Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationship?

thumbnail
Brian K., modified 8 Years ago.

Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationship?

Posts: 142 Join Date: 4/18/12 Recent Posts
Thought just crossed my mind, for someone without attachments, no sense of self, a lack of affective feelings, etc. etc., whats it like to be in a relationship with someone? I mean, it seems like it would fuck it up. Can you fall in love? I'd imagine not because that seems an attachment. If anything it would create a barrier im sure. I wouldnt want to be with someone who wouldnt suffer either way if i stayed or left, you feel me? Who knows whats up with this?
Brian K.:
I wouldnt want to be with someone who wouldnt suffer either way if i stayed or left, you feel me?

no... grow up
thumbnail
Brian K., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 142 Join Date: 4/18/12 Recent Posts
Nah anyone wants to be in a relationship where they feel the other person wants to be with them. Thanks for the constructive comment though, buddy. Anyone with any real experience still welcome to answer this.
thumbnail
fivebells ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
Brian K.:
Thought just crossed my mind, for someone without attachments, no sense of self, a lack of affective feelings, etc. etc., whats it like to be in a relationship with someone? I mean, it seems like it would fuck it up. Can you fall in love?


I don't know the answer to this. I do know that the further I progress, the easier and clearer my relationship with my wife becomes. I'm quite skeptical of the no-affect soteriology, personally, and I know some highly trained and highly realized people who are too. Not something I really want to argue about, though, because apart from this appeal to authority, I've got nothing relevant to say on the matter.

I wouldnt want to be with someone who wouldnt suffer either way if i stayed or left, you feel me?


What would it be like to be in a relationship with someone who had no fear of separation and hung out with you entirely because they enjoy and cherish your company?
Adam . ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Brian K.:
Thought just crossed my mind, for someone without attachments, no sense of self, a lack of affective feelings, etc. etc., whats it like to be in a relationship with someone? I mean, it seems like it would fuck it up. Can you fall in love? I'd imagine not because that seems an attachment. If anything it would create a barrier im sure. I wouldnt want to be with someone who wouldnt suffer either way if i stayed or left, you feel me? Who knows whats up with this?



from trent, a person who claims to be without affect:

Hi. Although this is directed at Tarin, I decided to answer as well. As I am also free of the human condition, it is simply another testament from another human in another situation.

This was a big question for 'me' and caused significant hesitation throughout the entire process. I am currently living with the same ("normal") companion (she practices AF methods quite casually) as when I was both normal and enlightened (she is, evidently, very flexible as well in her own way). This gives me an interesting opportunity to compare how functional the three ways of being are in this context. I can say, without any hesitation, that our time together is generally far more enjoyable now than at any other time (as in: watching tv, taking a walk), functional (as in: no fighting, flexibility with each others preferences), and more zesty (as in: the sex is far better). I attribute this largely to the condition I find myself in now, especially my ability to understand and be patient, open and straight forward, uninhibited and reliable, caring and considerate, and so on. You see, not only am I happy and harmless and free, but by being so, it allows the persons in my company to be equally happy, harmless and free to the degree that they are able.

To answer specifics in your question: intimacy is far greater than love ever offered, and it is not a choice; I'm this way with everything and every one. Romance is void completely, and this has caused a lot of upheaval in my companion (only recently she admitted to being quite resentful of me because I refuse to surprise her with flowers). And finally, there is no relationship here, as I do not exist in relation to others, but as a factual actuality regardless of the existence of another human. As such, I have no relationship with my companion, nor an emotional rapport. This isn't as dysfunctional as it may sound, though it can be at times. The reason is that the foundation for what lead to the emotional resonance in the first place is still largely in tact-- because there are things I have in common with her for example-- such as tastes and preferences regarding what we do with our free time.

So in summary, regarding this person and his companion, being actually free has proven to be the most functional/salubrious/comfortable/fun for both of us in most ways. I qualify it in such a way as to say that not every companion is going to be "ok" with such a change, I suspect, but that it doesn't automatically mean that the companion won't be "ok" with it, nor does it mean one will never have another companion again in their life (not that it would be a big deal, anyway).

Regards,
Trent
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/480071
Felipe C., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
Hi,

Brian K.:

I wouldnt want to be with someone who wouldnt suffer either way if i stayed or left, you feel me?


What would you choose? Love or actual consideration and caring?

Do you realize that love is always conditional and leads to the feelings you are implying in that question? ie, that, with the mere possibility of someone leaving you, you may feel sorrowful and insecure and malicious {wishing suffering on the one that potentially leaves you}?

