivator for my practice and I too can recommend Pema Chödrön's books.

    If she wanted to be with you she would be - a man I wanted to be with more than I have ever wanted anything in my life said to me that he had never met anyone before who he could talk to, enjoyed being with and felt connected to as he did with me ( and we weren't young at the time !! - lol ).
    I also still choose to believe him and have good memories ( rather than thinking he just said all those things to charm me - he didn't need to ) ... when it came to decision time, he decided that this didn't mean everything, that it wasn't possible due to many factors and chose not to change his life to be able to spend more time with me. Did it hurt? Yes. Did I feel betrayed, abandoned and disappointed? Of course I did - Was I ? By him - Yes, given what he told me. Was I really? No, as I didn't allow my wants, dreams, feelings and expectations to over run the reality of each moment - in which he wasn't doing those things. The only time we can do anything, be, accurately move forward is now and " she " is not here now.
  • edited November 2010
    That, and you can come to appreciate yourself much more.
  • edited November 2010
    I just want to poke my head in here to say thank you to Epicurus and everyone who posted on this thread.

    I was too embarrassed to ask almost this same series of questions - I've had this argument with the universe for months now, and it helps to see it all written out and discussed - to see all the little relevant lessons I've gleaned over months of study appear here in this thread. Back to the cushion.

    Namaste
  • edited November 2010
    Aye, I'm glad it's helped! I hope you feel happiness, health and freedom from the pain.
  • conradcookconradcook Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Ok, facts of life time.
    I mean how do you know if you are failing in love for the right reasons? And how come you can't fall in love for someone you are not attracted to if it's all about unconditional love?

    You keep coming back to these questions. What's happening are that you're trying to figure out what values you should use to organize your guiding principles. We can't tell you that.

    You have to figure it out yourself. What do you want in a romantic relationship? What is necessary to you that a relationship have in order for you to consider it good?

    Turn the question around. What has the relationship have to not have in order for you to consider it acceptable? -- I can give you answers to these questions, but they'd be my answers.

    One of the first things you've been told here is -- Buddhist view? Any romantic relationship will be (1) temporary; (2) unsatisfactory; and (3) won't be sufficient to reach who you truly are.

    Those three facts are enough to drive screaming any nice romantic American guy from the conversation. This is not what Hollywood offers. But -- it's the truth. Hollywood promises a dream; an illusion. Hollywood promises attachment to a myth.

    That doesn't mean you can't enjoy romance. It means that you need to enjoy it in a grown-up way.

    Look: learn the facts:

    1) The relationship is temporary. She'll break up with you tomorrow; or you'll fall out of love with her; or you'll grow old together and one of you will eventually die. "Happily ever after" means "still going on when the movie ends." In real life, the movie doesn't end.

    2) As you may have noticed, being in a relationship doesn't actually solve problems. At best it replaces them for different ones. (Yes, now I'm no longer lonely, but now I have to deal with this person all the time, and I still feel strangely alienated.) The relationship will not be satisfactory; it will still admit the possibility of suffering.

    Oh, not in Hollywood. But in real life.

    3) Weirdly alienated. "Of all the girls in the world, why am I dating this one? Why is she dating me? What does this mean?" -- Well, it means you're dating.

    See, that's what the symbolic vocabulary of romance is for. True love, happily ever after, etc. It's to apply meaning to the romance apart from what's actually going on. It's an attempt to hide from alienation; from the creepy idea that it doesn't really mean anything at all, apart from the fact that you've each decided you're together.

    There are other ways of applying meaning, besides the "soul mates" deal. It means you're powerful (or powerless). That one's especially applied when you look at romance as seduction. Or, that oneself or the other is a good or bad person.

    Ok? These are ways of applying meaning to an experience. Drop them. You can pick them up later -- they won't get erased from your brain. But, if you want to understand, just let them go.

    And look at what's actually happening.

    You and the girl (whichever girl it is in a particular case) each have emotions.

    You feel attracted to each other. That nervous, happy, scared thing. This is your body's way of motivating you to get in close, frequent contact and not to screw up.

    You feel curious about each other. Your body is motivating you to learn about the other person. Why? Because there may be things you need to know.

