“In the teaching of the Buddha, it is clear that love is made of understanding. If you don’t understand, you cannot love. If wife and husband do not understand each other, it’s not possible for them to love each other. If father and son do not understand each other, they would not be able to love each other. To understand is to see all the difficulties, all the pains, all the problems the other is having. Also, the aspiration and hope of the other person.
If you ignore the suffering, the difficulties, the aspiration of the other person, how can you love him or her? So you may need the other person in order to understand him or her more. So as a true lover we can always go to the other person we love and ask for help.
‘Darling, I want to love you and make you happy, but I do not understand you by myself alone. Please help.’
When you love someone and if you do not understand him or her, you make him or her suffer more. That is always true. A father loving his son but not understanding his son will make his son suffer and that is why a father as a lover has to come to his son and ask, ‘My son, do you think I understand you enough? Is my love making you suffer?’ And a husband has to ask his wife the same question.
Because our love may be suffocating for the other person. Our love may be just a prison for him or for her because we don’t understand. We have not had enough understanding of the person we love. And understanding is the fruit of looking deeply.
If you are not there, if you do not practice looking deeply, you will not understand.”
~ From Teachings on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh