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Love, attachment, desire

angel-baybe monet


I struggle with attachment, love, keeping relationships in the industry. For my lovers in my personal life to understand that sex vs love are very different things. So I explore the Buddist philosophy-----What is desirous attachment?

It is not the same as desire – we need desires, but we don’t need attachment. Attachment is “dö chag” in Tibetan, which literally means “sticky desire”. There is a stickiness, neediness, dependency, and self-centeredness associated with attachment. It’s “I need you to make ME happy”, as opposed to “I want to make YOU happy”, which is actual love. Attachment weakens us, and we give away the key to our happiness. Love strengthens us, and we stay in charge of our happiness.

Attachment is all about me and what I can get from you, and love is all about what I can give or do for you. There are three kinds or levels of love, affectionate love, cherishing love, and wishing love. Briefly, affectionate love is just liking people, having a warm, fuzzy feeling, the way our mom feels when she hasn’t seen us for awhile, just unconditionally delighted to see us without that needy, “I want YOU to do something for ME.” On the basis of affection, if we think about how kind someone is, we come to cherish them – we find them special, we want to take care of them, their happiness matters. So because we cherish this person, our question is “Are they happy?” The answer is usually, “Well, they could be a lot happier,” and we wish for them to have what they need, what they want, to be happy now and always. This is wishing love.

Attachment stands in horrible contrast to all types of love, but to begin with it can be quite hard for us to tell them apart as our relationships are so mixed up. It is one of Buddha’s great kindnesses that he distinguishes between them so clearly. It can save us from immense heartache. We can learn to reduce the attachment and increase the love in all our close friendships, which is guaranteed to bring us more meaning and joy.

Here is a definition from Understanding the Mind:

“Desirous attachment is a deluded mental factor that observes its contaminated object, regards it as a cause of happiness, and wishes for it.”

Attachment is the opposite. That’s why Buddha called the rest of us “worldly people” – someone is worldly if they are always looking outside of themselves for their happiness, and don’t recognize that their happiness comes from within.


The misconception occurs in how one defines attachment. Buddhism does not denounce possessions, hobbies, interests, food, or most importantly, relationships. It teaches that clinging to these things causes suffering. Clinging to a partner in a relationship would better be defined in the Western view as insecure attachment, not attachment. People with an insecure attachment (either avoidant or ambivalent/anxious) resort to the behaviors that Buddhism warns against in the face of loss: a craving or thirst for something. Craving occurs when one’s desire is excessive. Buddhism teaches that suffering ends when craving disappears.

Attachment theory posits that the more securely attached we are in our relationships, the more separate and independent we can be. Attachment to key others is a universal need that we never outgrow. Buddhism teaches against insecureattachment. Another point of confluence is that if we are insecure in our attachment style, we need important others in order to become secure. Sometimes we need professional help as well. We can’t do it alone, just like in Buddhism. We need others.

There is nothing wrong with desires and relationships as long as one does not cling. I can truly enjoy a movie or a restaurant as long as I do not cling to them. I can have a meaningful and happy relationship with my partner as long as I work with them to mediate the tendency to either pursue (i.e. criticizing, complaining, endless questioning, etc.) or withdraw (getting defensive, checking out, shutting down, avoiding, etc.) during conflict. Both pursuing and withdrawing are clinging. Both are suffering.


Thoughts? How do you love and not cling? Can you love without attachment?


Angel XXX


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I used to be pretty keen on all this sort of stuff when I was going through a hippie phase. Les keen on it now. I've gone my own way. I think we all need to go our own way and dogma is irrelevant.


I've had some amazing emotional or spiritual experiences where my needs and pain has been so close to the surface that strangers have reached out to me and turned me aside from the road I was on at the time.


The saved me. And seemingly with so little effort too.


“When the student is ready the Master appears”.


From this I learned that sometimes what is best is easier for someone else to show to you.


Essentially the hormone driven chemical sack that we inhabit daily will hunger for things that feel permanent, things that can only every be temporary. As our chemicals ebb and flow, the need we experience will vary and change direction many times.


These days when something good happens, I wave to it.


...as it passes though my life.


And I strive so that when something bad happens, I wave to it.


...as it passes though my life.


My current belief, if I can call my loose collection of behaviours and gibberish ideals, is that there is always more room in my life for some more Joy and some more interesting people.


For this to occur, I need to be wary of the dramatists and toxics – the ones that are brimming with hate and venom, the ones that feel the need to share it all around.


