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Sandra: Hi, Arlindo. I hope you are well and that the seminar in India was a pleasant experience. I very much appreciate your input, and hope you can shed some light on some doubts I have around relationships.
Arlindo: Okay, Sandra. Let me try.
Sandra: As I have mentioned before, I left my husband due to a strong, indefinable urge to be alone. I really enjoy being alone more and more; it’s such an experience of freedom. However, I am now, and have been for some time, involved with someone in my Vedanta group, and I am not sure if even being in any kind of (love) relationship is helpful at this stage of my life.
Arlindo: That is a difficult question to answer because it depends on your motivations – on what you expect to gain from the relationship. That alone will determine its quality. It is also important to acknowledge the magnitude of your desire to have the love relationship.
Sandra: Sure, it’s absolutely my preference that he is a Vedantin; a worldly person would be too disturbing for the time being. We enjoy each other’s company. However, we fight quite a lot about different understandings and doubts about the scripture, and it’s agitating my mind a lot. I have a sense that it would be sensible to deal with our own issues for some time without getting romantically involved.
Arlindo: There we go, Sandra. It is very rare to find two individuals in a healthy and mutually supportive love relationship. From what you describe, attachment, dependency, the need to control, etc. have already set into your relationship. Only when we are attached and dependent on the other we begin struggling to control. We want to control because we are afraid we may lose that object which we mistakenly believe we depend on for our happiness.
Sandra: Honestly, I’m not really sure how to do this relationship in a sane way anymore. I feel like a phony. He’s much more interested in sex than me, and romance stuff. It seems like dispassion has kind of faded it out for me, not completely, but to some extent. And then I feel guilty, thinking I should be able to be in a healthy relationship since I have the Vedanta toolbox.
Arlindo: We do what we can, Sandra. You “should” not do anything. “SHOULD” is a terrible notion. We do the best we can – we all make mistakes as humans. Do not think your relationship should be better than it is. It will be better and healthier only to the degree you further develop qualities such as dispassion and discrimination. These qualities are the only remedy against attachment, sorrow and delusion.
The next thing for you to see is how much you “need” this relationship. If you want too much, to drop out could be suppression; it may cause more mental disturbance than staying with it and trying to grow from within the relationship, which is often a messy and painful endeavor. Love relationships often work like a “trap”: easy to fall into, but very difficult to get out of. ☺
Sandra: I have to mention that when it comes to my kids I am very affectionate, kissing and cuddling, and I also have very close friendships, so it’s not like dispassion has turned me into a zombie. ☺ I seem to be much better with friendships than romantic relationships.
I hope this makes sense.
And I would also love to chat via Skype, some time next week if you are available.
~ Much love and gratitude, Sandra
Arlindo: Yes, Sandra. I am available to talk to you over Skype if you find it could be helpful.
~ Love to you too, Arlindo