If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free

And Respect Their Privacy While You’re At it

If you want to keep something precious
You got to lock it up and throw away the key
If you want to hold onto your possession
Don’t even think about me

If you loooove somebody
If you loooove someone
If you loooove somebody
If you loooove someone, set them free

Aw Sting… I’m so in love with that guy. I’m also in love with Brad. So I’m trying to learn to set him free… and respect his privacy… because, as Osho said:

Love is authentic only when it gives freedom. Let this be the criteria. Love is true only when it does not interfere in the privacy of the other person. It respects his individuality, his privacy. But the lovers that you see around the world, their whole effort is that nothing should be private. All secrets should be told to them. They are afraid of your individuality. They destroy the individuality of each other. And they hope that by destroying each other, their life will become a contentment, a fulfillment. It simply becomes more and more miserable.

He’s so right. Our backwards modern culture has taught us that love is possession and intimacy is the absence of secrets.

When you “love” someone – or, at least, when you are in an “official relationship” with someone – you are entitled to know everything there is to know about them, society tells us. By claiming someone as our “husband” or “girlfriend” or “partner” or “significant other,” it is expected we’ve earned some level of ownership over them. They owe it to us to reveal every detail of their actions, their interactions, their thoughts, their desires.

Literally… not only do we assume ownership of their bodies (especially the more sexual parts of their bodies), we assume ownership of their thoughts and desires. Some women get upset if “their” men even look or think to long about another woman, as if the man could control his thoughts or desires. Likewise, men, for millennia, have thought about their wives and now girlfriends as property. It might be less common now, but I remember, in high school, one friend’s boyfriend would get upset if she dressed too scantily.

tumblr_mbv53dyGNB1rq4phro1_500Brad and I have gradually come to respect each other’s freedom to do whatever we want with our own bodies and minds, but unconsciously we are still in the habit of checking in on each other. I’m much worse at it than Brad.

I’m curious and nosy by nature, but Brad is right, ultimately my desire to be involved in every aspect of his romantic life is meddlesome. He feels my constant questions and advice about his interactions with other women are an attempt to manipulate and control him. He’s probably right to a degree – unconsciously, that may be what I’m doing. But to me, the important question is why?

Why did I feel the need to read all of his messages to the first girl he dated after we opened up our relationship? Why did I feel the need to check in on him multiple times when he went out on a guy’s night last weekend? “How’s it going? Did you meet anyone yet?” I texted. Why do I feel the need to give him advice about where to take a date out to eat or pointers about what women want?

I justify it by saying it’s all encouraging stuff I say to him. I actually am really excited whenever he has a romantic or sexual experience with anyone. But it doesn’t matter, it’s still interfering. It still probably makes him feel like a child, and like I’m his nagging mother.

Brad thinks it’s a little strange the level of interest I have in his dating life. Admittedly, it’s often more interest than I have in my own. But why? Why do I focus so much on what he’s doing, rather than what I want for myself? Why was I almost giddy about his date last week, and his recent re-connection with a woman he occasionally meets up with more… “casually”? He even told me I should go meet up with the mountain man I’ve been practicing “casual” sex with, while he had his guy’s night out last weekend, but I sat home and blogged like a nerd instead.

Maybe I focus on what he’s doing, because it’s scary to focus on what I’m doing, on what I want, and on putting myself out there.
It’s hard to sit still with myself and figure out what I’m wanting, what I’m needing, what I’m lacking.

Maybe if I could figure that out and go and do the things that bring me bliss, I wouldn’t worry so much about Brad. I wouldn’t need to sit here and watch him like an audience at a show. I could play in my own show.

And then, like Osho said, I could stop being miserable. I could stop destroying his individuality and my own and find contentment and fulfillment.

wild-red-rose-with-green-background-lori-colemanBe loving, and remember anything real is always changing. You have been given wrong notions that a true love remains forever. A true rose flower does not remain forever …

But the notion, the idea, that love should be permanent if it is true – and if love disappears one day? Then the natural corollary is that it was not true. I want you to know, love came suddenly. It was not because of any effort on your part. It came as a gift of nature. At that time you should not have accepted it if you were worried of it’s going one day suddenly. The way it comes it goes. But there is no need to be worried. Because if one flower has faded, other flowers will be coming. Flowers are going to come forever. But don’t cling to one flower. Otherwise soon you will be clinging to a dead flower. ~ Osho

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