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Being free together

Updated on January 30, 2016

Relationships constitute an inevitable part of life, immensely influencing our journey of life. One can imagine how different our life would have been without relationships. With the advent of civilizations in any part of the world, people have been having many relationships. Our life is not feasible without relationships, albeit their nature and form has changed from time to time everywhere.

Though we can’t manage without them, nevertheless many a time our relationships become a source of unhappiness for us. At times, unhappiness is so intense and acute in certain relationships that we don’t know how to handle them. We stray into wilderness of their perplexities and finally give up hope of sustaining those relationships.

Have we ever reflected why our relationships go awry, causing us much unhappiness? In fact, we all have sincerely reflected on this but still relationships don’t show much change. Let us do some serious contemplation on the issue that is so significant for all of us. As humans are gregarious by temperament, it is, therefore, necessary for humans to form relationships. The social bases that underlie various relationships are thus:

Economical basis– It is common that relationships are normally formed according to economic status of people; people from the same status involve with each other in relationships. It is commonly seen that relationships from different economic status flounder in the long run.

Educational basis– Normally, people from similar educational background involve themselves in relationships. On the contrary, relationships formed by people from different educational background are likely to flounder.

Religious basis – Normally, people from same religious traditions involve forming relationships.

Regional basis – It is commonly seen that people from the same region prefer to form relationships, especially when they are in other regions.

Community basis – It is one of the strong reasons as people from the same community prefer to form relationships more so when in foreign countries.

It is commonly seen that relationships based on the above bases flounder quite often because they have selfishness as its basic component. A relationship that has selfless love as its very basis will survive in the long run, irrespective of type of relationship: family, friends, professional or social relationship as well as its basis. Selfless love is the only force that will let us be free from enslavement while being in relationships.

Selfless love as a binding force - Any relationship – family, friends, professional, social etc. is sustained by love that may have different meanings and connotations in different relationships. Love may have different characteristics for family, friends and other relationships. But its chief characteristic is that it should have free flow of love to and fro from all involved in a relationship. All in a relationship should selflessly allow it to flow freely so as to make it sustainable. If one attempts to control the other in a relationship, the flow of love is obstructed making it difficult to sustain. An abundance of selfless love will undoubtedly allow a relationship to flourish making all involved in it happy. If there is no reciprocal flow of love, a relationship will begin to cease to function. If a person involved in a relationship tries to control the other, this will obstruct the flow of love. Love in a relationship implies that we accept others fully with their imperfections. Whereas, on the other hand, if we try to control others, it means that we are unwilling to accept others with all their imperfections and flaws.

Selfless love in relationships is characterized by:

  • The partners accept fully others without reservations as they are. All of us have imperfections that make us unique in many ways. As a relationship thrives on trust in each other, our lack of acceptance of each other will not allow trust to generate in a relationship.
  • A crucial element required for the health of a relationship is respect for each other. A relationship without this element is going to rock to doom. It also implies that we respect other’s attitudes, views and perspectives; we understand the feelings and emotions of each other and respect them.
  • A relationship is likely to suffer from neglect from those involved in it. Such neglect may be due to some reasons that are currently beyond the control of each other. The partners should have an ability to understand each other’s helplessness in such situations. And they should take prompt measures to control the damage. If damage has been done, they should show magnanimity by letting it go instead of blaming each other. An important way to avoid the neglects in relationships is to stay in touch because by being in touch with each other, we show that we care for the relationship.
  • Frequent communication is essential for good health of a relationship. At times, people are not able to communicate directly due to some preoccupation but they can do so by means of messages on mobiles etc., showing concern for each other. This can only happen if there is selfless love in the relationship.
  • There arise many occasions when people have emotional arousal due to some reasons in a relationship. Most of time, such arousals happen spontaneously because we are prone to be swept away by emotions. But we should not waste time in controlling the damage done. Or else the relationship is likely to suffer. We should make efforts to control emotional outburst for the sake of relationships.
  • Above all, those involved in a relationship should promptly apologize if they find that they are at fault for some reason. It happens sometimes that a person doesn’t apologize because one views the situation differently. So, the other shouldn’t ask for an apology but instead try to understand other’s viewpoint. People should not hesitate to forgive each others for their lapses in relationships.
  • People care for each other’s feelings and emotions in a relationship which is based on selfless love.
  • People involved in relationships, where selfless love predominates, don’t normally adhere rigidly to their stances and attitudes; they try to accommodate to each other’s viewpoints and stances amicably smoothing out the differences whenever necessary.

It appears that everyone tries to control others in relationships. Such relationships rob each other of their freedom; they suffocate each other leading finally to breakup in order to restore their breathing space. There are instances of relationships, in which, instead of reciprocal exchange of love, there is flow of love from one side. They too become burdensome in the long run when the other partner doesn’t get back appropriate love and thus feels cheated. Such relationships are also doomed to failure. These days it is rare to find relationships that really stand on the foundation of mutual selfless love. Majority of them have selfishness as a shaky foundation beneath them and when the selfish motives are not met with, such relationships begin to crumble down. Most of us know this fact well. But what an irony it is that we still don’t love selflessly in relationships!


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    • Dr Pran Rangan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Pran Rangan 

      2 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Thanks for your encouraging comments.

    • CrisSp profile image


      2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Very thought provoking but I like your insights about mutual selfless love as a binding force to any relationship and a key to a real partnership.

      Good, delightful hub.

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Pran Rangan 

      2 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Dana, I appreciate your views. No doubt it is difficult to find selfless love in relationships these days, even in close ones like marriage. As the norms of society in regard to love are changing, so are our perceptions changing accordingly. That is why there are so many cases of divorces and marital infidelity these days.

      It is quite burdensome to continue living in a relationship in which a partner selfish as experienced by you.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      I found myself in a long-term relationship and I literally broke myself trying to show this person how much I loved them. After twenty years of not being appreciated, I grew tired. I thank God this bad experience hasn't tainted my perception of love. I still hope to find the love we are talking about in this article, which is selfless love.

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Pran Rangan 

      2 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Dana, I agree with you that we normally don't have selfless love in relationships other than those with our parents and children. For any relationship to flourish there has to be a reciprocal exchange of selfless love. In relationships other than those with our parents and children, we are afraid that the partner will not reciprocate with selfless love; in fact, many marriages face the same situation. This fear prevents us from giving selfless love in these relationships. It is also unjust to expect every time equal reciprocation of exchange of selfless love in any relationship. There are situations in any relationship where one in not able to show selflessness at times but the other should show magnanimity to understand the situation and respond responsibly.

      Thanks for your nice comments.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "selfless love" we can have selfless love with our children and parents but for some reason when it comes to love in a relationship it is rarely selfless.


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