Putting it from the other's perspective, I would rather be with someone who cares enough to not be malicious towards me in any way, independently of the outcome of my relationship with that person. That's actual caring and consideration, not conditional feeling of caring and consideration.
Thought just crossed my mind, for someone without attachments, no sense of self, a lack of affective feelings, etc. etc., whats it like to be in a relationship with someone? I mean, it seems like it would fuck it up. Can you fall in love? I'd imagine not because that seems an attachment. If anything it would create a barrier im sure. I wouldnt want to be with someone who wouldnt suffer either way if i stayed or left, you feel me? Who knows whats up with this?


There are so many questions like this that people have about enlightenment. It turns out... being enlightened (at ANY attainment) is REMARKABLY similar to your experience previously. You will still like the same things. I still roll with cute girls, like dirty southern rap, video games...

Don't be afraid man, just like enlightenment is not the end all be all of happiness it ALSO doesn't take anything away from you

-d
thumbnail
Florian Weps, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Brian K.:
Thought just crossed my mind, for someone without attachments, no sense of self, a lack of affective feelings, etc. etc., whats it like to be in a relationship with someone? I mean, it seems like it would fuck it up. Can you fall in love? I'd imagine not because that seems an attachment.


The attachment in "falling in love" is when you believe that the person you're in love with belongs to you, is yours to manipulate for your pleasure; the "sense of self" in such a relationship is seeing yourself mirrored in the beloved person's eyes, or some other indication that they perceive you as you'd like to be perceived, and to manipulate the person into a better mirror display of your desired self-image if they don't.

If anything it would create a barrier im sure.


What would be contained in such an enclosure?

I wouldnt want to be with someone who wouldnt suffer either way if i stayed or left, you feel me? Who knows whats up with this?


What you describe is the demand (greed) "love me" or the fear (aversion) "am I loved?".

Being in love is something else entirely: not demanding, not fearful, not manipulative in order to satisfy demand or avert fear, not closed-off but open and vulnerable, no secrets, no lies to protect the secrets; it is safety rather than insecurity, and lightness instead of a white-knuckled grasp.

Basically, the cheesy-sounding "if you love someone, set them free" is exactly spot on. That doesn't mean to shove them away (aversion) or ignore them (delusion). It means don't manipulate using words (second and third precept) them into staying so you can feed on them emotionally or physically (greed, fourth precept), don't take from their emotional or physical life what's not yours (first precept), don't do to them what you hate when it's done to yourself etc.

Like it has already been said in another post here, enlightenment doesn't take anything away, and that includes relationships and relationship problems and challenges. It may open your eyes more to the narcissist tendencies in most human beings (the "kilesas"), and that can be useful if held compassionately - but it won't live your relationships for you.

Cheers,
Florian
thumbnail
Tommy M, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Brian K.:
Thought just crossed my mind, for someone without attachments, no sense of self, a lack of affective feelings, etc. etc., whats it like to be in a relationship with someone?

Better than you can possibly imagine, literally. emoticon

I'm fortunate enough to be with someone who's as involved in this whole enlightenment thing as I am, but in all honesty the 'relationship' we have is beyond what I even considered possible for two human beings. She's just as sincere, open and upfront about this stuff as me, neither of us have any expectations of each other and there's no issue with insecurity, or of needing reassurance, or any need to hide anything from each other; you could say that we're "in love", but we've both gone far enough into this to know that this intimacy, clarity, happiness and willingness to just simply be here in the first place far exceeds any ideas either of us had of what "love" means.
thumbnail
Daniel Johnson, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Note, I'm not enlightened, but this is just my experience throughout my practice for a while.

Brian K.:
I wouldn't want to be with someone who wouldn't suffer either way if i stayed or left, you feel me?


My girlfriend just broke up with me for this very reason. It's like you quoted her word-for-word.

For the last 2 years or so, she's been on the fence. I think in a way similar to the post from Trent, I have become more able to care, listen, respond, because there is less of me, and more available attention to give her. And, at the same time, there was less romance, bonding, and this "suffering if she left" type of connection (for the same reason, that there was less of "me" involved.) So, I think she was really confused, always going back and forth: "it seems like he cares about me, but I'm not getting the love I need." She even said some things to the effect of: "if you're not going to suffer without me, then why be with me at all?" I had to laugh, sometimes, because basically I would respond: "maybe I enjoy being with you?" and it's just that simple. I think it confused her to some degree.

Although, I have to admit that you are absolutely right - in terms of mainstream thought. If someone doesn't suffer when they lose something, society says that means they probably don't care about it, they don't love it, or they don't appreciate it. This is revealing of the relationship between love and sorrow.

