Relationships are part of human life and well-being. It gave a sense of support, security, and belonging. Maintaining a healthy relationship is as important as sending a rocket to space or the innovation of AI.
Every phenomenon works on effort; just like that, having a good relationship demands lots of work.
Beginning a relationship and maintaining one is a different thing. It’s about two unique souls trying to make one life full of love, respect, and understanding. Keeping a relationship needs guidelines to work it out properly and build it. Here is when Buddhist principles throw light on human relationships.
Four Noble Truths of Love
We can apply the four noble truths of Buddhist practice to human relationships. Let’s have a look at each one in brief.
- Recognizing Suffering: It is the realization of suffering in a relationship. Every human connection faces distress or dissatisfaction at some point; this eventually leads to suffering in a relationship. Everything changes, and nothing is static. Regarding relationships, a change that affects the partners might lead to pain.
- Identifying the Causes: It indicates that we can identify the causes of suffering in relationships. There is a reason for everything, so similarly, if your relationship fails, some factors must make that failure happen. It can be a misunderstanding, miscommunication, or anything. We can analyze and identify the causes that lead to suffering.
- End of Suffering: This stage is discovering the truth that there is an end to suffering in a relationship. Just like the happy stage changed to suffering, we can understand there is a shift from suffering to happiness. It also establishes the fact of the impermanent nature of suffering or changes.
- The path to end suffering: This step indicates a Buddhist approach of noble eightfold that ends the suffering in a relationship. The eight noble path includes
- Right View
- Right Intention
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration
By following these eight noble eightfold paths of Buddhism, one can direct their relationship in a happy and mindful way.
Impermanence in a relationship: A Buddhist perspective
Impermanence (Anicca or Anitya) is one of the important doctrines of Buddhism. Humans are a matter of decay. People change as well as their perspective on relationships. According to Buddhism, every aspect of the world, including heavenly or hellish or, more precisely, everything under the sky and even in the Buddist cosmology, always changes and undergoes constant rebirth and death (Samsara).
Change is inevitable in human relationships. It applies not only to romantic relationships but to all kinds of relationships. It can be with your parents, siblings, and friends. It is not one way; the other person’s perspective also changes. No one can love a person in the same way or the same amount till the end, like the beginning. Sometimes, the end of a relationship happens so soon, and sometimes, it will take a long time.
When we are attached to someone, it is common that we want things just like in the beginning: warmth, heat, and all the glittery stuff. Then life happens, which comes with lots of ups and downs. The fact of impermanence, which means constant changes, gradually leads to the dukkha (sadness).
The attachment or being clingy to the person we love is a natural phenomenon. We all know life is not like a smooth sailing ship, so when we experience some bumps in the road of our relationship, we must get panicked. We can’t avoid the fear of losing someone whom we love with our whole heart. This fear or anxiousness leads us to suffer.
Avoiding impermanence in a relationship is impossible, but we can embrace it decently.
How to embrace impermanence in a relationship
Every problem in this world has a solution. The first step to solving any trouble is acceptance.
When we try to accept things as they are, it ultimately leads to finding logical solutions.
There are different kinds of phases in every relationship. The honeymoon phase sometimes follows with some dessert phase. When we hit a rough patch, we must realize that it is a phase just like the sweet phase you had in the past and accept what’s happening now.
We accepted that we are on a rough path; next, we must analyze the reasons that lead to the bitter phase/dry phase. It can be anything; if you are looking for a ‘happily ever after,’ you must analyze and converse with the person. It is like, Why is it not working now? Or ask yourself What changes your attitude about another person. Self-analysis can do wonders; real communication with the person you are struggling with can help a lot.
The former two steps help you to solve the rough patch. You can receive two kinds of results; if both of you want it to happen, then the effort comes from both sides, and you can easily tackle it. It is as simple as that. Otherwise, the action will occur, meaning you are no longer with that person. If that is going to happen, then you can go to the first step, which is to accept the reality, and after analyzing the reasons and doing some self-analysis, you can finally take action to move on.
Buddhist wisdom for relationships helps you lead a successful relationship with your fellow people. By embracing the four noble truths of Buddhism, one can analyze the reason for suffering and get rid of it through the noble eightfold path. With the concept of impermanence in a relationship and through the necessary steps, one can find solace in Buddhist philosophy to tackle the complexities of a human connection. To find more wisdom to guide your life, read blogs from our website, Hidden Mantra. Your path to a peaceful and content life starts here.