Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

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Stiphan
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Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Stiphan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:09 pm

I plan to ordain in 5-6 years' time, for life. And it's certain, although the time isn't.

Yet I also yearn for a relationship, and I already have a love interest. But when I think of it, I get the feeling it might actually be morally wrong to enter into a relationship knowing I will have to end it in 5 years... because that would just break her heart to pieces and thwart her own plans. Even giving away all the money I will have piled up by then to her wouldn't suffice to heal her heartbreak. That is unless, I inform her right from the start that our relationship will be temporary, which I suppose I should, but then who would even want to date me, if Ann (the woman I presently love) doesn't?

I only had a girlfriend in high school for a few months, and being human I do have a strong desire for a romantic relationship, and not just for the happiness that it would bring me, but also to give and to share with a soulmate. I yearn more for close romantic companionship than the pleasure of the flesh, by the way. I just love women and sometimes fall in love easily, and Ann is the most amazing woman I've personally known and she reciprocates.

Is it wrong or is it okay, and under what circumstances?
Last edited by Stiphan on Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Call me Stephen, please. May you be well and happy. :heart:

Know right from wrong — and their consequences — and act accordingly, always doing your very best.

The Path begins with the acknowledgement of Truth; it ends in Freedom; and in between is a huge amount of Effort.
Meanwhile, care about others.

Garrib
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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Garrib » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:20 pm

I can't tell you what to do (of course) but I would just be honest/upfront with her about your plans to ordain.

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Stiphan
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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Stiphan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:23 pm

Garrib wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:20 pm
I can't tell you what to do (of course) but I would just be honest/upfront with her about your plans to ordain.
Good answer. Thank you.
Call me Stephen, please. May you be well and happy. :heart:

Know right from wrong — and their consequences — and act accordingly, always doing your very best.

The Path begins with the acknowledgement of Truth; it ends in Freedom; and in between is a huge amount of Effort.
Meanwhile, care about others.

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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by JohnK » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:25 pm

With your good intentions, tell her your plans, tell her your concerns about her (and you), there will be some result(s).
Relationships based on BS are BS, don't do that.
Welcome back, by the way.
[Looks like you got similar advice while I was typing.]
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Stiphan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:28 pm

JohnK wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:25 pm
With your good intentions, tell her your plans, tell her your concerns about her (and you), there will be some result(s).
Relationships based on BS are BS, don't do that.
Welcome back, by the way.
[Looks like you got similar advice while I was typing.]
Thanks, John. Sensible answer as well. What do you mean by BS?
Call me Stephen, please. May you be well and happy. :heart:

Know right from wrong — and their consequences — and act accordingly, always doing your very best.

The Path begins with the acknowledgement of Truth; it ends in Freedom; and in between is a huge amount of Effort.
Meanwhile, care about others.

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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by JohnK » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:31 pm

Stiphan wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:28 pm
JohnK wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:25 pm
With your good intentions, tell her your plans, tell her your concerns about her (and you), there will be some result(s).
Relationships based on BS are BS, don't do that.
Welcome back, by the way.
[Looks like you got similar advice while I was typing.]
Thanks, John. Sensible answer as well. What do you mean by BS?
Based on untruths. BS is an abbreviation of a slang term for unthruth referring to male cow excrement!
I guess my second use of the term suggests that the whole relationship becomes polluted by that (and so is not worth more than a pile of it).
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Stiphan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:36 pm

JohnK wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:31 pm
Stiphan wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:28 pm
JohnK wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:25 pm
With your good intentions, tell her your plans, tell her your concerns about her (and you), there will be some result(s).
Relationships based on BS are BS, don't do that.
Welcome back, by the way.
[Looks like you got similar advice while I was typing.]
Thanks, John. Sensible answer as well. What do you mean by BS?
Based on untruths. BS is an abbreviation of a slang term for unthruth referring to male cow excrement!
Cool, thanks! I don't think I would actually be able to hide my eventual plans at all, being as I am open and honest. But I think I'll remain without a partner in the only time of my life that I have the ability... Which is not the end of the world. But still...

