Romantic love vs. Universal love

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Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby flowerbudh » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:42 am

Is there a difference between the two? I've been thinking this over recently because a dear friend of mine has proposed we begin a romantic relationship. A little background: I used to be very attached to the idea of having a boyfriend or girlfriend. Yes, I am a teenage girl, but my craving caused much suffering. I now feel love for most everyone I meet right away, and no longer desire to be in a relationship. I also feel I would not be able to remain content with giving my love to one person, you know? And I'm not suggesting any desire to cheat on a partner, but I think typically in relationships, you reserve "I love you's" and "your beautiful's" for your partner, and I just want to tell everyone that. Do any of you have similar experiences/advice?
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby Alfredo » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:11 am

If you don't want to be in a committed, sexual/romantic relationship with this person (or with any person), then say no. It's your choice.
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby ClearblueSky » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:23 pm

If you don't want to be in a relationship, you definitely shouldn't be. You'll be much happier when you go in being 100% sure. There is certainly a difference between the two, and in fact I think there's more than two types of love even. I saw a fascinating documentary called The Love Competition, in which they had different people go in an MRI machine and think about what they love, measuring the activity in the "love" areas of their brain. They each thought about different things: There was a child thinking about his mother, a newlywed thinking about her husband, a meditator thinking about universal love, a guy thinking about his wife of several decades. They all showed activation in those areas, some more than others (I won't spoil who wins!). So there are many things that could be called love, all with subtle differences. Even with one person, it could start of as lust, then more of infatuation, then eventually deep compassion.

So always, always practice universal love, as well as for every given person. I remember my teacher saying love for "all sentient beings" has become too removed, you need to be able to see any given person and think you have love for them. Keep this going, and then if at some point in the future you meet someone where you change your mind and decide to experience romantic love with them as well, you can always do that too.
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby wisdom » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:15 pm

flowerbudh wrote:Is there a difference between the two? I've been thinking this over recently because a dear friend of mine has proposed we begin a romantic relationship. A little background: I used to be very attached to the idea of having a boyfriend or girlfriend. Yes, I am a teenage girl, but my craving caused much suffering. I now feel love for most everyone I meet right away, and no longer desire to be in a relationship. I also feel I would not be able to remain content with giving my love to one person, you know? And I'm not suggesting any desire to cheat on a partner, but I think typically in relationships, you reserve "I love you's" and "your beautiful's" for your partner, and I just want to tell everyone that. Do any of you have similar experiences/advice?


Different degrees of the same thing. Universal love is wonderful because it does exactly this. It gives us the capacity to love everyone. We no longer become trapped in this concept that we can only love one person. Of course eventually we might want certain things in this world or society, and that is where committed relationships come in. Part of this is also your age, although you are obviously intelligent and wise for your age, it takes time to get to know yourself so there is no need to think about or desire a committed relationship right now. In fact I think people should wait until they are in their mid 20's at least to even consider marriage. Everyone I know who got married at the age of 18-21 are all divorced now. Not knowing yourself and what you want is probably the number 1 cause of all divorces. You only figure that out by seeing different people and figuring what you want and need to be fulfilled on the level of intimacy and romance.
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby smcj » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:35 am

Is there a difference between the two?

All love is an expression of Buddha Nature. However all samsaric loves, which are the kind of loves we know now, limits our Buddha Nature down into specific expressions. This can be noble, as between husband and wife, or parent and child (ideally), or it can be debased, as in an addict's love of his dope. In enlightenment the superficialities of ego are gone, so our Buddha Nature can shine without being limited, perverted, or otherwise polluted.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:40 am

Romantic love is, for the most part, attachment because we have a vested interest in the relationship and it is therefore not pure. There is pure love and love that is mixed with attachment. The purity of our feelings for another person can be measured in terms of how much we need or expect from them. Pure love gives without expectation and wants nothing in return - it is completely free from selfish intention and it seeks only the happiness of the other. Another problem with romantic love is that it views the other person as more special or more important than others. Such lack of equanimity is an obstacle to developing universal love.

