What is the right attitude to have to create a happy relationship in which both partners develop best?

Lama Ole’s answer:

The best attitude in love is to think more of giving than of taking, to wish others happiness, and to try to give what is beneficial. Don’t have too much attachment; rather, share in a friendly, easy way without restricting each other. If you always hold your partner in your mind, it will become less tight and more fun.

This is a long path and takes some time. Since you were born a human being in this life, this means that desire was the strongest emotion. As you become more and more clear headed, pay particular attention to whether what you do is useful for other people, especially if you have power over them. Think about what you can and cannot share with them, what is good now and what will be beneficial later. There are a lot of different things to consider.

At times, one even has to do things that appear quite odd. Drugpa Kunley was a master of this. One day, he was walking along the streets of Bhutan when a young lady passed by. He said to her, “We definitely have to make love. Come with me right now.” She looked at him, unshaven and long-haired as he was, and replied, “Oh!” She ran to the next house and said, “Listen, further down there is a terrible man with lots of hair and a big beard who wanted to sleep with me!”

“You are the stupidest girl in town,” the people answered. “That was the best yogi we have; that was Drugpa Kunley. It certainly would have been fantastic.” And again she said, “Oh!” She went back and told him, “Alright, I have thought it over and…”

“Sorry,” he retorted, “I don’t have time anymore. The moment I offered it to you, a highly realized awareness passed by and I could have fathered you a wonderful child. But now—I’m sorry, another time.”

If you look beyond the personal, you’ll see that things aren’t simply good or bad, but rather they produce happiness or suffering depending on the circumstances. As regards sexuality, if people have the fitting karma, it will be joyful for them. In other cases, sexuality only causes problems—problems in the first relationship, in the second, in the third, and so on.

If you are closely connected to someone else, physically close, then the best thing you can do is to leave freedom to him or her as best you can. This is the true gift in love: to show people their beauty and potential, and to let them be free. Test this out—think of others, not of yourself. This is what is important.

If we look at love, for instance, there are two kinds: one that gives, enriches, and grows, and another that has limits and expectations, freezing things and constantly clinging to the past or future. In this constricting, bad kind of love, one tries to place the other in boxes, saying, “Now that you have married me, you cannot talk to that person and you have to do this and that.”

If people tie themselves together in such a narrow relationship that they completely exclude themselves from communicating with the outside world, this is a sign of weakness and is not good. It impoverishes everyone.

The good kind of love—which is giving and generous, which has the taste of freedom and growth—can be found in those relationships where both partners want to learn and grow together, and each wants the other to develop. This is the case when the man looks at the woman and thinks, “I will turn you into a queen.” And the woman looks at the man and thinks, “I will turn you into a prince.” Here, one doesn’t want to control or limit the other but rather to show them their qualities—their strength, beauty, and potential. This is the right kind of love.