In Buddhism, there are four qualities of true love that both partners must embody and must be willing to offer to their beloved. Find out in this article what they are.
In a world where relationships have become complicated, the truth is it need not be that way at all - relationships are fairly easy granted our priorities are clear and we embody few sacred principles that enhance the well being of the relationship and our and our partner's as well.
Here are four sacred principles from Buddhism that help to foster close love, respect and reverence among the partners - helping them heal, transform and take the relationship to new heights.
Straight from the teaching of highly respected and loved Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, in this article we explore what are the four elements of true romantic love in Buddhism.
The Four Elements of True Romantic Love in Buddhism -
1. Loving-kindness or Maitri -
The first element of true romantic love in Buddhism is loving-kindness or benevolence or called as maitri. This simply means your capability to offer happiness to the other person because if you are not able to be happy yourself and not able to offer happiness to your partner, you will both suffer and according to Buddhism or Thich Nhat Hanh, this is not true love.
This also means that you must be willing to understand the other person because without understanding the other person and their needs, you cannot bring them joy and this is not true love.
2. Compassion or Karuna -
The second element of true romantic love (or any kind of true love) in Buddhism is compassion or called as karuna. Compassion is needed to transform suffering in yourself and in the other person and without compassion, you both will suffer and this is why it is so important for true love - according to Thich Nhat Hanh.
Compassion requires deep understanding of the other person and their suffering so that you are able to help them to change for the better.
3. Joy or Mudita -
The third element for true love is joy because without joy, you will suffer and the other person will suffer too and this is why it is important to cultivate joy in your relationship because without it, true love cannot exist between two people.
In other words, if you are suffering and you also make the other person suffer then there is no joy in the love and without joy, the relationship will ultimately fall thus joy is an important element of true romantic love.
4. Equanimity or Upeksha -
The element of equanimity involves freedom and inclusiveness because it is about loving someone with calmness and implies that you no longer just care about yourself but rather your partner's joy and suffering are yours too thus embodying inclusiveness in all aspects of your relationship.
It also implies that your love is freeing to the other person - if the other person feels captive in your love, then it is not true love. True love means the person we love feels free both from the inside and the outside.
“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”
–Thich Nhat Hanh