    You talk a lot. You're nice and not-too-nice to each other in ways that establish the power dynamic. The person who's nicer is weaker. Usually. Unless you learn to be Principlied Nice -- nice-without-giving-ground. Religions and codes of honor can be good for teaching that.

    If you learn the right things about each other -- if you each decide the other is the Right Kind of Person -- you get really insanely attracted to each other. This motivates you to overcome the social barriers and Start Dating.

    Now you're dating; but you're not in a relationship. That takes about a week or two. Here you're still evaluating one another, and the question is whether you'll Fall In Love -- that is, whether you'll bond.

    If you bond, you become a couple (in your minds), and the crazy attraction thing mellows out. But it's replaced by something deeper.

    Now, what happened with your girlfriend? She was older. She was more experienced. She knew going into it that it would very likely be temporary. She also knew that, if it was temporary, she could find someone else. Perhaps this gave her more courage than you to push the boundaries and see if she could make you jump through hoops. If she could, it might be that this made her lose interest.

    A very common pattern with women is that they stay with men who don't allow them to get their way in small things. Makes them confident that the man's powerful enough to take care of them. Or something. I don't pretend to understand women; I just notice the patterns.

    This might not have anything to do with you. I'm purely guessing.

    My advice is -- understand that there are boundaries to what romance can do for you. It doesn't define who you are as a person; it will be temporary (possibly very temporary); and it won't solve your problems.

    It might feel like it'll last forever. It might feel like you've always known each other. These are feelings. Enjoy them. But don't believe them.

    Choose what meaning you'll put to the relationship. But understand that you're putting meaning to it. The bond is real -- the emotion is there. However, if the conditions that created that emotion change too much, the emotion will evaporate. Poof! And you fall out of love, and maybe even wonder what you were thinking.

    Ask yourself what your values are. But pay attention to what you actually respond to and the kind of relationship you actually find yourself in; not what you imagine you want.

    Buddha bless,

    Conrad.
    [Deleted User]
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Hi Epicurus and others,

    At this moment I don't have the time to read through the entire thread (some posts are sooo long ;) ), but I felt like I had to reply to this. I will surely come back to read and maybe reply more in detail to things that have been posted.

    I've had the exact same experience Epi had in the last months of my life. I have been in one very serious relationship in my life that lasted for 6 years and ended about a year ago in an even more than usual heartbreaking way, but that doesn't need to be explained here. It was one of the hardest thing I ever had to face in my life. Even harder than the death of relatives. I loved her deeply and to be honest, still do love her. She had moved on to a new boyfriend within a few weeks and I seem to be stuck. Have not been close with any girl since. But I'm only stuck on the relational aspect of my life.

    Because in general I don't feel depressed like one might expect. It gave me a wonderful opportunity to learn, which I'm still doing from this. Looking closely at my feelings, I came to the conclusion that the main hurting didn't come from the fact that she left me, but from the fact she broke my view on relationships. It learned me that nothing is endless. Or at least, relationships aren't. People don't always love the same person forever, as I was thinking she would with me. Their also isn't really much choice on the matter.

    Offcourse this view of everlasting relationships is crazy if you look at it with a broad view, but once you are in a relationship everything seems so different..

    How to go in on life, I don't know. I wouldn't mind being single, for I can really enjoy being alone and learned that romantic relationships are overrated in western culture. It isn't the one thing to end most of your problems. It just gives you another kind of suffering; relationship-suffering instead of being-single-suffering. But if I happen to end up in another relationship, I will certainly bring my new views along into it.

    And for the fact that I still love her, I don't care. You can not love too much. And it doesn't need to be returned to be real. Or at least that's my view on it right now. Maybe it shows that the term heartbroken isn't right, but should be changed to ego-broken.

    And you know, it is just the way of life that things change. Your love will change. There will be another if you let it happen. Or maybe there won't, but that's fine too. Things you don't have always seem better than the things you have. The grass is greener on the other side.
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited November 2010
    Epi, if you like movies I can recommend the movie (500) days of summer. I rewatched it today. It is on this subject and I really like it. Maybe you will too. It also tells a good message I think.
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