Let me just clear up something.

Based on what we talked about last week, we, now, need to discuss a really important part of everyday life. We all struggle with this. It is, “Idealization”.  You know what I mean. You do it, too.  Idealization is when we regard something as perfect or better than it is, in reality

Idealization is not a very good idea. When we idealize something, we are setting ourselves up to be disappointed.  In our minds, we represent something in a way that is not true. We are unrealistic.

Of course, there is a chemical attraction.  There is a chemical falling in love. So, physically, there is a chemistry that lasts for around three or four years tops.

Once that chemistry finishes, then, you have to grapple with the “Real deal”, aspect of your relationship.

“I am in love. Everything is amazing. I love my life. I am super happy.”

Then, suddenly, things start changing. You know it. It is because of those chemical parts of the relationship changing. After about four years in a relationship, dopamine decreases and attraction goes down. If things are going well, it gets replaced by the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, which create the desire to bond, affiliate with, and nurture your partner.

So, the question is, how to continue that relationship? How to maintain the bond even when the chemicals change?

Basically, from my experience, friendship is the base to start any relationship, not idealization. If that relationship finishes, it is important to always maintain that friendship, no matter what. That is the valuable thing that you are going to take away from that connection. That is the valuable part of that relationship that you are going to keep. You can treasure all the lessons that you have learned from it.

For me, also, as a householder, having a relationship is a great opportunity to learn many different aspects of ourselves.  It challenges us to confront all these parts that we would not have to deal with if we were by ourselves. It is much easier to live alone. It is much easier just to be easy going with ourselves.

If there is somebody there challenging us every day, checking us, looking at every single mistake you do, every single problem, just blaming you for everything, how do you transform that?

If you have gratitude, if you have empathy, then, you will understand how the other person is suffering. That is why they are expressing themselves that way. Do you understand?

It is very important to see what is transpiring from the other person’s reality. In that way, we can put ourselves in line with their point of view. If we try to relate to their reality based upon our reality, experience, or perception, it is not going to come together well. That is because our realities are so different.   Each person’s viewpoint on reality is so different. That is why it is very important to put yourself in the other person’s place. The way to approach them is from an empathic, grateful attitude. Do you understand?

So, when you lose control, maybe it is like, “Ok, that person shouted. I am going to count to 50. If they are still shouting, I am going to shout back at them.”

So, you count to 50.  They are still shouting. Then, you snap, “SHUT UP!” Then, afterward, you feel bad, right?

You had to channel that energy. It was not your energy in the first place. You were just reacting to something because you were taking it personally. You related to it through your ego in that way even though your ego, itself, does not exist. Your ego is just this concept of, “Me”, of who, “I am”. Based on that concept, we are reacting in a way where we end up giving back what we do not like to receive.

If that person is shouting to me, why would I shout to that person if I do not like it? Why would I do something that I do not like, to somebody else? Do you understand that?

That is why a relationship is a huge opportunity to improve. Through the relationship, we start to learn about our inner conflict.  We learn about our bullshit.

As an example, for me, the relationship with the mother of my son has been a process. We separated about two years ago. Only about maybe a year ago were we able to reach a point where we are friends.

Friends, friends, we call it friends. We do not talk much. We try to avoid talking. If we talk, we only talk about Norbu. That is it. You know. It is still very fresh. At least it is still fresh for me. I am still affected by it.

Of course, you know, I am attached. I have this idealization. I have this concept. It has been a process for me to accept and understand it was not meant to be for us to be a unit.  We are not compatible as a couple, but as friends, our relationship works well. It has been an evolution for me to comprehend that we are better off now.

So, we are “Friends.”  For a while, I lived next door. We took turns taking care of Norbu. She had him for two weeks. I had him for two weeks. During the summer we alternated, one month, one month. While he is with her for two weeks, I could see him anytime I wanted. That is a privilege for me, to be able to see my son anytime. It was fortunate that I could spend time with him at his mother’s apartment. I could play with him; cook for him; shower him.  I could even tell him bedtime stories until he fell asleep. It was wonderful to have that opportunity.

Similarly, when I had Norbu for my two weeks, his mother was welcomed to see him anytime she wanted.  She could spend time with him at my apartment, playing with him or cooking for him or showering him or telling him good night stories. 

Most separated parents cannot do that. If she needed me to take care of him, I was there because  I lived 3 minutes away from her. I got an apartment next to her apartment. The kindergarten was right between her house and my house.

Now, we have the same relationship.  The change is that Norbu is in school, now. He is no longer in kindergarten,

Probably, if we did not have a son, we would have broken up two months after we got together. That would have been it. The only reason we stayed together was that she got pregnant. We do not get along. We have absolutely nothing in common. We have nothing to talk about as a couple. We were just different people.  There is a huge age gap, also. Additionally, there is a huge cultural difference.

I think the reason we got together was to have Norbu.  That is it. Then, we just moved on with our lives.

For me, that transition was difficult. However, once I made that change, I realized that I was much happier. Why I was happier was because of the process of learning about myself and understanding and accepting myself that occurred during the split.

Many times, I asked, “Why do you not want to be with me, anymore?”

She answered that she does not love me. She said I am not enough for her. That affected me. I was like, “Why?”

In the end, I realized that there is nothing to understand. There is simply nothing to understand. Each person is the way they are. That is it.  You know what I mean. There is nothing to understand.

“Why is that person not the way I want?”

That is none of my business.

I can try to help. I can try to be an example of what I would like to receive. That is what I did. I just tried to be a friend to her. I tried to give the best of me. That is it.

Even so, when I see her, it still hurts.  I used to get depressed even if we spoke for just two minutes. Now, I have moved on beyond that. Instead, I feel fortunate to know that Norbu has a good mother.

