The Buddhist definition of true love, which to me sounds a lot like true friendship.
- Maitri: Loving kindness; the ability to make someone happy. That “someone” can be:
- Someone you’re very fond of
- Someone you have sympathy for (I forgot to mention that one)
- A neutral person
- An enemy; someone you perceive as the cause of your suffering
- Mudita: transformation of pain
- Karuna: joy
- Upeksanam: equanimity, freedom, the opposite of imprisonment or forcing yourself on another person.
What I find interesting is what’s not on the list: passion, obsession, lust, obedience, dominance, jealousy…lots of things I’ve known people from all over the world define as true love (especially jealousy) but to me never seemed right.
And if you don’t believe it, that’s OK, because there is no dogma in Buddhism. There’s nothing that Buddha taught that you must believe or else be damned for all eternity. If it’s true for you, then it’s true.