The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person — without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other.
Love is not a relationship. Love relates, but it is not a relationship. A relationship is something finished. A relationship is a noun; the full stop has come, the honeymoon is over. Now there is no joy, no enthusiasm, now all is finished. You can carry it on, just to keep your promises. You can carry it on because it is comfortable, convenient, cozy. You can carry it on because there is nothing else to do. You can carry it on because if you disrupt it, it is going to create much trouble for you.
Relationship means something complete, finished, closed. Love is never a relationship; love is relating. It is always a river, flowing, unending. Love knows no full stop; the honeymoon begins but never ends. It is not like a novel that starts at a certain point and ends at a certain point. It is an ongoing phenomenon. Lovers end, love continues. It is a continuum. It is a verb, not a noun.
Why do we reduce the beauty of relating to relationship? Why are we in such a hurry? — because to relate is insecure, and relationship is a security, relationship has a certainty. Relating is just a meeting of two strangers, maybe just an overnight stay and in the morning we say goodbye. Who knows what is going to happen tomorrow? And we are so afraid that we want to make it certain, we want to make it predictable. We would like tomorrow to be according to our ideas; we don’t allow it freedom to have its own say. So we immediately reduce every verb to a noun.
You are in love with a woman or a man and immediately you start thinking of getting married. Make it a legal contract. Why? How does the law come into love? The law comes into love because love is not there. It is only a fantasy, and you know the fantasy will disappear. Before it disappears, settle down. Before it disappears, do something so it becomes impossible to separate.
In a better world, with more meditative people, with a little more enlightenment spread over the earth, people will love, love immensely, but their love will remain a relating, not a relationship. And I am not saying that their love will be only momentary. There is every possibility their love may go deeper than your love, may have a higher quality of intimacy, may have something more of poetry and more of godliness in it. There is every possibility that their love may last longer than your so-called relationships ever last. But it will not be guaranteed by the law, by the court, by the policeman. The guarantee will be inner. It will be a commitment from the heart, it will be a silent communion.
If you enjoy being with somebody, you would like to enjoy it more and more. If you enjoy the intimacy, you would like to explore the intimacy more and more. And there are a few flowers of love that bloom only after long intimacies. There are seasonal flowers too; within six weeks they are there in the sun, but within six weeks again they are gone forever. There are flowers which take years to bloom, and there are flowers that keep blooming for many years to come. The longer it takes, the deeper it goes.
It is so ugly seeing people going to the church or the court to get married. It is so ugly, so inhuman. It simply shows they can’t trust themselves, they trust the authorities more than they trust their own inner voice. It shows that because they can’t trust their love, they trust the law.
Relating means you are always starting, you are always trying to become acquainted. Again and again, you are introducing yourself to each other. You are trying to see the many facets of the other’s personality. You are trying to penetrate deeper and deeper into his realm of inner feelings, into the deep recesses of her being. You are trying to unravel a mystery which cannot be unraveled.
That is the joy of love: the exploration of consciousness.
And if you relate, and don’t reduce it to a relationship, then the other will become a mirror to you. Exploring the other, unawares you will be exploring yourself too. Getting deeper into the other, knowing his feelings, his thoughts, his deeper stirrings, you will be knowing your own deeper stirrings too. Lovers become mirrors to each other, and then love becomes a meditation.
Relationship is ugly, relating is beautiful.