Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
2600htz
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Re: Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Post by 2600htz » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:26 am

Hello:

Well i have a different opinion.

If you take someone who has a face deformity, he might not persue romantic relationships, but his mind could be still be very tied to that subject.
Why? because he does not persue romantic relationships out of fear, trauma, bad self esteem, or wrong views (i don´t deserve relationships, im a monster, etc), even if he really wants to.

So my advice would be to weight yourself, and determine if this seclusion you are having is for the sake of virtue, trauma, fear, disease, personal goals, etc. and to proceed according to that conclusion.

Regards.

justindesilva
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Re: Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Post by justindesilva » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:28 am

cappuccino wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:44 am
Why is it not needed?
dogs need it, trees don't

Buddhism is sort of like nature
Prince Siddhartha was emotionally tied up to princess Yasodara as long as they were husband and wife. When prince Siddhartha decided to go in to solitude he forced his emotions to be suppressed which meant to break off his sexual attachments.
My current social experiences also makes me decide that intimacy in couples remain as long as they can fulfil their sexual requirements. Often when couples get older their intimacy is often held by their love towards children that is aspired by a common goal of looking after children.
This is a development of mettha ( loving kindness) with deviation of sexual intimacy.
I also have seen married couples sticking together with a loving kindness to look after each other after living together for a long life.
Though the initial drive towards intimacy is sexual drive later development of intimacy develops loving kindness or mettha . If we read through parabava sutta and sigalovada sutta lord Buddha explains the way to go on family life until sexual intimacy wanes but develops Mettha.

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cappuccino
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Re: Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Post by cappuccino » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:58 am

People care so much, they suffer!

They suffer so much, but don't seem to care!

well…

Buddha cared rightly

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manas
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Re: Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Post by manas » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:18 am

santa100 wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:05 pm
GoodMorning wrote:After considering that monks/nuns also lead single and celibate lifes and live in fullilment, perhaps you can make me feel at ease in my grave concerns that emotional intimacy is needed to live a fulfilled life and what conditions may have to occur for this to be the case.
The problem is that it's a 50/50 chance that one'll attain emotional intimacy living with a spouse. If one's lucky, one will get emotional intimacy, but there're plenty of cases where all one gets is emotional trauma/abuse instead. Beside, the moment one's decided to take the big plunge and leave the single life behind, one'd better be prepared for a potential loss of personal freedom and a guaranteed increase in responsibilities (to take care of one's spouse, one's children, families on the spouse side, etc.). Being fully aware of the reality and all the pros and cons, one'd be in a better position to decide the proper course of action for their life. Good luck.
Whenever I hear all of that, my wish to enter into a 'relationship' withers away even more...sounds like just.so.much.hard.work. I even heard a recently married person say 'there are challenges with being in relationship' - after being married not even six months.
How often we regret having said too much, and how seldom, too little!

GoodMorning
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Re: Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Post by GoodMorning » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:49 am

Hi, an update. Thank you for the comments, and I think I have gained some insights from them as well as my contemplations:
1. In every situation we are in, we suffer. Single people like me suffer. Married people suffer as well. Even Monks and nuns suffer. The grass seems greener on the other side, but is that so? How would I know?

2. Intimacy is not needed to live a fulfilled live; I am now confident practicing the dhamma alone can lead to a very fulfilled and flourishing live. There are many genuinely happy monks who attest to this, there are many genuinely content hermits and recluses. They can also be in positive mental states and so can I. In fact, the Buddha is the shining example.

3. Romantic Love is craving and brings suffering, even worse suffering if its unrequited. Contrast this to the Bhramaviharas, which include metta, and bring joy, peace, and good will to me you and everyone. I ought to orient myself to cultivating Bhramaviharas instead instead of wallowing in unrequited romantic love.

Thank you and may you be happy!

sunnat
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Re: Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Post by sunnat » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:05 am

sadhu sadhu sadhu :anjali:

"walk alone and do no evil" - MN 128 Upakkilesa Sutta - Imperfections

holylotus
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Re: Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Post by holylotus » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:52 pm

GoodMorning wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:49 am


2. Intimacy is not needed to live a fulfilled live; I am now confident practicing the dhamma alone can lead to a very fulfilled and flourishing live.



Is this also true for individuals who have missed out on the opportunity of ever developing a healthy trusting emotional and physical relationship with their parents or any other caregivers due to their physical absence or emotional absence (alcoholism for example) during childhood?

