Meditation improves romantic relationships.
Maintaining a meditation practice while in a romantic relationship can sometimes be challenging, but it’s important to keep it up. The choice to push yourself to meditate every day can often mean the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship.
There are sooo many reasons that people “fall off the wagon” and let their meditation practices falter. We’ve all had the challenge of “finding time” to meditate when we’re under a heavy workload, or have a million things to take care of. A less obvious (and perhaps more insidious) distraction that some meditators encounter is actually far more pleasant (and thus more tempting) than a hectic work-life: the comfort of a close intimate relationship with a partner.
If your partner is into meditation, great! You can meditate together, and it should be relatively easy to maintain your personal practice. However, if your partner is, for whatever reason, resistant to meditation, or simply doesn’t have a practice of his or her own, you may find yourself in a position where you are tempted to spend your free time with your partner, rather than sitting by yourself.
I have fallen into this trap myself. It’s easy to get sucked into the comfort of a lifestyle of intimate moments; given the choice between getting into bed with your soft, warm, loving cuddle-buddy and sitting alone with your eyes closed and your back straight, there’s a natural inclination toward the comfort, pleasure, and relaxation you get from being with your partner.
The problem is, when you let your meditation practice fall into disrepair, you start to lose all of those amazing psycho-spiritual benefits that made your life so amazing as a single person… the same psycho-spiritual benefits that make you a better, more present, more empathetic lover. When you start to lose those beautiful aspects of yourself, your relationship suffers as a result.
Even more striking than the loss of presence and empathy is the deterioration of equanimity within the relationship. Every relationship has stressors. You want to do this, but your partner wants to do that. You want to live here, but your partner wants to live there. You think it’s OK to have close friends of the opposite sex, but your partner doesn’t. These elements of discord in your relationship can make you feel stressed out, and when your relationship stresses you out, it doesn’t bode well for the health & longevity of the relationship. However, if you do actively maintain a daily meditation practice for yourself, even if your partner does not, you bring an element of equanimity into the stressors, day by day, as they arise. This can help to nip unhealthy relationship patterns like resentment, discontent, and adversarialism in the bud, ensure that your relationship stays happy & healthy, and allow you to make good, clear-headed relationship decisions.
So, take a look at your own spiritual practice. Are you using your cuddle-buddy as an excuse to choose short-term pleasure over long-term bliss? Remember… if you want to keep up this beautiful relationship, you’ll be much better equipped to do so if you take some time away from your partner to just sit, and be, by yourself, in the present moment.
May all beings be happy!
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Meditation Magazine.