Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Perfect Relationship


hello again Justin, I hope you are happy and healthy, I am back for another question. I have noticed that many people (myself included) are stuck in what I like to call a "dating cycle". We meet someone, get really excited, date them for a few months, find something wrong with them, get disappointed and look for someone else. I am getting really sick of this search for the perfect person to spend time with and I feel that perhaps I dont need to seek out marriage. Im not limiting myself from anything if it happens it happens, but Im quite happy on my own not being stuck in this cycle.

I was wondering though, do monks and nuns find it hard to live without relationships. I understand that monks and nuns cannot even touch, does it not get really lonely for them? Looking forward to your answer.

My comment:
It was a looong wait to hit Bull's Eye! You have hit a 10! This is your 10th visit. Congratulations! But no reward.

I thought you have understood the Buddha's teachings very well, but....well...?
Isn't your dating adventures, a very typical western "cultural experience"? As you said, you people expect this merry-go-round dating cycle. And that's what you will get.

Let's take an example. Suppose you are looking for a perfect house. You can even list down all the requirements for this perfect house. Say you are lucky enough to find such a perfect house. You buy it. After awhile many things can go wrong:-
1. the roof leeks
2. cracks appear on the walls
3. you suddenly find that the house is facing the wrong side
4. the neighbours are funny
5. the bathroom isn't the size that you imagined
6. the garage door isn't opening properly
7. the kitchen layout seems to be different from what you first saw
8. apart from all other things, you have changed your mind as to what a perfect house ought to be; for sure this is definitely not the perfect house that you wanted!
9. so you go look for another house
10. Bull's eye!

I am sure you are wise by now after learning about the Buddha's teachings that you CANNOT find the perfect partner simply because of the truths of "Anicca and Dukkha". "Impermanence and unsatisfactoriness". Even if you can find the perfect partner now, after awhile the perfection will show its flaws. We must be wised up that to search for perfection is to seek death, for even when you are going to die you will never find perfection. Sorry to be so harsh. But I can guarantee you perfect happiness if you are willing to experiment with your life. Make your eyes blind, deafen your ears, and make yourself dumb. Then go take a partner. Your partner will be the perfect one!

Your dating problem is a relationship problem. This is a very serious problem especially in western societies. The belief in personal freedom and independence has a self destructive force when two parties come in union. Each person has the preconceived idea that he/she can do anything he/she wants, and the other party must respect his/her privacy and independence. How can a marriage or relationship work when the two parties have such selfish and uncompromising attitudes? It is like trying to mix oil with water! Relationship can only work when the two parties have a compromising, understanding, and caring disposition . I am beginning to sound like a "marriage counsellor"!

Now coming back to monks and nuns. Of course one will have a thorough understanding of the Buddha's teachings to want to become a monk or nun. This is the spiritual path. What you are feeling is the worldly or carnal experience. The two do not mix. That is why in Buddhism, if one really wants to seek real truth and peace; one has to decide to "leave" this "terrible" world of sense desires which leads to sorrow and death.

If a person likes fishing, do you think he feels lonely when he fishes alone? Of course being a monk or nun is not as easy as going fishing. It takes great self- discipline and commitment to be in the spiritual path.


A true Malaysian said...


You sound like a marriage counsel to me in your answer to the question.

To me, this guy or gal is more of 'self-centred' person. He or she needs to learn to look at the other person's angle. If not, things can never be perfect as far as he or she is concerned.

Contentment is the key word for one to appreciate 'perfection'. We ourselves are not perfect anyone, why look at others?

A true Malaysian said...

correction, should be "We ourselves are not perfect 'anyway', why look at others"?

N4M said...


You are really a wise man. Your mind is so clear like plain water.

That sick since he said he is quite happy on his own not being stuck in this cycle, but he still wondering for the monks and nuns that do they feel lonely.

It shows that he still doesn't know how to deal with this loneliness.

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

I am just an ordinary person. "Talk only can!"

In actual life, I am still a foolish old man, always makes foolish mistakes.

The only "wisdom" is the realization of my foolishness.

Justin Choo said...

Sorry left out n4m,

My above comment is also meant for you.

Barry said...

All humans beings have "relationship problems." That's because all human beings are in relationship with other human beings. Monks and nuns are no exception.

Our relationship problems arise from our own consciousness - they are not due to the other person.

If we relate to other people from "I, my, me," we make problems for everyone.

But if we can transform self-concern into genuine concern for the well-being of everyone we meet, then true "perfection" will appear.

If we cultivate the mind that always asks "how can I help you?," then we will have a good relationship with our partner, children, teacher, co-workers, friends, and strangers.

Justin Choo said...

Hi Barry,

Thanks for visiting.

"Our relationship problems arise from our own consciousness - they are not due to the other person."

From my own personal experience, there are uncontrolled situations/circumstances, that others can cause us miseries, no matter how hard we try to love them or alienate them.

Barry said...

My old teacher used to say, "A good situation is a bad situation. A bad situation is a good situation."

Who makes bad? Who makes good?

The Buddha taught that world of opposites arises directly from our own thinking. But, when we're not thinking, then where is good or bad? It's just *this*...

Thanks for a great post. And thanks for your comment on Ox Herding!

Best wishes in the Dharma,

A true Malaysian said...

Only people with wisdom can run such a great blog. You are not a fool to me, Justin.

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

Thanks for the compliments and encouragement.

Justin Choo said...


I shall try to realize this axiom:

[ My old teacher used to say, "A good situation is a bad situation. A bad situation is a good situation." ]

N4M said...

Why not "A good situation is a good situation. A bad situation is also a good situation."?

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