Religion:Buddhism and romantic relationships

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In regards to romantic relationships, Buddhism has very liberal views.[1] Buddhism encourages independence through non attachment. Non attachment is the idea that in order to be fulfilled and happy in life, a person cannot be attached to any one thing because this thing can cause suffering.[2] In order to be happy and to follow the path of enlightenment, Buddhism teaches people to discard all things in life that can cause pain. This idea is not referring to worldly objects in the physical sense, but in a spiritual sense. To achieve non attachment, one must detach from the idea of a perfect person and holding one’s partner to an impossible standard. Instead, one must accept a partner for who they are unconditionally. In Buddhism, this is the key to a happy romantic relationship. Accepting a partner for who they are, for who they are throughout their life no matter what changes, and making the best of every situation is how one achieves personal fulfillment in a romantic relationship.

The idea of unconditional love is essentially what Buddhism teaches.[3] Marriage is a social construct that has changed vastly throughout the course of history. People married for a variety of reasons including: status, wealth, power and love. Buddhist text do not delve too deeply into the idea of marriage because Buddhism leaves the decision to marry up to each individual person. In Buddhism, marriage is not a religious obligation, a means for procreation, or a romantic notion of love. It is simply an option for each individual to make. If an individual believes marriage will bring them happiness and keep them on the path of enlightenment, then they are free to make that choice. Buddhism does not provide rules or traditions about marriage; instead, the religion offers advice to help a person live happily while they are married. This advice is thought to help give people the best chance at a happy relationship. Buddhist texts do make it clear that men should be limited to one wife. A major belief in Buddhism in regards to marriage is that one should not stray from their wife and family.[4] In Buddhist text, it is clear that The Buddha thought that the biggest hurdle of man is their weakness to other women. He saw the weakness and trouble that other women brought to a family and advised against it. Instead of a religious obligation, marriage is seen as an individual choice. Buddhism allows for each person to make the decision of whether or not they want to be married, how many children they want to have, and who they want to marry.

The way Buddhists view divorce is very interesting. The religion does not prohibit it, but, the idea of living the Buddhist lifestyle would suggest that one not need to divorce. If a person is living by the ideals of Buddhism and accepting someone for who they are and following the path of enlightenment, it stands to argument that they would never need a divorce because they would be fulfilled with their marriage and their partner. It is also stated that separation is preferable to being miserable for a prolonged period of time. The religion prefers that a couple separate rather than live together and be counterproductive to personal fulfillment and enlightenment. Buddhism also made it clear that to prevent divorce; older men should not have younger wives. The claim was that the age difference would make them incompatible and cause problems leading to divorce.[5] Overall, Buddhism says that any person is free to divorce, especially if it is hindering their path to personal fulfillment. However, it makes the important distinction that living a Buddhist lifestyle would mean creating a happy and strong relationship that would not end in divorce.

See also

  • Buddhist view of marriage
  • Buddhism and sexual orientation
  • Buddhism and sexuality


  1. "Dhammananda, K. Sri. "Buddhist Views on Marriage." Buddhist Study and Practice Group, [1], 11 Mar. 2001. Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  2. 'Valentine, Matt. "The Beginners Guide to Letting Go and Becoming Enlightened Through Non-Attachment." 02 Mar. 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2016. [2].'
  3. "Piver, Susan. "Buddhism and Relationships." 01 Mar. 2010. Retrieved on 16 Apr. 2016. [3]."
  4. "Dhammananda, K. Sri. "Buddhist Views on Marriage." Buddhist Study and Practice Group, [4], 11 Mar. 2001. Retrieved on 16 April 2016.
  5. "Dhammananda, K. Sri. "Buddhist Views on Marriage." Buddhist Study and Practice Group, [5], 11 Mar. 2001. Retrieved on 16 April 2016.