Most singles searching for love believe they are ready for love. Who can blame them? They're doing all the things mainstream love experts recommend like keeping fit, making room in their life for that special person, and doing what it takes to meet new and interesting potential matches. But they may not be ready for love, based on the ultimate love life test. |
According to Osho, the ultimate love life test is the capacity to be alone: "The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it's not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person--without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.”
We've found these words of wisdom to be true. We have great compassion for those who are fearful of solitude, but as Jean-Paul Sartre said, “If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company.” We interpret that to mean that you may benefit from examining the root cause of not liking to be alone before you enter into a love relationship. Rollo May said, “Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don't find themselves at all.”
As kids, we shared a bedroom, and with a full house, never had much opportunity for solitude. Now, as adults, we both relish solitude. As Audrey Hepburn said in 1953, “I have to be alone very often. I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That's how I refuel." We understand what she said. It's like solitude allows us to access the other side and catch up to our souls, after interacting with people and navigating through our daily lives in the mundane world.
We see exactly where Leonardo da Vinci was coming from when he said, “If you are alone you belong entirely to yourself. If you are accompanied by even one companion you belong only half to yourself or even less in proportion to the thoughtlessness of his conduct and if you have more than one companion you will fall more deeply into the same plight.”
At the same time, we understand why love of solitude may be a controversial view, relative to love relationships. It's tough to have a conventional love relationship if you need a lot of alone time. We suggest a balance of solitude and being with your partner. However, many people don't like it if their partner enjoys and needs solitude.
The real problem seems to be how people view relationships, largely due to societal conditioning. As Osho points out above, possession, dependence, and lack of freedom and unconditional love aren't hallmarks of true love. Granted, few people are at the point of feeling completely at ease with allowing a partner absolute freedom, without conditions.
Being mindful of these words of wisdom involving solitude is a good start to being ready for an authentic love relationship.
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Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo
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