At least, for now, we do not have much to do with each other.  It is only when we have to take the kid somewhere. Or, when she has to work at her job, then, I have to come to pick him up from her house.

We will be like, “Hello.” 


“How are you?”


“Ok. Bye”.

That is all we are going to say. “How is Norbu? Did he sleep well?” 

You know. “What color kaka did he do?” I am not kidding. It is an important detail to understand. “What did he eat? Did he eat well?”, like that

So basically our conversations are only about Norbu. It is not about me.  It is not about her,  It is not about,  “You did this.”  It is not about, “I did that’, and on and on. It is nothing along those lines. We try to avoid that.

Through that process, I, also, learned how to love myself. In most of my relationships, I only learned how to love myself through the other person. Having to accept the fact that I was alone, having to accept the truth that I could not raise my son together with her, the mother, forced me into having to love myself.

I mean, I understood love when I had my son. I understood love in a much better and clearer way through his unconditional love for me. You know.  That is why relationships are a huge stepping stone in learning.  They are a huge stepping stone in our experience. Eventually, if we center ourselves, if we are comfortable with ourselves, if we love ourselves, if we are our best friend, then, we will create the cause to attract the right person into our life.

On the other hand, if you feel unhappy alone, you will feel unhappy with anybody else. That is how it is. If you do not learn how to be your best company, then, you will be unhappy always with anyone. If you are unhappy with your mind, you will be unhappy with anybody or anyone anywhere. Ok?.  If you are unhappy with yourself, no matter whatever the external circumstances are that you have created in your life or whoever you are with, you will be unhappy. That is why the first step is to understand that reality mechanism within yourself.

Sometimes, life brings us these challenges that force us to learn and to process all of this. Then, in the long run, it is huge. For me, I am so grateful that I was dumped. Thanks to that, I have matured so much! I have become much stronger. I have become much more resilient! I have learned how to love myself! 

I had to learn this because I had no choice. I was like, “Ok, now, what?” I cannot love myself through somebody else. I cannot love myself through my son. I have to learn how to love myself by myself. It put me in that situation where I had no choice. So, I used that as something positive to improve.  Through that process, I became a happier person.

That is my advice based on my experience. I hope it helps.  For you, what you have to do is check up when you idealize someone or something.  Check up, please. I have just shared my experience which I hope is helpful but you need to do your inner research.  Let me know what you discover when you work on the inner laboratory of your mind.


  1. Susan McKenna

    thank you Osel for your openness and honesty reading this has been so helpful, I used to feel a lot of guilt, the same happened to me and it is the child that can suffer – my daughter is now 17

  2. claudio cipullo

    Osel la you’re so cute when you say:she say she don’t love me that I am not enough for her, that effect me I went like why?
    Great yure a great being so sincere.
    May you find out the truth!
    Claude cipullo.

  3. Hilary Easton

    Thank you Osel for writing such a personal, exposing blog (as usual). You could be describing the trajectory of my own relationship with my children’s father. First we married for the child’s sake, we were not exactly sympatico, there was an age difference and a cultural difference, when we split first we fought then we realised we had to put the children first. Now we are incredibly polite and considerate of each other.

    Well, I have given up relationships now, and feel a lot better for it, but I am old so it’s easy!

  4. Andy Wistreich

    I know the topic is idealisation, but for me, like for the earlier comment-writers, the importance of this blog is in the open honest discussion about being a father and partner. At a conference on buddhism and family, a speaker said that Buddha gave us lots of advice about how to retreat in solitude, but not so much advice on how to deal with the ‘retreat’ of family. That stuck with me, because so many of who are trying to practise Dharma have partners and children, and it’s definitely one of the most challenging arenas for practice you can get.

  5. chrissa simeonidou

    Dear Osel, your experience made me very emotional, many times I recall your expression ” we are all in the same boat” ,is just that I believe you are the Captain of this boat….Your words are precise, it’s hard to balance a relationship & specially with kids…from my experience we have to do out best with an open heart…for me that is what kept me going, thank you for sharing your story…💙🙏

  6. Rosalyn Williams

    Dear Osel’ La
    It was very moving to read your story
    The parts that I turned away from was when you were talking about dopamine and the other chemicals that our body needed in order for our selves to feel good. I read a little bit how dopamine is a chemical in our nervous system but also in the rest of the body kidneys it is I think something which brings about action . They have traced it in a worm. Too much dopamine you go high to little affects your perception .
    I am sceptical about using drugs to increase our sense of well being .
    I know you didn’t say that but a sense of well-being I don’t think comes from increasing this or that drug .
    One of the Practises my Lama recommended is to do 2 to 3 sets of prostrations every day and since doing this I feel lighter in the body and more content.
    Maybe when the Mind is happy and we do exercise
    there is more peace and we can relax and not worry. Worry about ourselves and the world and all the people in it. We should be able to care and love ourselves

    • Rosalyn Williams

      I would just like to clarify my thoughts. I was wanting to contribute by responding to Osel la on thoughts of Idealisation. Seeing things as perfect.
      But got side tracked by mentioning ‘dopamine’ it was like putting up a red flag to a bull.
      And the thought that any of those chemicals are solely responsible for enabling us to act in a certain way is something I can’t accept.
      Prohibiting release of dopamine using psychiatric drugs causes people to be zombies over a long period of time, there’s no humanity in that method.
      And people who have Parkinson’s they give increase doses of dopamine ( do not know if it is the drug or the disease which causes strong tremors.)
      So sorry I got distracted from the main theme of the talk. They don’t seem to cure anything with these drugs and I can’t believe that the chemicals in our brain promotes certain types of behaviour such as falling in love.

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