Being in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex with none of the restrictions that other relationships have seems the only way to ''learn'' this seemingly essential function of emotionaly connecting with another human being, leading to emotional intelligence , essential for the development of a healthy ego, which is in turn essential to then go on and dismantle that ego..

Would practicing brahmaviharas not always somehow seem ''fake'' to some part of the brain/heart, constantly plagued with the knowledge that compared to others one's life is deprived of this basic building block?

Can cultivating the notion "may all have what I lack" truly work in such a situation aswell?

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Zom
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Re: Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Post by Zom » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:07 pm

1. In every situation we are in, we suffer. Single people like me suffer. Married people suffer as well. Even Monks and nuns suffer. The grass seems greener on the other side, but is that so? How would I know?
Greener on that side taken by married - otherwise 95% of nuns and monks wouldn't disrobe eventually :D
Well, if one were to pursue monastic way of life I'd recommend him to follow important (and often overlooked) Buddha's advice - that is finding good friends on this way. Not "colleagues", but real friends. Being alone is always hard and most people suffer because of that - in monkhood or in lay life.
Romantic Love is craving and brings suffering, even worse suffering if its unrequited. Contrast this to the Bhramaviharas, which include metta, and bring joy, peace, and good will to me you and everyone. I ought to orient myself to cultivating Bhramaviharas instead instead of wallowing in unrequited romantic love.
Romantic love dies quickly in any relationship - and is replaced by metta .) If it is not replaced by that - this relationship dies together with fading away of romantic love 8-) This is my 20 years experience as a married man.

santa100
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Re: Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Post by santa100 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:54 pm

Yep, no matter how beautiful one's partner is or how wonderful the relationship starts off, it's kinda a shock to see how quickly the initial "high" wears off post-honey moon period. But then as Buddhists, Anicca, Anicca, Anicca, should be no surprise right? To put it bluntly, it's not that much different from those new feelings when one first got a brand new house, a brand new car, or any brand new toys, etc.. the initial "high" only lasted for so long. Then the mind adapts, adjusts, falls back to the normal operating mode, and begins to seek whole different novel experiences all over again.

narhwal90
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Re: Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Post by narhwal90 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:17 am

Being in a marriage that has long been showing all the signs of growing apart and being together for the kids provides ample challenges for developing and maintaining metta towards the spouse. It is a profoundly different alternative to the all-too-easily developed stony distance, unhealthy repression of desire and conflict. Cultivating metta in such a situation seems to support a cordial and functional relationship. I find assiduous practice is needed to see desire as another transient formation and not getting involved in it.

It seems emotional intimacy for us is pretty long gone over the last 10 years. Having done a lot of work with a shrink along with pursuit of dharma I can see and understand many more of the reasons for her emotional shutdown which comes with a variety of other issues- the distance is not just with me. I sure would like it if she were emotionally comfortable with more than small-talk, but lacking that, dharma practice lets me act as the husband and father without needing her to be anything other than how she is. I know full well the cost of not continually attending to my spiritual condition, I recall very well those arguments and fights and drama of the past in front of the kids.

As far as emotionally intimate conversations go, I have them with dharma friends of various kinds, keeping the topics and settings appropriate.

GoodMorning
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Re: Emotional intimacy only for couples? Why is it not needed?

Post by GoodMorning » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:55 am

I'd like to say based on the comments that pairing up is the favored choice by most and that it is how humans as a species has evolved over time, with pair bonding in serving the principal function to raise children but also for other reason; I am not sure if strict monogamy is natural trait of the species, although it may be favored by reason and prudence as a way to minimize troubles and sufferings in life and maximize long term companionship that most of us crave. So if in doubt with regards to following the life of celibate renunciates and hermits, by all means it may be preferable to follow down the pair bonding path, and if this is to heal past traumas so much the better.

I did not know the Buddha adviced having friends, and this indeed speaks to his insight. Hellenistic philosophies, most notably the Epicureans, valued friendship highly. In fact, if I understand the Epicureans, their most pleasant life would be one of communing with many friends while living independently and self-sufficiently. The solitary life is also possible if you are in that mindset. There are many stories of hermits (one St. Anthony in the Christian tradiation I remember) for example that live alone for years and emerged from their seclusion as they content as can be. Solitude does not have to be miserable experience, though like marriage, hermits do describe having ups and downs.

And emotional intimacy with friends, one free of possessiveness, clinginess, neediness, this is a beautiful thing. I regard those who have experienced this as blessed.

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