Relationships

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Relationships

Postby adamposey » Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:01 am

The Buddha laid down some basic guidelines for families, etc., but did he lay down in the suttas any advice on how to advance romantic relationships in the first place? For instance: how does one even begin a romantic relationship if he's supposed to avoid attachment. I'm really interested in how this is supposed to work, I understand (I think) that one shouldn't be sexually promiscuous etc., but that's not what I'm really talking about here. I'm talking about the forming of a mutual relationship and bond. Is that not a form of clinging?
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Re: Relationships

Postby Dugu » Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:33 am

You mean did Buddha give any advice in getting a girlfriend? I don't think he did.
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Re: Relationships

Postby zavk » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:08 am

Hi Adam

I'm sure you've heard of the saying that 'love is selfish'? If I may indulge in some pop-psychology here... I think a key to a healthy romantic relationship is that the partners learn to recognize when they are projecting their desires and expectations onto one another. Recognizing this opens up the space for mutual respect and a less selfish (if not selfless) kind of love. This has been my experience. I had a failed relationship because I did not realize that what I thought was 'love' was actually an unhealthy kind of 'self-love'. Buddhism of course teaches us a healthier kind of 'self-love'. See, for example, the Mallikaa Sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
With metta,
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Re: Relationships

Postby nomad » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:08 am

Dugu wrote:You mean did Buddha give any advice in getting a girlfriend? I don't think he did.


That made me smile today. :)

~nomad

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Re: Relationships

Postby Individual » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:52 am

Not sure what the Buddha would say, but in my experience, relationships -- whether intimate or not -- are a burden where the costs are greater than the rewards.

If you can find someone you can trust, respect, love, and develop happiness mutually with, then great, but I don't think that most relationships end up "happily ever after" except in fairy tales.
Last edited by Individual on Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Relationships

Postby adamposey » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:54 am

Dugu wrote:You mean did Buddha give any advice in getting a girlfriend? I don't think he did.

Nah, I've had more than plenty. What I mean is did the Buddha give advice on how relationships should be fostered? I can go out and have a girlfriend by the end of the week, that doesn't mean that I'm following the buddha's teachings when I do that, or that I'm being skillful about it.
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Re: Relationships

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:07 am

Hi Adam,
adamposey wrote: I'm talking about the forming of a mutual relationship and bond. Is that not a form of clinging?

There is advice on continuing a relationship. As you say, it's a form of clinging, but most of us are not likely to be giving up clinging any time soon...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"If both husband & wife want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come, they should be in tune [with each other] in conviction, in tune in virtue, in tune in generosity, and in tune in discernment. Then they will see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

Mike
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Re: Relationships

Postby adamposey » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:17 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Adam,
adamposey wrote: I'm talking about the forming of a mutual relationship and bond. Is that not a form of clinging?

There is advice on continuing a relationship. As you say, it's a form of clinging, but most of us are not likely to be giving up clinging any time soon...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"If both husband & wife want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come, they should be in tune [with each other] in conviction, in tune in virtue, in tune in generosity, and in tune in discernment. Then they will see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

Mike


NOW we're getting somewhere. Would the buddha have advised against starting relationships? Was there ever mention of the beginning of one, what to watch, etc.?
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Re: Relationships

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:26 am

adamposey wrote:NOW we're getting somewhere. Would the buddha have advised against starting relationships? Was there ever mention of the beginning of one, what to watch, etc.?

I'm not sure. Here's the chapter on "The Happiness Visible in This Present Life" from "In the Buddha's Words", by Bhikkhu Bodhi (see the PDF of up to Chapter 1 here: http://wisdompubs.org/Pages/display.lasso?-KeyValue=104). That's where I got that particular Sutta.
IV. The Happiness Visible in This Present Life
Introduction 107
1. Upholding the Dhamma in Society
(1) The King of the Dhamma (AN 3:14) 115
(2) Worshipping the Six Directions (from DN 31) 116
2. The Family
(1) Parents and Children
(a) Respect for Parents (AN 4:63) 118
(b) Repaying One’s Parents (AN 2: iv, 2) 119
(2) Husbands and Wives
(a) Different Kinds of Marriages (AN 4:53) 119
(b) How to Be United in Future Lives (AN 4:55) 121
(c) Seven Kinds of Wives (AN 7:59) 122
3. Present Welfare, Future Welfare (AN 8:54) 124
4. Right Livelihood
(1) Avoiding Wrong Livelihood (AN 5:177) 126
(2) The Proper Use of Wealth (AN 4:61) 126
(3) A Family Man’s Happiness (AN 4:62) 127
5. The Woman of the Home (AN 8:49) 128
6. The Community
(1) Six Roots of Dispute (from MN 104) 130
(2) Six Principles of Cordiality (from MN 104) 131
(3) Purification Is for All Four Castes (MN 93, abridged) 132
(4) Seven Principles of Social Stability (from DN 16) 137
(5) The Wheel-Turning Monarch (from DN 26) 139
(6) Bringing Tranquillity to the Land (from DN 5) 141

I don't think any of them specifically address starting relationships, but there may be other Suttas that do that.

Many Sutta collections ignore the Suttas about "how to live a good, useful, life", and go straight to renunciation, so the sort of thing you are looking for tend to be hard to find. A lot of the Suttas ablve are not on Access to Insight, for example.

Metta
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Re: Relationships

Postby Individual » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:42 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Adam,
adamposey wrote: I'm talking about the forming of a mutual relationship and bond. Is that not a form of clinging?

There is advice on continuing a relationship. As you say, it's a form of clinging, but most of us are not likely to be giving up clinging any time soon...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"If both husband & wife want to see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come, they should be in tune [with each other] in conviction, in tune in virtue, in tune in generosity, and in tune in discernment. Then they will see one another not only in the present life but also in the life to come."

Mike

So, if you're highly immoral, it's best you find somebody who is scum like you. :lol:
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: Relationships

Postby Bozworth » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:48 am

A Happy Married Life: A Buddhist Perspective

Nothing Higher to Live For: A Buddhist View of Romantic Love

Neither of these are "how to get a girlfriend," but they may help contextualize things a bit for you.
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Re: Relationships

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:45 am

Try simply being a good friend!

but I am most probably not the best person to give advice
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Relationships

Postby DonkeyDarko » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:32 am

Buddha gave a lot of information on how to have skillfull interactions with people in general. He also told us of the precepts and more specifically, the third precept.

Combine the two, and you have some good advice on relationships. I might be shot down here, but when I've met with a situation where I can't find a specific teaching on a subject, I look for similar teachings to see if they apply or try and use my good sense rather than saying "Well, I must not be looking hard enough -- time to learn me some Pali" ;)

In short: you can probably guess the basics (don't be a douche, avoid one-night stands etc) and if you want more details then similar teachings will give you insight. What is a lover but a best friend you sleep with?
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Re: Relationships

Postby Laurens » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:04 pm

I don't think he gave any specific advice. Follow the precepts, be kind and understanding. This will make your relationships with other people a lot better in general.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

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Re: Relationships

Postby Laurens » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:05 pm

Oh and don't think of her as 'MY girlfriend' cause that's bound to cause trouble
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

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