Romantic love in Buddhism is largely a Western construct derived from a Christian heresy from the medieval courtly love tradition and influenced by Middle Eastern mysticism. There is no real parallel to this quasi-religious “cult” in Buddhist cultures of Asia. In certain cultures of Buddhism, there are explicit or implicit teachings on sexuality, relationships, and marriage, but they do not promote the expectation that union with the loved one will fulfill ultimate spiritual goals—as one finds in the popular cultures of the West. No authoritative narrative on sexuality and relationships exists in Buddhism, and the teachings vary broadly from one Asian Buddhist culture to another.
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