Why does love hurt so much?

Love is a sensation, just like heat or cold. We can’t see love or feel it outside our bodies like we can feel the breeze or the blazing sun on our skin. But just like hunger or pain, love is a sensation that’s experienced in our brain. Love can hurt a lot emotionally. But almost always, love blends with other emotions that add to the painful sensation. Few of us have been spared the agonies of intimate relationships. They come in many shapes: loving a man or a woman who will not commit to us, being heartbroken when we're abandoned by a lover, engaging in Sisyphean internet searches, coming back lonely from bars, parties, or blind dates, feeling bored in a relationship that is so much less than we had envisaged - these are only some of the ways in which the search for love is a difficult and often painful experience. Love itself does not hurt. It is growth that hurts, the ego that stings. Each transformation is painful because the old situation is being left behind for the new. For example, when a relationship ends we feel hurt, our hopes and dreams have crashed and we feel lost and lonely, wondering what comes next. Fear arises because the unknown is in front of us, and the mind usually assumes the negative, saying things like, "I'll never meet anyone else," "I'm too old/overweight/unattractive" or "I don't have time for a new relationship." Some people cannot and will not ever end up together, even if they do love each other. It’s a sad truth, but a truth, nonetheless. The fact is, love is not enough. All those fairytales, all those stories and movies you’ve heard and watched growing up, lied to you. Love is never enough because love is not rational. You hear that love is irrational all the time, yet you still hear the same people saying that love is enough to keep two people together. Unfortunately, we live in a world governed by rationality, and while love may be irrational, and we may manage to make it work for some time, the real world always catches up with us and our irrational illusions dissipate into thin air. Then we are left with reality and reality doesn’t always reason the way lovers do. Some people don’t work out together. They have habits or beliefs that make it impossible to co-habitate with the person they love. There isn’t a couple out there that loves every little thing about one another. Sure, they may find certain quirks cute or unique, but they don’t love them; they simply accept them. There are some people who have such habits, tendencies, or thinking patterns that really do make them incompatible with the other person. The two may love each other fully, because remember, love isn’t rational, yet not be able to live and deal with each other forever. This is why relationships require compromise. You’re not going to love everything about the person you are with, but you love enough about him or her to live with the things you don’t love. Not all people are willing to, or even able to, compromise. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, regardless of what our emotions tell us. Compromising, of course, is a choice. You either choose to make it work or you choose not to. I believe this fully. As long as something doesn’t go against your nature, over time you can make it work. But there are still some cases when compromising isn’t enough. Sometimes there are other reasons two people cannot and will not ever be together. In fact, this is usually the deciding factor of whether or not two lovers will be capable of spending their lives together: if they are able to forgive and forget. Because love is as intense an emotion as one gets, it occasionally leads us to make poor choices – choices that are hurtful to the ones we love. They may be poor calls of judgment, lies we told or things we said. When it comes to love, our pasts haunt us. We move from relationship to relationship, hauling all that luggage we managed to accumulate in our previous relationship. Because lovers who can’t work together don’t like to accept this fact, they have a tendency of breaking up and getting back together repeatedly. Each time they take a break from each other, they come back and try to start fresh. But the problem is, they’re still carrying all that luggage. And sooner or later, they start to unpack. All the demons come out. When love scars, it cuts deep. The pain isn’t easily forgotten and usually cannot be willfully forgotten. When you hurt the woman you love enough, she won’t come back to you. And because you still love her, you wouldn’t take her back even if she asked you to. You don’t trust yourself not to hurt her again and even if you did, she wouldn’t trust you not to hurt her again. Relationships are built on trust and you shattered her trust. Chances are, you both have bruises that have never fully healed and likely will never fully heal. And that’s just something you decided that you’ll have to live with. Why? Because you really don’t have any other options. You just hope that the two of you find others to love so you can think about each other less and so you don’t have to worry about her happiness anymore. You wait in hopes that new love can take the place of the old — which it can. But that doesn’t mean you will ever stop loving each other. Some people will love each other until the day they die, spending the majority of their lives apart. And so is the darker side of love. It is because of the pain of love, millions of people live a loveless life. They too suffer, and their suffering is futile. To suffer in love is not to suffer in vain. To suffer in love is creative; it takes you to higher levels of consciousness. To suffer without love is utterly a waste; it leads you nowhere, it keeps you moving in the same vicious circle. The man who is without love is narcissistic, he is closed. He knows only himself. And how much can he know himself if he has not known the other, because only the other can function as a mirror? You will never know yourself without knowing the other. Love is very fundamental for self-knowledge too. The person who has not known the other in deep love, in intense passion, in utter ecstasy, will not be able to know who he is, because he will not have the mirror to see his own reflection. Relationship is a mirror, and the purer the love is, the higher the love is, the better the mirror, the cleaner the mirror. But the higher love needs that you should be open. The higher love needs you to be vulnerable. You have to drop your armor; that is painful. You have not to be constantly on guard. You have to drop the calculating mind. You have to risk. You have to live dangerously. The other can hurt you; that is the fear in being vulnerable. The other can reject you; that is the fear in being in love. The reflection that you will find in the other of your own self may be ugly; that is the anxiety. Avoid the mirror. But by avoiding the mirror you are not going to become beautiful. By avoiding the situation you are not going to grow either. The challenge has to be taken. One has to go into love. That is the first step towards God, and it cannot be bypassed. Those who try to bypass the step of love will never reach God. That is absolutely necessary because you become aware of your totality only when you are provoked by the presence of the other, when your presence is enhanced by the presence of the other, when you are brought out of your narcissistic, closed world under the open sky. Love is an open sky. To be in love is to be on the wing. But certainly, the unbounded sky creates fear. Painful love does hurt a lot, even though you don’t see any signs of injury physically. The study revealed that your brain sees physical pain and the pain of a heartbreak in the same light. There is no way you can avoid the pain of love when it hurts, but you can choose to ignore it by keeping yourself occupied in other activities. And if you can do that, you’ll see that the pain will start to fade away sooner than you expected. And if you want to completely remove the pain of a heartbreak, all you need to do is jump into another rebound relationship. It’ll fill your mind with happiness like a pleasure drug and make you forget all about your old lover who broke your heart. But that’s only if you’re willing to move on in the first place. So why does love hurt so much? Well, it does because you choose to let the pain linger in your mind for so long that it accumulates other emotions and hurts you more. Make up your mind to move on, and the pain of love will be much easier to bear and overcome.