Too close for comfort

In a relationship, it is important to give freedom to each other to grow as individuals. The more you allow freedom, the more intimate you are.

Couple feel comfort with eachother

Let there be spaces in your togetherness.And let the winds of heavens dance between you.Love one another, but make not a bond of love:Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,And stand together yet not too near together:For the pillars of the temple stand apart,And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.Kahlil Gibran on relating and inner spaces

Be together, but do not try to dominate, do not try to possess and do not destroy the individuality of the other. And that is being done everywhere.

My own suggestion is, the moment a man and woman decide to live together, they should have their own house. Nobody should go to anybody else’s house, because whoever goes to anybody else’s house is going to be a slave. And slaves cannot be joyous. They have lost their integrity, their individuality.

The husband comes home late; there is no need, no necessity for the wife to inquire where he has been, why he’s late. He has his own space, he’s a free individual. Two free individuals are living together and nobody encroaches on each others’ spaces. If the wife comes late, there is no need to ask “Where have you been?” She has her own space, her own freedom.

Likings are different. Your husband may like something, you may not like it. That does not mean that it is the beginning of a fight, that because you are husband and wife, your likings should also be the same. And all these questions… every husband returning home thinks, “What is she going to ask? How am I going to answer?” And the woman knows what she’s going to ask and what he’s going to answer, and all those answers are fake. He’s cheating her.

What kind of love is this that is always suspicious, always afraid of jealousies? If the wife sees you with some other woman – just laughing, talking — that’s enough to destroy your whole night. If the husband sees the wife with another man and she seems to be more joyous, happier, it is enough to create turmoil.

People are unaware that they don’t know what love is. Love never suspects, love is never jealous. Love never interferes in the other’s freedom. Love never imposes on the other. Love gives freedom, and the freedom is possible only if there is space in your togetherness.

This is the beauty of Kahlil Gibran… tremendous insight. Love should be happy to see that his woman is happy with someone, because love wants his woman to be happy. Love wants the husband to be joyous. If he’s just talking to some woman and feels joyous, the wife should be happy; there is no question of quarrel. They are together to make their lives happier, but just the opposite goes on happening. It seems as if wives and husbands are together just to make each other’s lives miserable. The reason is, they don’t understand even the meaning of love.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness… It is not contradictory. The more space you give to each other, the more you are together. The more you allow freedom to each other, the more intimate you are. Not intimate enemies, but intimate friends.

It is a fundamental law of existence that being together too much, leaving no space for freedom, destroys the flower of love. You have crushed it, you have not allowed it space to grow.

Recently, scientists have discovered that animals have a territorial imperative. You must have seen dogs pissing on this pillar, pissing on that pillar — you think it is useless? It is not. They are drawing the boundary – “This is my territory.” The smell of their urine will prevent another dog from entering. If another dog comes just close to the boundary, the dog whose territory it is will not take any note. But just one step more and there is going to be a fight.

We have still to discover human beings’ territorial imperatives. You must have felt it, but it has not yet been scientifically established. Going in a local train in a city like Mumbai, the train is so overcrowded… people are all standing, very few have found seats. But watch the people who are standing — although they are very close, they are trying in every way not to touch each other.

As the world becomes more overcrowded, more and more people are going insane, committing suicide, murders, for the simple reason that they don’t have any space for themselves. At least lovers should be sensitive, that the wife needs her own space just as you need your own space.

If this is possible – to have space and togetherness both – then the winds of heaven dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love. It should be a free gift, given or taken, but there should be no demand. Otherwise, very soon you are together but you are as apart as faraway stars. No understanding bridges you; you have not left the space even for the bridge.

Don’t make it something static. Don’t make it a routine. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. If freedom and love together can be yours, you don’t need anything more.

One has to be very, very alert. Stand together but without destroying the other. Not too much together – leave spaces.

Just look at the pillars. They stand apart but still they support the same roof. There is space, individuality, and yet there is a merger and meeting because they are supporting the same roof.

This much space is needed – that the other is not under your shadow. Otherwise, it will not grow.

Why are people who are in love constantly angry, sad? Because their own growth is not happening. One of the two has covered the whole sky and has not left even a little space for the sun, for the wind, for the rain to reach the other. It is not love, it is ownership, possessiveness.

Love would like you to grow at the same rate, to the same height, so that you dance together in the sun, in the wind, in the rain.

Your togetherness should be an art. Love is the greatest art in existence.

Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!

Osho was never born never died. He only visited this planet earth between 11 December 1931 and 19 January 1990. He was a charismatic and gifted speaker who became the leader of a worldwide new spiritual movement.


  1. i have been a subscriber of CW for almost 2 years now. i call myself an avid reader. in all these years i have not read another journal that is so wholesome and soul-stirring. i read every edition like a text book. cannot afford to miss any article. every edition is meant for everyone. simply brilliant i can say.whenever i get a chance i tell everyone to read it. blessings to the entire CW team.

    this article about love between married people seems to have hit the spot bang-on. i dont know if it is the mad rush or this highly demanding need for success (financial and material) in today’s times that has left each of us alienated from our loved ones. so when we decide to get married after a lot analysis (not of the self but the prospective candidate’s), the pressure and expectation from that wedlock to be successful becomes so insurmountable that the breakdown becomes inevitable. we start expecting the partner to be an answer to all our demands, questions, issues, needs, frustrations, failures and what and what not. an image that is nothing but a facade, an illusion created by our short-sighted mind.
    we start expecting our spouses to be there for us at all times, right where we want them to be just the way we want them to be… very sad is that. conversely the spouse is doing the same to us…..
    so the beginning of the battle royale, that no one ever won.
    if only we took time out to really search for our answers within ourselves and thus spare our beloved best halves(because that’s who they really are).
    when we set the other free, we set ourselves free as well.
    i have always believed that a husband-wife relation so close that not even air can pass through and so open that the entire universe can exist in between.


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