So how do I love and not cling?


I breath.


I breath in


I breath out.


As I walk I stop to pat the cat or smell the rose.


When we love a certain part of it is us really loving the image of ourselves we see reflected in our lovers eyes.


As time passes we tend to see ourselves through their eyes more clearly.


If they don't like us that becomes pretty obvious. To continue to hold on at that point i.e. to 'Cling' is understandable but is all about us, and nothing at all about them...


If they don't 'get' us, or we can't seem to mesh, we still have a small chance remaining to change their opinion of us. A good 'fit' is unlikely though, as one or both of us is not ready. To cling at this point is the very hight of foolishness, because there is nothing the hold on to. Once you understand this the thread holding you to them will snap with a barely perceptible click.


If it turns out they do love us then cling away I say! Cling as much as you like and enjoy the meeting of two hearts and souls for what it is. Tell convention, and rational hair-splitting to go take a flying f*ck! Get comfy together and revel in your time.


After all, we are spiritual beings here to have an earthly experience – are we not?



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angel-baybe monet


I love that. So beautifully put, so raw, so honest.


My only point of contention here is that I am not saying to not surrender or be vulnerable. I always give whole-heartedly, ignoring fear, I just give as much as I feel.


I have had an instance recently where I loved the person so much and they gave me nothing in return, and it was beautiful, that unconditional love. Like they couldnt take it away from me. I loved in spite of them and their reaction to me. But it was a free love, without expectation.


Thankyou for sharing your thoughts


Much love and light X

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angel-baybe monet


...and of course, it's all about being present..and not having happiness derived from within....you're correct there. Ie. if someone gives me a compliment, I won't care too much about it. Likewise someone giving me an insult, I wont care too much about it


The middle way


PS I AM NOT a hippie ;)

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I don't believe love exists. I see it as a misinterpretation of our natural instinct to have sex. In fact I would say that love is a control mechanism seed planted inside our mind so that we will cease to explore a more natural existence...but I digress.


I am diverting off topic here but your mention of the middle strikes me. The middle to me is perfection. It's neutral. It's unbiased. It acknowledges everything but doesn't choose a side. It exists because of either side not in spite of a side.


I think that attachment is the inability of a person to believe that what they are attached to they can achieve themselves. We get attached because something or someone offers a certain something that perhaps we lack but subconsciously we think we can't offer it to ourselves.


Sorry, I realise that this doesn't make much sense but I'm experiencing great difficulty explaining myself this week.

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angel-baybe monet


i believe love is the air we breathe, the things we see and the reason we exist


I think society has fabricated it and turned it into a commodity to be marketed...but I see that as attachment and fear...


love is what I feel ---energy

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angel-baybe monet


It makes perfect sense ANUNNAKI, on the contrary!


The reality is that relationships are not about being 'happy'. If you really think about it, being 'in love' is generally more of a painful experience than a happy one! The beauty of relationships is that they confront us with our own darkness, they push us to work through our woundedness and they insist upon us being the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be.

Relationships exist to support the ongoing evolution of two people by providing a mirror in which we can see ourselves more clearly.

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I agree wholeheartedly that the current state of what we are told love is is nothing more than a fabricated concept designed to sell chocolates on valentine's day. As I have just come from your BDSM post I would say there is more love to be found in a dom/sub relationship than there is in the "here I bought you jewellery/chocolates/flowers let's have sex" I think you have to give apart of yourself and take something that is not the same but of an equal proportion to your partner. I mean truly give and take, for instance in a dom/sub relationship I would give myself to you in exchange for taking your trust. If ever I were to believe in love I think that's a long the lines of how it would play out. Not necessarily as a dom/sub but the general principle of give and take.


I'm sorry I've rambled on far too much when I wanted to ask about attachment.


Do you think that attachment can be controlled, like I become attached to you every time I see you in a booking but when I leave the attachment doesn't follow me, or is if merely just you are attached then one day you no longer? I've never seen you btw that was just an example.

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angel-baybe monet


Attachment is something which is conditioned into us and yes, I believe , and studies have shown, we can strengthen alternative neural pathways to deal with attachment in more healthy and empowering ways.


I have a beautiful regular who deals in attachment theory. It is interesting to note, from what I understand, the up and coming research in attachment studies, points to adopting Buddhist principles (well that's what the methods sounded like to me).

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