A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Being the right one, not finding the right one

Why are so many relationships failing today? Think of all the people you know, how many are happy with their relationship, or marriage? Is it because we have made it easier to get out of a relationship then to work at making it better? Perhaps it’s the media, with the messages of if your not happy, then you need our product. Well in a relationship we need to put our partner’s happiness at least equal to our own, preferably higher than our own. First remember why you choose them in the first place. Now you might be saying, but they have changed. Yes they have, but so have you. Have you made time to spend with them, doing what they enjoy, or the two of you doing nothing other than being in each others company. Leave the hustle and bustle outside the home, make it a place where you can both relax, be stress free, and a place of safety. Take the time to share at least one meal per day together, more if possible. Have coffee or tea together in the morning. If you are a coffee drinker, and she drinks tea, then make the others beverage, you make her tea, and she makes you coffee. Yes its the same amount of work if you do your own, but its a way of putting the other person first, the more often you each do it in little ways, the more it becomes automatic. Give each other a compliment, everyday. Maybe jealousy is rearing its head. Before you blame the jealous party, you need to examine your own actions. Have you done anything that gives them cause to wonder about your actions? Are you telling your friends about your problems, instead of discussing them with your spouse? Yes it is easier to get sympathy from your friends, who will agree you are the wronged party, they will agree you deserve better, and other comments. None of these will fix the problem. Talking to your spouse in an honest open manner is the first step. Take a look at the guidelines Buddha gave us on our roles in a relationship, use these as a basis to discuss how to repair what you have. Tell each other “I love you” everyday, even when times are not good, especially when there re problems. Knowing that you are loved even in troubled times, gives us a sense of security that will help to smooth the journey, and weather the storms. Remember that they are not perfect, but then neither are you. You accepted them as they were when you became a couple, they did the same with you. The only person we can change is ourselves, so what can we improve in ourselves? There is an old Chinese proverb: “If you have a large problem, make it into a small problem, when you have a small problem make it into no problem.” Take the time to work on your relationship, it is more important than, that fancy new car, the corner office. Having you partner there through the years, giving you a hug or kiss, holding your hand will be what you remember the most when older.

If we go looking to find the right one, we will not succeed, as we will be looking through our own preconceptions. Rather we need to concentrate on being the right one, so that when we find someone who we are attracted to, we can offer a true love. A true love in the sense that you say I love you, without any conditions. For a male, it is not about how she dresses, or if she is pleasing at night, nor is it her appearance. I love you is to mean you accept her as she is, and will support her efforts in the relationship. It is not being judgmental, nor is it complaining that you like it this way, or it’s not the same as your mother made. Remember she married you not your mother. For the lady it is not I love you, because he bought you a new necklace or pearls, it is I love you when he forgot to pick up the eggs you need. It is accepting that he isn’t the richest man, but being content in his love for you, and that he is faithful. I love you, means that you don’t allow your parents to ask more help than is fair from him. Yes he is willing to help your parents, but his primary responsibility is you, and the children the two of you have, your immediate family.  So if we concentrate on being the right one, instead of looking for the right one, then we will have a happier life and marriage, as well as our spouse will be happier too.

If both take the attitude that “If we are apart, I will cry a single tear, into the ocean, and when I find that tear again, I will stop loving you.” then you can build a love that will stand against anything, or anyone. In case it does not translate well, you could never identify a single tear in the ocean, it would be impossible to find.

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