At any rate, she broke up with me now, so I can't say it is any kind of success story. She has practiced meditation from time to time, but I think she is (like me, probably) stuck cycling through the pre-path territory. Sometimes she reminded me a little of Cypher from the Matrix. I think she has wanted to take the pill which would put her back in the Matrix. So, she is dating some other guy now, where she hopes to get the love she "needs," and if she can put herself back in the Matrix, and she is happy about that, then I suppose I will be happy for her.

It's possible that she might have stayed if I didn't have as much Dark Night stuff, but I can't say for sure.

I'm currently wondering if I will be able to make a relationship work, or if I'm actually full of shit, and actually more narcissistic than before (though I don't think so.)

I am quite curious, however, if anyone has made it work in a relationship with someone who is not a practitioner themselves.

Also, I'd say that you don't have to be fully enlightened to get a sense for what it might be like. All you have to do is take your "self" out of the relationship for a minute and see how it's different. Or to quote Richard, "Make all of your identity unimportant, for now..." and then see how that changes things.
thumbnail
fivebells ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
Hey, Brian, I'm curious about how this question came up for you.
Mario Nistri, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 210 Join Date: 3/3/12 Recent Posts
I think this thing has been taken a little too seriously; I think that if you are not a 3rd path or more advanced, the problem "I'm not here no-one is caring about you" is not really in the games, since there is still a lot of duality there...

Also, I think that if a girl feels that she is loved there is no issue at all...

Not talking by my experience... may be wrong, even if I don't think I am

Bye!
thumbnail
Daniel M. Ingram, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 3185 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I think that early on dharma stuff can lead to a lot of melodharmas, in which cycles, stages, openings, new paradigms, spiritual quests, the introspective time required, giving up vacations for retreats and the like, all can be hard on the vast majority of relationships.

I think that later on success in practice with time for it to mature and settle and deepen makes things a whole lot easier, at least if people aren't so stupid as to talk about it in terms that tend to totally alienate other people, such as "I am beyond love..." or whatever, which just causes confusion mostly, even if some aspect of it is true in some way or even in a large way.

D
The Meditator, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 153 Join Date: 5/16/11 Recent Posts
Brian K.:
Thought just crossed my mind, for someone without attachments, no sense of self, a lack of affective feelings, etc. etc., whats it like to be in a relationship with someone? I mean, it seems like it would fuck it up. Can you fall in love? I'd imagine not because that seems an attachment. If anything it would create a barrier im sure. I wouldnt want to be with someone who wouldnt suffer either way if i stayed or left, you feel me? Who knows whats up with this?


Hi Brian
I do not know about the enlightenment person, but I would like to be loved and love. And it seems that it is not possible only half. And it is not about attachments, it is or it is not.
Take care
Ivana
thumbnail
Dannon p Flynn, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Whats it like for an enlightened person to be in a romantic relationshi

Posts: 40 Join Date: 1/6/13 Recent Posts
I know what it is like for a relatively enlightened person to not be in a relationship. I have ended my dark night and attained stream entry in the aftermath of my wife and I breaking up. Since then I have not been tempted to enter into a relationship. It seems different for folks who were already in relationship.

I have my whole life been searching for one thing: true happiness. Sometimes I looked for it in truth, sometimes in love. I kind of had a superman thing going, where he had to give up his powers to be with Lois. This archetype seemed to be a thread in my life's tapestry. Except I would have to give up the search for truth to experience love and romance. I had a big romantic side to my nature when I was young. I thought that if I could just hook up with the right woman, and maintain a happy relationship I would be happy. But it isn't that simple, especially when you are superman.

When I was searching for truth, I would be single for a long time, and when I would get into a relationship I would cycle through the dark night. All of my attachment issues, jealousy issues, greedy issues, secrecy issues, sex life issues, aversion, etc. would all surface and I would treat these as insight meditation objects. Sometimes I would seek out relationships that would provide valuable subject matter for meditation. I would date women who were playing the field, and I would just observe my jealousy, my attachment, and I would let-go of any desire for the future and just enjoy the temporary dance of polar energies. This had the affect of making me very secure and allowing my partner to be who she is and to be human, and for my happiness to not be affected by what she does.

However, since awakening, I have not been tempted to enter into a relationship at all. I dated a girl for a little bit last summer but it wasn't working. I liked her, but I had no desire to "have" her. I wasn't interested in anything she was saying, she was just talking a story she believes in of her life and what she likes and doesn't like, her thoughts on this and that, and I was bored. The whole seeking a relationship partner is like the bardo of seeking rebirth. I just see the suffering of entering that portal, and the karma that I would be taking on. Just seems like a whole mess. It might be worth it for the right woman. An enlightened woman, lol. Where are the enlightened personals? lol.

I have enjoyed hearing awakened folk's stories of their relationships getting better, and that makes me smile. I would like to try that someday. emoticon

Breadcrumb