Unrequited love

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Post Reply
User avatar
altar
Posts: 292
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:24 pm
Location: Great Barrington, MA

Unrequited love

Post by altar » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:07 pm

Qualifies as metta?

More like contemplation of dukkha - this longing I feel is it a wholesome thing to dwell on? But I feel as long as I am not permanently fixated on this “wish” it is kind of a starting point for metta. Thoughts?

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 5531
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Unrequited love

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:40 pm

altar wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:07 pm
Qualifies as metta?

More like contemplation of dukkha - this longing I feel is it a wholesome thing to dwell on? But I feel as long as I am not permanently fixated on this “wish” it is kind of a starting point for metta. Thoughts?
By "unrequited love", people usually mean some kind of romantic or sexual longing that isn't reciprocated. That's certainly not metta, as far as I understand it. It's an exceptionally painful feeling which can lead to some very bad places. As such, I don't think it is a wholesome thing to dwell on. It probably would be wholesome to analyse such feelings dispassionately, and see how one can extricate oneself from them. Consider how the feeling would rapidly dissipate if the love were reciprocated; and how (precisely because it is not reciprocated) it is largely based on a fantasy of how things could be, rather than how they are.

There is a starting point for metta here. It involves good-will for oneself, and the wish that one see such a situation clearly and in a way that lessens longing and other negative emotions. I don't know the particulars, but one possible drawback of metta cultivated for the object of unrequited romantic love is that such love may be a "near enemy", and tip over into increased desire and obsession.

User avatar
JamesTheGiant
Posts: 965
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:41 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Unrequited love

Post by JamesTheGiant » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:51 am

[... love may be a "near enemy", ...
This is a very important point @Altar, you really must google "Metta" and "Near Enemy".

dharmacorps
Posts: 930
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Unrequited love

Post by dharmacorps » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:13 pm

Indeed. The process you are describing is craving. Not getting what you want is dukkha. I don't see where metta enters the situation you have described.

truthseeker135
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:39 pm

Re: Unrequited love

Post by truthseeker135 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:58 pm

Metta is compared to motherly love in the Karaniya Meta Sutta "Even as a mother protects with her life Her child, her only child, So with a boundless heart, Should one cherish all living beings;". Metta is not based on tanha, it is boundless compassion for all living beings, not lust for all living beings. A mother does not lust for her children. Unrequited love is based in lust. You want to be with someone because you are attracted to their physical features. It is based on avijja, ignorance of the tilakkhana, anicca- impermanence, dukkha-suffering derived from craving, and anatta-non self.
with Metta,
Robert

Srilankaputra
Posts: 673
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:56 am
Location: Sri Lanka

Re: Unrequited love

Post by Srilankaputra » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:48 am

This kind of thing is so easy to handle if we have faith in the dhamma. All compounded things are impermanent. This too will pass.
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 2838
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Unrequited love

Post by cappuccino » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:26 pm

Have a romance with truth.

samsarictravelling
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:17 am
Contact:

Re: Unrequited love

Post by samsarictravelling » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:28 am

altar wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:07 pm
Qualifies as metta?

More like contemplation of dukkha - this longing I feel is it a wholesome thing to dwell on? But I feel as long as I am not permanently fixated on this “wish” it is kind of a starting point for metta. Thoughts?
If they don't love you back, get over them. Waste of time.

But if you can't get over them just by hearing me tell you to do it, then you'll eventually learn to get over them.

Holding on to them will just cause you suffering, and you will seek how to deal with the unrequited love. And then there will be someone who shows you how to get over unrequited love. Well, at least that's what happened to me. And that person is Tracy Schorn, not in person, but in the book she wrote that I happen to find. The book is about getting over someone who cheated on you (in my case, it was not cheating, but unreciprocated love; but the book still helped me get over them). And that book is:

Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life: The Chump Lady's Survival Guide

You can find the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/Leave-Cheater-Gai ... 0762458968

This book is for both males and females, not just females. Tracy Schorn is also known as 'Chump Lady', so don't think the subtitle 'The Chump Lady's Survival Guide' means this book is for females who are chumps -- Chump Lady is another name Tracy Schorn goes by.

Now, about your inquiry. Well, if you're not really fixated on them, really want them, then I guess you can feel a friendliness to them (I don't know if you could call this friendliness by the word 'metta'). Romantic love, and any other attachment love -- like to family members, sons, daughters -- is termed 'pema'. Pema is love with attachment. Metta is love that is for every being, friend and foe.

But you could have a love interest (wife, girlfriend), which is pema, and still develop metta for them and for all beings, I would guess.

I myself don't have any wife or girlfriend.

samsarictravelling

SavakaNik
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:21 pm

Re: Unrequited love

Post by SavakaNik » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:32 am

Metta should be understood as merely absence of ill-will, or perhaps at the very least intention toward absence of ill-will in regards to the phenomena presently pertained.
Unrequited love definitely qualifies as ignorance and dukkha (which technically is the same as 'ignorance of dukkha').

binocular
Posts: 6494
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Unrequited love

Post by binocular » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:01 am

altar wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:07 pm
Qualifies as metta?

More like contemplation of dukkha - this longing I feel is it a wholesome thing to dwell on? But I feel as long as I am not permanently fixated on this “wish” it is kind of a starting point for metta. Thoughts?
Can you wish that the person that you love (but who doesn't love you back) would find someone whom they would love (obviously, someone other than you) and who would love them back?

If you can cultivate that wish, that can cure you of your feelings of unrequited love, and set things straight. That then might be a starting point for metta.

(I did that once. After months of feeling unrequited love, those feelings dissipated completely in a matter of days once I made a point of wishing the other person would find someone whom they would really love and who would love them back.)
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 7 guests