It is best to try to cultivate universal love because pure love is a true cause of happiness, whereas romantic love or love that is mixed with attachment is like delicious food mixed with poison - it will eventually give rise to suffering.
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby ClearblueSky » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:42 pm

lamborghini wrote:Keep this going, and then if at some point in the future you meet someone where you change your mind and decide to experience romantic love with them as well, you can always do that too.So always, always practice universal love, as well as for every given person. I remember my teacher saying love for "all sentient beings" has become too removed, you need to be able to see any given person and think you have love for them.

Not that I'm not flattered lamborghini... But it's a little strange for you to take what I just wrote, literally word for word and write it as your post, with no quotations or anything. If you agree with someone, then quote it or say you agree. It comes across as pretty creepy you just copying my post, especially when I am talking about specific teachings my teacher gave. Please just be honest, and post as yourself instead.
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby justsit » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:45 pm

By "romantic love" I'm assuming you mean the hearts and flowers-type experience. I once heard a teacher describe "falling in love" as "vomiting your projections onto someone else." Sounds about right, and often ends badly.

In terms of universal love, all well and good, but it is generally not a good idea for 15 year olds to call adults "sweet love." Also often ends badly. ;)
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby flowerbudh » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:32 pm

Those who are awake shouldn't mind my calling them sweet love, regardless of their age. It's just semantics. :p
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby justsit » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:38 pm

flowerbudh wrote:Those who are awake shouldn't mind my calling them sweet love, regardless of their age. It's just semantics. :p

Of course. But those who are not awake might be a different story. How can you tell?

Besides, I was not referring to adults taking offense.
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby shaunc » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:32 am

justsit wrote:
flowerbudh wrote:Those who are awake shouldn't mind my calling them sweet love, regardless of their age. It's just semantics. :p

Of course. But those who are not awake might be a different story. How can you tell?

Besides, I was not referring to adults taking offense.


That's Good advice you're getting off justsit flower budh. If you don't know your opponent it always pays to box clever.
Last edited by shaunc on Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby greentara » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:54 am

justsit, I agree with you 'sweet love' sounds very contrived to me. Almost like you've grown up in the back of beyond in a previous century. I understand a 15 year old girl wants to stand out and be noticed but a wolf out there may get the wrong impression. Anyway you may be more 'cluey' then you lead us to believe, if so, thats good.
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby mandala » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:40 am

flowerbudh wrote:Is there a difference between the two?


yes - romantic love (attachment) is "i want you to make me happy" and the other is "i want you to be happy".

:smile:
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby flowerbudh » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:28 am

My bad. :emb:
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby Lindama » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:37 am

flowerbudh wrote:Is there a difference between the two? I've been thinking this over recently because a dear friend of mine has proposed we begin a romantic relationship. A little background: I used to be very attached to the idea of having a boyfriend or girlfriend. Yes, I am a teenage girl, but my craving caused much suffering. I now feel love for most everyone I meet right away, and no longer desire to be in a relationship. I also feel I would not be able to remain content with giving my love to one person, you know? And I'm not suggesting any desire to cheat on a partner, but I think typically in relationships, you reserve "I love you's" and "your beautiful's" for your partner, and I just want to tell everyone that. Do any of you have similar experiences/advice?


Dear Heart,
I have watched you ask many questions in this last little while. And, watched many answers by those who wish to help. Enough so that I must encourage you to look for yourself. You are young and you must answer these things for yourself. People can only answer from their experience... don't cheat yourself. Explore and find your own answers. Frankly, I am surprised that so many are jumping into help with answers that do not take into account your life and spiritual experience.

It is clear that you are among people who care about each other, but please, find your own way. You are too young to identify yourself with what you are respresenting yourself to be. Please explore and find out if that is so for you or what suffering has brought you to this identification. Do you have a way to explore these issues with practice or any other way... do you have questions about that. A spiritual path involves a deep vow with yourself, apart from what others say.... you may be too young to fully understand; but you can know at any moment who you are and what is so for you... trust that much in yourself.

please treasure yourself
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby flowerbudh » Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:46 pm

Linda, I've been needing to hear that for such a long time. Thank you. <3
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: Romantic love vs. Universal love

Postby muni » Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:48 pm

:namaste:

Albert Einstein:
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