What key things indicate that a man and a woman in a dating relationship or married are truly in love? We can borrow from the teaching of the Buddha, which offers hefty advice on the subject. Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free”. Today, the meaning of true love has become very elusive since the idea of true love most people have comes from movies, fairy tales, or realty TV shows. The definition of true love even today continues to change many times. But each person draws the meaning of true love from certain attached conditions, or some sort of criteria drawn from what our ‘perfect match’ would look like. That your ‘perfect match’ should be a certain way, have certain things, and like certain activities.
According to the teaching of the Buddha on true love, which come in handy—true love is a simple phenomenon than popular culture would want us to believe. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk explains that love comes with compassion, kindness, inclusiveness, and joy. You should experience these things when you are experiencing true love. It is that simple. True love is not the popular belief many people have these days about fairy tales, movies, or TV shows they watch, hear and see.
4 Main Points Taken From the Buddhist Teaching about Love:
- Love and Kindness Bring Happiness: Love and kindness bring to us happiness. We should develop feelings of joy and happiness in ourselves to cultivate true love within ourselves. If we can generate these feelings within ourselves, we’ll also be able to generate the feelings of true love to other people.
- With True Love There is No Suffering: The teaching continues that true love is the ability to make yourself suffer less, and help your partner suffer less also. There is an art of suffering in true love, so you should know how to suffer so as to suffer much, much less.
- Practice Compassion to Grow True Love.
- Love Is Supposed To Generate Joy: If the “love” you have with your partner doesn’t bring you joy and happiness, then it is not true love. True love doesn’t bring crying every day. Love, kindness, joy, appreciation of one another and particular foam of equanimity are the key indicators of love as learned from the Buddhist teaching. Don’t just take the teachings as a uniquely Buddhist teaching—what is taught are qualities that reside within everyone, or are potentials which everyone possess.
The Buddhist teaching seeks to develop our capacities to love. Love should not be left to chance of Movies, TV shows or fairy tales. It shouldn’t be a matter of “falling in love”, nor taken in terms of degree or frequency it happens to appear.
When developed and cultivated, the key indicators of true love according to the teaching of the Buddha can each become a boundless radiance glowing from us. As such, true love should flow equally from us towards our partners or the one we love, without needing to be directed to anyone.