6 Buddhist Practices For Letting Go Of A Relationship

6 Buddhist Practices For Letting Go Of A Relationship


Desire is the root of suffering

“The end of desire is the end of sorrow.” – Gautama Buddha

According to Buddhism, desire causes suffering. In fact, this is one of the Four Noble Truths which is the core of Gautama Buddha’s teachings. 

These 4 noble truths are-

  1. The Truth of Suffering: Dukkha or suffering is a natural part of life and existence.
  2. The Truth of the Cause of Suffering: Samudaya or the cause of this suffering is desire or attachment.
  3. The Truth of the End of Suffering: Nirodha or cessation of this suffering is possible by eliminating desire and attachment.
  4. The Truth of the Path to the End of Suffering: Magga or the Noble Eightfold Path is the way to end this suffering.

Buddhists often compare Gautama Buddha to a physician which is evident here. In the first truth, he diagnosed the problem. In the second, he identified the cause, in the third truth, he realized there is acure, and in the final one, he offers a prescription.


Non attachment: The secret to a happy relationship

“According to Buddhist psychology, most of our troubles stem from attachment to things that we mistakenly see as permanent.” – Dalai Lama

Buddhism has very broad views regarding romantic relationships. According to Buddhist beliefs, an ideal relationship should encourage non attachment and independence. As attachment causes suffering, non attachment can help you build a meaningful relationship and a happy life.

Buddhism teachings focus on the idea of letting go of desires and attachments, in a spiritual sense, which may cause pain and suffering. However, to detach yourself you need to eliminate the idea of a ‘perfect partner’ and stop putting your partner on a pedestal. You also need to stop having unrealistic expectations from them. You need to unconditionally accept your partner as they are and support them in their journey of finding their true self, without imposing your beliefs of who they should be.


Accepting your partner for who they are, despite how much they may change in life, is the secret to a happy and fulfilling romantic relationship. Buddhism compels us to take a deeper look at ourselves and understand what unconditional love means. However, you need to realize that non attachment does not refer to indifference in a relationship. Non attachment is simply the absence of insecurity, clinginess and fear of losing your partner.


Let go to find happiness

“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra

Realizing that you are clingy and too attached to your relationship and actually becoming detached are very different things. Despite how easy it may sound, letting go is not easy. However, there are certain practices and habits that you can develop to start the process of letting go of a relationship according to Buddhist beliefs. 

Here I have listed some beliefs, practices and habits that you need to build to let go of someone you love.


1. Accept pain

“Pain in life is inevitable but suffering is not. Pain is what the world does to you, suffering is what you do to yourself.” – Gautama Buddha

As mentioned in the Four Noble Truths, the reality is ‘pain is inevitable’. You cannot avoid it. Regardless of how well you plan for your life, it will always have surprises that will either lift you up or bring you to your knees. You will lose things and people that matter to you the most and you will feel pain. But whether you suffer through the experience or not is up to you. Whether you learn from these experiences and evolve or hold on to what you have lost is what will decide the course of your life. As the old Buddhist proverb goes, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional”.


2. Practice mindfulness

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz

Mindfulness has been one of the most life-changing practices for me. It has helped me to focus on and live in the present moment, appreciate it for what it is. When you live in the moment, you detach yourself from the past. You detach yourself from what has been and enjoy what is. You don’t dwell on past events or worry about the future. Mindfulness empowers you to accept reality without getting too attached to it.

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