The Purest Love is Detached Love
The idea of detached love comes from the Buddhist practice of unattachment, which is to be with any thought, feeling, or experience without getting hooked. It’s different than attachment theory, which explains the psychological experience of how we learned to bond with others beginning in infancy, and then how that learned style of attachment plays out in relationships.
When we become attached in love, we begin to derive our identity or mental or emotional state from our partner, the nature of the relationship, and/or our relationship status. If we’re attached to our partner, then we likely need them to be, look, or act a certain way to feel good about ourselves and the relationship.
When we’re attached to our partner, we approach them from a place of need and clinginess, instead of a place of love and openness.
Detached love is deep and powerful and abiding. It takes in the whole person and accepts them as they are. It doesn’t ask them to dress better or cuss less or quit smoking. Detached love is loving the other exactly as he or she is, while also knowing that at any time the nature of the relationship could change.
Detached love embraces uncertainty.
It embraces that fact that the only thing we know for sure is that everything is going to change. It embraces this and still chooses to be open and vulnerable and, in this way, detached love is the most courageous act.
Remember, just being willing and able to love is a triumph. No matter how it turns out, I hope you’re able to be grateful for your open heart. And no matter how or who you choose to love, may you love well and be loved in return.