Author Topic: Dating and meditation  (Read 265 times)

Maggie

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Dating and meditation
« on: June 25, 2018, 11:11:13 AM »
For a while now I've dated a guy who practices vipassana meditation on a daily basis. I really like him, but we are having some relationship problems. Every morning and every evening he meditates for one hour, and he is very strict about his routine. When we meet for a date night he will always take a break in the middle of our conversation or whatever we are doing to meditate for an hour. When he does this I feel left alone and I often feel stressed knowing that anytime he will "disappear" for an hour, leaving me alone waiting for him. I once asked him if two hours daily was really necessary and if he could not skip it on occasion, but he seemed offended that I asked referring to Goenkas teaching. I know not everyone practicing vipassana meditates for two hours daily, but for those who does what is your experience combining meditation with serious relationships?

oscarabeo

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Re: Dating and meditation
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 11:13:12 PM »
This is a great question.

I live with my girlfriend (who does not meditate at all) and I meditate two hours a day. It works because we're both flexible with each other's needs. I move my meditation block every day (by a little bit here and there) to accommodate her, and she also moves her schedule around to accommodate me.

These days there's almost never any conflict. For example, I'll meditate at work (I have a cushion there), or while she's cooking dinner, at yoga, or working.

As a rule I never draw a hard line -- each day has slightly different needs and I make exceptions when necessary. She always makes an effort to give me my space, but if I can detect that she needs my help or attention, I'll drop the session and pick it up later. In the end my relationships are more important than my time on the cushion.

Your boyfriend may find his meditation practice important for reasons which he finds difficult to express to you. He may be depressed, stressed out, lost, and meditation may be his respite. And if he's gonna be strict about his schedule, then I suppose you'll need to figure out how to live with that. It may require just not seeing him before or after that window.

Casually talking about this with him, and trying to understand his point of view, might allow you to see an option not previously considered. Or, at the very least, you may be able to see why his practice is so important to him. Why not ask?

But my experience is that in no way are the benefits of meditation diminished if one's schedule is slightly adjusted to accommodate the needs of others.

Update us if things change. If your boyfriend is reasonable this will work out. Wishing you the best.

o.

chin

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Re: Dating and meditation
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2018, 09:26:44 AM »
Are you a meditator too? If so, I would encourage you to look closely at your suffering. Is it caused by your boyfriend's strict meditation schedule or by your own clinging? Just so I don't come across as harsh, I'm being direct because I've suffered plenty because of my own clingy nature within my relationship with my wife. It is important that you see clearly the cause of our suffering - others can only cause pain, suffering is always generated within.

I've learned the hard way that "love is the discovery of the other person's freedom" (approximate quote from Mark Epstein's book - Open to Desire). Hold your relationship lightly, rather than clenching tight, and you'll both be much happier.

PS: if you're not a meditator, well, what a wonderful opportunity to start! Most people's excuse is that they can't find the time, but your boyfriend already gives you two hours everyday. ;)

Renate

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Re: Dating and meditation
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2018, 03:49:53 PM »
Being a meditator myself, and knowing how much benefit meditation brings me, I completely understand your boyfriends need to meditate twice a day. Most likely, it is in your benefit too - I know the difference in myself when I meditate regularly and when I don't :). But I understand it might be hard to comprehend for non-meditators.

I myself struggle with routine, have had my boundaries violated a lot in my family of origine and never had people around me accommodating meditation time.
If I don't set certain times and stick to that, there are people pulling me away from the cushion at all times. Perhaps your boyfriend has had these experiences too, and feels the need to 'protect' those valuable two hours, until he is certain of your support.

You mention you feel 'left alone' and 'stressed' when he 'disappears'. I wonder whether it just triggers abandonment issues, which might be a great opportunity to work on for you. (After all, he doesn't leave and comes back after the hour). It sounds like you know in advance when those hours might be, so you can plan accordingly. Perhaps you can do work, dishes, read, yoga, watch tv or whatever floats your boat.

You could talk with your boyfriend about his experience of meditation, to gain understanding why it's so important to him. After all, you'll have to accept that it is part of him (or leave :)).
Perhaps you guys can sit down, compare schedules and see what the best times would be to plan in meditation. I am sure if he realizes you will be giving him the time to meditate without him having to feel guilty, he won't mind to adjust times somewhat.

As mentioned for many people (myself included!) it is hard to stick to a regular meditation practice, that's why it is recommended to meditate at similar times each day. It could also be that this is the case with your boyfriend and for now he won't be able to change those times. Then you can still compare schedules and see how you guys plan in when you can see each other. It won't be much different then when people train on fixed times for sport or have other hobbies.

Wishing you both the best in this!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 03:51:38 PM by Renate »

dharma bum

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Re: Dating and meditation
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2018, 07:35:47 PM »
in general, meditation changes people for the better, so your boyfriend might become a calmer, more patient, kinder person, but sometimes people develop a feeling of superiority on account of their meditation practice, which can be a source of strife.
Mostly ignorant

garyatblackhouse

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Re: Dating and meditation
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 11:54:22 AM »
The morning session is usually straight forward in terms of planning because a person can just get up an hour earlier to meditate then continue with their day.

The evening session can be a bit more difficult. In one sense it's commendable that your boyfriend is dedicated to his meditation at a particular time. In another way, from my experience, it's important to be able to adjust to the changes that a day can bring. I try to sit at 4 or 5 in the afternoon for my later session, but sometimes things come up, I'm dragged here and there, I wouldn't be dragged here and there if I wasn't willing to be, so I go with that then make the time later in the day to meditate.

Of course relationships are a two way street so it's something you both need to find common ground on. If he's not able to adjust his schedule for you, then you both need to be content with why that is.
"If you haven't cried deeply a number of times, your meditation hasn't begun." - Ajahn Chah