We see that we interact with several people. We feel related to several people. We like several people. When we spend some time with people whom we like then we generally develop a kind of more liking for them. When that liking goes beyond a particular threshold and other person becomes a source of happiness for us then we start calling that liking as Love.
Generally we start liking other person when that person suits to our preferences, likings and dislikings. When we get in touch with that person we feel good. With more and more time when I start getting assurance with the person that he evaluates me rightly, he feels good about me, he doesn’t doubt my intentions, he trusts me, he understands me and he has accepted me unconditionally then he starts becoming a source of happiness for me and with increase in the intensity of this feeling, I feel that I love that person.
Now here the problem starts.
In this wayof loving other person we expect other person to remain as he is now. I expect him to have same view towards me forever, I expect him to feel “good” about me with my own definition of “good”, I expect him to never doubt my intentions, I expect him to always evaluate me rightly, I expect him to keep accepting me unconditionally forever, I can not tolerate any change in the feeling, thoughts, behavior of other person towards me! If this happens even slightly it hurts me terribly. I can not tolerate that feeling of hurt and want other person to become same with me and remain same with me forever.
Even a small comment or slight behavior change in other person towards me gives rise to 1000s of questions within me. “Why is he doing like this?”, “What happened to him?”, “He was not like this”, “Probably he interpreted my previous actions in some wrong way” and many such more questions keep on troubling me. I get a fear of being wrongly evaluated. I can not tolerate it. I want other person to evaluate me rightly again. I want him to have same view about me which he had in past. The doubt which I have got in my mind for other person due to his change in behavior or comment makes me to reevaluate all my previous interactions with him. I start doubting him in all my previous interactions with him, I start feeling guilty for even slight mistakes I made in past with him. If I get a doubt on the intentions of other person then I start doubting his every action and in fact all previous interactions. This keeps happening with me till the time I am satisfied within myself with a conclusion for other person or I talk to other person to resolve the issue and this entire process is always very painful.
The way we love/like generally, the feeling which we develop over some time for other person is totally conditional. In this way we put several walls around other person and expect him to remain in those walls forever. Even the starting of our love is from conditions. When our conditions are fulfilled we start liking and then loving other person. This kind of love snatches our own freedom and the freedom of other person too whom we love.
In our current notions of love we hurt ourselves and hurt other person too. It also gives rise to many other problems. When we see that the person we love start paying attention to some other person more than us then we start feeling jealous, a feeling of hatred and opposition for that person start coming within us. When we see that the person we love is not able to return or respond back to us the way we want then we get hurt. If it continues for long then the feeling of love which we had start converting into a feeling of hatred.
In our current notions of love there is possessiveness, belongingness, “mine” and “yours”. I say that I love my parents because I consider them mine. If I come to know today that I am not their real child and I was adopted when I was a kid then my feeling for them might vanish/decrease in a fraction of seconds! I love other person when I consider him “mine”. When those notions of “mine” are changed then my feeling for those who have been “mine” is changed. See how much conditional our feeling is and we expect others to love us unconditionally!
What we consider currently as Love is actually NOT Love, it is Attachment!
Attachment is always conditional. Attachment always gives rise to negative feelings like jealousy/hatred/opposition etc. Attachment is not free from “mine” and “yours”. Attachment demands physical presence of other person. Attachment takes away our freedom and the freedom of other person too. Attachment makes us slave of other person. Attachment demands conformity/assurance from other person of response as per my notions of good, as per my preferences. Attachment is nothing but Violence and unfortunately we all are part of it. Attachment involves tremendous expectations from other person. Attachment involves dependency. Attachment is a liking on the basis of conditions which we ourselves are not aware of!
Love actually on the other hand is Unconditional. Love does not demand. Love doesn’t require physical presence of other person. Love is free from “mine” and “yours”. Love gives freedom to other person and liberates ourselves too. Love is unconditional liking for other person. It doesn’t expect anything in return. Love is “Ahimsa” (Non-Violence). Love is “Karuna”. Love is independent of our preferences, likings and dislikings. Love is not dependent on what other person has but is actually dependent on what a human being actually is! Love is invariant, unchanging feeling for other person independent of what may!
A human being naturally expects Certainty, Consistency and Continuity of Happiness in every dimension of his living. He doesn’t want any kind of dependency of his happiness on anything. Any kind of dependency violates Consistency and Continuity of Happiness which is not desirable to a human being. Attachment involves dependency of Happiness. Love is Continuity of Happiness.
With lack of understanding of Happiness we indulge into Attachment. With increase in Understanding of what Happiness actually is, we start moving towards Love.
To understand Relationships, Happiness, Trust, Respect, Love etc. we need knowledge. Knowledge includes understanding related to:-