I don't regret not having had relationships so far because I've had to attend to other things, but I finally feel ready for one.
Call me Stephen, please. May you be well and happy. :heart:

Know right from wrong — and their consequences — and act accordingly, always doing your very best.

The Path begins with the acknowledgement of Truth; it ends in Freedom; and in between is a huge amount of Effort.
Meanwhile, care about others.

JohnK
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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by JohnK » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:40 pm

Stiphan wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:36 pm
...But I think I'll remain without a partner in the only time of my life that I have the ability...
You never know -- 5 years is longer than some marriages last! -- try to sell her on that! ;)
(Of course, I'm not telling you whether or not it is a good idea, don't know, but you do seem drawn to it.
And of course you don't know how your life is going to turn out.)
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Stiphan
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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Stiphan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:08 pm

JohnK wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:40 pm
Stiphan wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:36 pm
...But I think I'll remain without a partner in the only time of my life that I have the ability...
You never know -- 5 years is longer than some marriages last! -- try to sell her on that! ;)
(Of course, I'm not telling you whether or not it is a good idea, don't know, but you do seem drawn to it.
And of course you don't know how your life is going to turn out.)
I have to speak to her about the matter. I haven't seen her in a while, but I am thinking of actually asking her out on a date with the intention to date for a while and see whether we can be together. She is a very beautiful black young woman, she is happy, mentally strong and confident, intelligent, and really good as a person, working in a caring profession. The fact she likes me and loves me (I don't know whether as much as I love her, but it's good she reciprocates) and really loves that I love her, just means that there's a chance she could say yes, but the problem is she was my nurse for a few weeks and someone told me it would be unethical, and I don't know whether that's what she thinks as well. It's very rare to meet such a true person like her and even rarer to encounter mutual true love, but alas it may not work out for my reason and her potential reason(s). In the end, I just want her to be happy anyway, and I won't die by remaining single but I'd really love to be in a loving relationship, especially with someone that good. However, I also dread hurting her heart by leaving her eventually.
Last edited by Stiphan on Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Call me Stephen, please. May you be well and happy. :heart:

Know right from wrong — and their consequences — and act accordingly, always doing your very best.

The Path begins with the acknowledgement of Truth; it ends in Freedom; and in between is a huge amount of Effort.
Meanwhile, care about others.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:16 pm

At risk of stating the obvious, all relationships end, don't they? I don't think that embarking on a (relatively!) short-term relationship would be immoral in any way, providing there was no deception involved on your part. It used to be the case that men were more likely to be successful in such matters if they hid their true intentions and feigned eternal love for the woman concerned, only to dump her later. But today, I would imagine that there are many young women who would be happy to accept both you and your honesty about the time-scale. It's worth remembering, though, that emotions can change a lot in a few years. Perhaps either or both of you might, as a result of the relationship, want to commit to a longer relationship, or even want marriage and/or children. If you pay attention, and are generous and kind, you have the best chance of making everyone happy.

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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Stiphan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:19 pm

Thank you Sam Vara, that's very well said. The thing is, I want to be a monk more than anything, and unless there is some reason for the monks ordaining me to prevent me from ordaining (such as parents' permission, which I doubt I will get, hopefully there are loopholes), then I will certainly be a monk.
But today, I would imagine that there are many young women who would be happy to accept both you and your honesty about the time-scale.
That would be awesome.
Call me Stephen, please. May you be well and happy. :heart:

Know right from wrong — and their consequences — and act accordingly, always doing your very best.

The Path begins with the acknowledgement of Truth; it ends in Freedom; and in between is a huge amount of Effort.
Meanwhile, care about others.

