Arnaud Desjardins, disciple of the Hindu sage Swami Prajnanpad, explains in his book "A happy life, a happy love", the five criteria that his teacher taught him to recognise the deep value of a partner. When these are fulfilled, the couple lives in harmony, and their affairs are happy and serene.
1. The first condition is that it feels easy, that it flows without too much effort. That things are comfortable, that we do not have to waste large amounts of energy or emotions or be forced to fight against them.
When this condition occurs, there is a real communion, a comfort that is not routine, in which there are no dramas or tragedies, only well-being. Everything unfolds naturally, and things are easy and graceful.
Sometimes we get together with people with whom, inexplicably, everything is complicated and progress is made with heaviness and effort. It is not necessarily about couples: they can be partners, friends, neighbors, we do not know why and despite our wishes, the relationship does not flow naturally. With others, however, everything is simple and flows easily. It certainly helps to have similar affective styles.
It is true that we can modify a little the affective and relationship patterns that we have learned, solve pending emotional issues that have built in our childhood and that are part of our identity, but we cannot do it radically.
We can change our affective style a bit, but it is worth hanging out with people whose affective style fits well with ours. When this is the case, there are fewer arguments, emotions flow without great ups and downs and the relationship is nurturing for both of you.
If the relationship is not nurturing, the body feels tension and becomes devitalized, which is a warning sign or preludes a disease.
Some people have been living as a couple for fifty years and they treat each other very badly and constantly insult each other, and the people around them wonder: What's the point? Why are they still together? Because also the negative exchange, the exchange from discomfort and abuse, creates very deep bonds between people, and although they are unhappy and would like to separate, the bond is very strong and unfortunately they cannot face the terror of loneliness. These couples sometimes wish for the other to die, or they say so openly, but when the other dies, they go into a serious crisis, become depressed for a long time, and miss the presence of the partner they have lost. This means that the bond doesn’t grow strongly only in the positive and easy exchange, but also in the negative and difficult ones.
Some people find themselves unable both: to change and to break up, because that confronts them with a great abyss, and they choose to continue in the negative exchange, and what they choose is respectable, because who would be able to say what is the correct way to live and what is the good way for each one? However, the price is huge.
So the advice is relationships in which we love and feel loved, that we are comfortable and free of tremendous and exhausting passions and turbulent feelings that consume and waste our energy.