When it comes to romantic relationships, I think we have some big-time conflicting values inside most of us. On the one hand, the idea of finding that “one” soul-lover whom we’re supposed to share the rest of our lives with is just so noble, romantic, and intriguing. On the other hand, the free spirit within us knows deep down that it belongs to no one, and no one belongs to it. It knows that true love knows no bounds. It’s not exclusive. Its nature is not aligned with rules and dos and donts. It doesn’t ask “Why were you looking at that other man or woman?” It simply doesn’t concern itself with those worries. It just wants to say “You and I are one.”
Romantic relationships are exciting. After all, it is two souls holding nothing back from one another. If the moment calls it, a kiss may happen, or making love, or babies. Nothing is held back. It’s intimacy without bounds. Naked, skin to skin, heart to heart, uncensored oneness. “My life is your life. Yours is mine.”
However, in practice, I think we can agree that those who are in a romantic relationship (whether married or casual) accept a certain degree of unwanted attachment and expectations and rules, but choose it because the happiness it brings them far outweighs the alternative. Why the attachment? Because the personality and ego and mind and definitions and identifications and family and friends and… will always get involved. To navigate those, and to simplify and be practical, we resort to convention and agreements and rules and expectations. “I expect to receive your attention, as I attend to you.” “I expect not to see you kissing another man, as I won’t be kissing someone else.” “I will get worried, or even suspicious, if I don’t know how you’re spending your days or nights.”
Defined romantic relationships are ingrained deeply in our individual and mass society psyches. They make sense. As soon as the relationship is announced, people will acknowledge and appreciate it. It’s natural, simple, and familiar. X is with Y. Y is with X. OK, got that!
Outside of that model messes with the simplicity, and can make people nervous: X is 25 and alone? That seems fishy. I have lived in the States since my twenties, and throughout that decade I was single. It happened several times when I was confronted with sincere confusion from those who just thought of being single at my age as odd. Perhaps it was even uncomfortable for them to witness it. How about X with Y and Z? Oh no, it’s too weird, not to mention hard to keep up!
I myself am conflicted about this. I see Osho (the famous spiritual guru)’s talks, where he states that human beings are meant to be polygamous, and should have as many lovers as love beckons it, and I get uneasy.
Part of me agrees. If your love brings jealousy, or makes you want to keep your beloved for yourself only, then it’s not pure. Pure love doesn’t exclude.
On the other hand, I know human love and sexual desire are very very very very slippery things. Sure, if we get several spiritual masters who are all in the state of superconsciousness together, then what differences does it make if they’re praying or making love? God is in everything they do.
But I believe in being practical about things, especially when it comes to personal growth and the spiritual journey. Let’s face it, most of us aren’t ready for embracing Osho’s vision for life. For most of us, our minds cannot handle having multiple lovers! One is enough trouble for it! We get caught up in the drama, so fast, so easily.
And now the personal part of this blog…
Five years ago, just after my breakup of my only romantic relationship in this life had happened, through the desperate circumstances of course, I came to understand what my heart really desires. I sent a message to Nahla, telling her that I longed to have a love with her that is unaffected by circumstances, that allows for other relationships, that is unconditional. And because she was away, I got what I desired! The relationship was gone. The love stayed in me. And I believe in her too. This was now a “love relationship”, no longer a “romantic relationship”. I called her my “soulfriend”.
No longer my business “who are her current friends, or even lovers”, I found a blissful sense of freedom in the place I was. Because I still felt the love and strong connection between us, unaffected by circumstances of time and space.
Is this not real love, if not romantic? I so beg to differ! Love is deep connection. Sexual desire or need for a companion are entirely other things.
Later on, life moved on, without her around. And life brought me new close and deep connections and friendships with other souls, whom felt like “soulfriends” also.
Interestingly, in these recent years all my close friends have been women. Perhaps it’s because of my own internal shift. In a complete 180 degree turn, from my life up to five years ago, I now feel attuned to and relate much more with female friends than guy friends. I feel I understand and relate to them more. And I feel they understand me better as well. So each time the passing circumstances bring a soulfriend of mine around, I quickly and inevitably get asked by the next observer “Do you have a new girlfriend?”. I only smile, and because I never go into the troublesome waters of romance, I never feel a tinge of embarrassment, attachment, trouble, or bondage 🙂
I consider myself lucky for having several soulfriends, literally spread through the planet. Yep, I confess, I am a guy with many lovers! I cannot describe how much joy I feel for feeling a love connection with them, yet having no burden or need of knowing of their whereabouts, or other relationships, or having a responsibility other than keeping the love connection strong. It needs no physical plane to keep it going. It’s powerful. It’s beautiful. It’s free. Not affected by life and death, it persists through lifetimes!
Can one maintain his or her love-relationship, and still go into a new romantic relationship? I believe it is possible, but perhaps difficult for most of us.
But I feel no need for a romantic relationship, as I feel I have been blessed to have fulfilled my desires for companionship or sex. So I’m going to stay as a free monk, and keep my love for all my soulfriends burning high. It’s a beautiful and light way to be! Am I just afraid? I honestly don’t know. Time will only tell.
Of course this stuff won’t make much sense to many of us, for whom, the whole point of relationship is the romance, to call someone mine, to feel a life goal accomplished, or to get into one’s pants. That’s fine too. Everyone is learning and growing.
No matter what, I feel our world needs more and more this type of “love relationship”, because it would bring much needed, more loving connection among us. If “romantic relationship” remains our sole mindset, we will miss out on a lot of love! And there’s no power above the power of love. Moreover, more deep and true connections between males and females will serve the urgent need of our world to move from the masculine energy into the feminine way of being.