I've been considering renunciation for a few years now. Month after month, I worked delicately at detaching myself from worldly pleasures, contenting myself with less and less, and maintaining a profound joy and confidence. Practice has been very rewarding, and it seemed as though most obstacles have been cleared for me to go forth in the homeless life.
"...having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I pursued that theme; having understood the reward of renunciation, I familiarized myself with it. My heart leaped up at renunciation, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace."— AN 9.41
But something unexpected happened last winter, during a period when I didn't practice regularly, and indulged in intoxicants. I grew fond of the person I was living with. I am currently in a relationship with this beautiful, kind and compassionate woman who is very dear to me. We've been dating for a few months. She has two kids and takes care of them alone. I was not careful and have said things that generated expectations from her. As I am practicing more and more, getting back on track, my goal comes back to the surface and I've come to see this relationship as a hindrance. I am now in front of a situation and choice I never thought would happen.
A part of me wants to leave her, although she is very dear to me, and go into preparatory retreats for a few months before approaching a monastery for ordination as an anagarika.
Another part of me sees this as very neglectful of her feelings and irresponsible, as though I was engaged profoundly in something that was beyond me. It would be hard for to find peace knowing that I have broken someone's heart and given the dhamma a bad reputation at the same time.
I would like to hear your thoughts on this. I am not taking this matter lightly, and don't want to rush this decision to regret it afterwards.
I also think that this is a good opportunity to discuss the moral repercussions surrounding this topic relating to the Buddhist doctrine.
Another case would be divorce for the sake of ordination. It also applies to friendships and family relationships.
What are your thoughts?