Digity
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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Digity » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:39 am

My advice is don't build it up too much in your head...I would just take it one day at a time. Just ask her out and then go from there. Don't enter into this with expectations of being together for 5 years. If you guys start going out on a regular basis and it seems things are getting serious then I'd let her know about your aspirations to ordain, etc.

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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by _anicca_ » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:06 am

The relationship will be impermanent if you ordain or not. Don't think too far ahead into the future, because it is very unpredictable.

I do not think it would be morally wrong, but you have to decide if the joy of the relationship will outweigh the suffering of the heartbreak.

The choice is yours.
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

:buddha1:

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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by DooDoot » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:53 am

In Buddhism, any action is known or suspected to lead to hurt, harm &/or suffering is morally wrong, as follows:
Whenever you want to do a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any bodily action of that sort is fit for you to do. MN 61
As for "soul mates", in Buddhism, they are partners for life rather than for five years:
We wish, Bhante, to see one another not only in this present life but also in future lives. AN 4.55
By the sounds of what was written, my impression is:

* Maybe you should plan to be a monk for five years rather than for life.

* Maybe you should plan to have a soul-mate for life rather than for five years.

Life as a monk will be difficult if there is still the yearning for love & romantic relationships. I recall the Dhammapada (somewhere) speaks unfavorably about the Holy Life lived wrongly or with the wrong intention.

With metta
Last edited by DooDoot on Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

Digity
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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Digity » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:56 am

I have issues with pursuing women. I find that I'll make excuses to not go after them. I do this as a form of protection against rejection and/or fear of failure. Just make sure you're not trying to make excuses for not asking this girl out. Do you think that might be the case here?

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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:03 am

Hi Stiphan,
Stiphan wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:09 pm
I only had a girlfriend in high school for a few months, and being human I do have a strong desire for a romantic relationship, and not just for the happiness that it would bring me, but also to give and to share with a soulmate. I yearn more for close romantic companionship than the pleasure of the flesh, by the way. I just love women and sometimes fall in love easily, and Ann is the most amazing woman I've personally known and she reciprocates.
Apart from the other points that people have raised, you might think about whether a relationship will make it easier to remain ordained or not. The answer to that question, like many others, very much depends on you. I know long-term monastics who ordained as teenagers and never had a relationship. I know others who had a serious "worldly life" before ordaining. One could make arguments for either approach:
1. "Don't get entangled and you won't miss it."
2. "Make sure you really understand the worldly life first, otherwise you may have some lingering doubts about your choice."

Since I'm not you, and I've not been ordained, I would not want to speculate about which course is best for you!

:heart:
Mike

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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by binocular » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:30 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:16 pm
It's worth remembering, though, that emotions can change a lot in a few years.
I think the OP is thinking too far ahead and taking for granted things that haven't even happened yet.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:50 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:30 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:16 pm
It's worth remembering, though, that emotions can change a lot in a few years.
I think the OP is thinking too far ahead and taking for granted things that haven't even happened yet.
Possibly, binocular. Being far-sighted is a double-edged sword. It can help one foresee problems, but it can also lead one into false expectations. Awareness of what one is actually doing is always required.

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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Pseudobabble » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:40 am

Stiphan wrote:Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?
Would it be wrong to begin a meal, knowing it will end?

Would it be wrong to begin a journey, knowing it will end?

Would it be wrong to begin a life, knowing it will end?
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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Stiphan
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Re: Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?

Post by Stiphan » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:41 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:40 am
Stiphan wrote:Would it be wrong to enter a relationship knowing it will end?
Would it be wrong to begin a meal, knowing it will end?

Would it be wrong to begin a journey, knowing it will end?

Would it be wrong to begin a life, knowing it will end?
Better put would be: "... knowing I will have to end it and the other person will suffer as a result."
Call me Stephen, please. May you be well and happy. :heart:

Know right from wrong — and their consequences — and act accordingly, always doing your very best.

The Path begins with the acknowledgement of Truth; it ends in Freedom; and in between is a huge amount of Effort.
Meanwhile, care about others.

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