Being in Love
Many years ago, my Teacher realized that in school and college we are of course taught many things, but that many fundamentals of life are not taught at all. He recognized that one of the greatest causes of suffering is simply ignorance of what it means to be “in love” with someone, and noted the total lack of training offered to people on this subject. He said that life skills like what it means to be in love should be taught throughout one’s education. In response to this oversight in our education in life (about being in love), he wrote the following guidelines, in the hope of saving people the suffering that comes from ignorance in this subject. What follows this paragraph was written by my Teacher, then organized, and formatted for you to read here. These are ideas intended to be meditated on. Please print and pass it to anyone you care about.
If you feel that you’re in love, then you are. But it can go from near perfect one day to near disaster the next. Awareness is important.
There are two kinds of love:
- mutual caring, driven, giving, positive love, and
- one-sided, need-driven, selfish, negative
A. What Love Isn’t
- Hormones are not love.
- Depression or anxiety are indications that it is not love.
- A long obsession.
- Self in mind. eg: First person: “Do you want to have sex?” Other person, “No, I have a problem.” First person: “Shit!”
- Convenience (getting something out of the relationship).
- Games of competition.
- If someone hits you, it means they don’t like you.
- A hostile dependant relationship – can’t live with them, can’t live without them – this is pathological obsession, not love.
- Vampirism in any of its forms, including attention-mongering, and energy draining, and other types of vampirism.
- When one or both people care more about themselves than they care about each other.
- Demands for proof of love.
- Not being nice to those who care about you, including those other than your lover.
- You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself as a result of spending time with them.
- Pressures of any kind from the person or the relationship.
- The person doesn’t like anything about the way you are. It may be good to change, but if change is a requirement, it’s not love. The person should want to help you change, and be able to love you just as much if you don’t.
B. What Love Is
- Energizing, you have energy.
- You have optimism.
- You don’t fight most of the time.
- A little jealousy is good. (Too much jealousy is bad. See the last point in the next section.)
- You feel good when you’re with them, not anxious, but good.
- You overflow with goodness and happiness and you have time and energy for the others feelings.
- You feel fulfilled.
- One of the most difficult things about loving someone is accepting them just the way they are.
- Caring and being cared for in balance between two people – of course it tips one way or the other from time to time, but it’s give and take over-all. Eg: First person: “Do you want to have sex?” Other person: “No, I have a problem.” First person: “Oh, can I help with the problem?”
- A person could look great, or look like shit, but you still love them.
- You have energy and time to do the things that are most important to you.
- Mostly unselfish. You want to please the other person, and that’s more important to you than your partner pleasing you.
C. How You Can Tell if You’re In Love
- There is no connection between sex and love. Our language and music and movies are unclear, bombarding us with this misconception: that lovers = love. The truth is that lovers = sex, not love.
- You must be able to tell the difference between hormones and love.
- Any kind of pressure to have sex, either from the other, or from you, is not love. It’s hormones. Love does not involve any kind of pressure.
- If you feel you have to do something to prove your love, it isn’t.
- Best test: lack of energy or tiredness or depression. If you generally experience any of these in the relationship, it’s not love.
- Sex is never a test of love.
- No light goes on, telling you that you’re in love. Just be honest with yourself.
- As said, a little jealousy is good. But on-going significant jealousy is an expression of doubts. If jealousy is a significant, on-going issue, then mutual trust is not there for some reason. Maybe there is a real basis for the jealousy…
D. Danger Signs – Things Not To Do
- Even committed relationships are spoiled by premature sex.
- Instead of having intercourse, show affection in other ways: kissing, hugging, holding hands, just being together.
- Don’t sleep together, and then see how long the relationship lasts. Of the 10 most important things in love, sex is number 9.
First is trust, and a caring relationship.
Second is a sense of humor.
Third is communication.
Ninth is sex.
Tenth is sharing responsibilities.
- Interest leads to intrique, leads to infatuation, which leads to love. Infatuation is not love, but can lead to love.
E. Requirements – Things To Do
- You must be trusting friends without being lovers.
- Fall in love with a friend.
F. How Does Love Feel
- You feel basically OK as a whole.
- In the face of your mistakes or shortcomings, there’s tremendous hope because someone loves you. There’s got to be something good about you because someone makes you feel basically OK under it all.
- There’s a deep trusting friendship in which you can be yourself without embarrassment or fear of rejection.
- “I have been in love. The kind of love that I was in… in fact I still am in love… will never die, it will always be there because I care for this person very much. I’m just a friend with that person now, but I’m still very deeply in love with him, and I always will be. It was sort of a ‘first love’ kind of thing. It will never die.”
- Does the person turn on something in you, making you like yourself better?