Why Love Hurts

Everything in popular culture tells us that love hurts. This is what we hear in songs. It’s all over romantic comedies. It’s been written about in many famous books. Every wonder why love hurts?

Consider the law of duality. It says that everything that exists has an opposite. That is how we make sense of reality. We define “day” by the absence of day and call that “night.” “Dry” is the absence of wetness. “Rich” is the extreme absence of poverty. Somehow that doesn’t ever get confusing, but love is something altogether different.

All emotions are physical. They create physical sensations and changes in our bodies. When we are anxious, our hearts may race. Our breath gets faster and more shallow. Our shoulders may tighten. When we feel what we call love, we may feel joyous, open, carefree, and relaxed. Or we may feel hot, sweaty, panicky, weak kneed, feverish, and have a loss of appetite and can’t sleep. Actually, the second set of symptoms aren’t signs of love. They are signs of being without love, desiring love, or fearing that we don’t have love. This is why there is confusion. This is why love hurts.

Neurons that fire together wire together. When we see or think about the object of our affection, we might notice all of the symptoms described above. We call it “love” and associate it with that person. It feels like love in our bodies because our brain made that short cut (X, Y, And Z = love), lumped it all together, and created a program (“Love hurts”). There are actually two things going on at once, however. Love and the absence of love. When you can tease out the two, you are more likely to see the difference and lose the confusion.

So, you don’t hurt from love. You hurt from fear, anger, depression, or anxiety. Fear that you won’t be loved in return. Anger that your affection isn’t visibly appreciated. Depression that you may lose your love. Or anxiety that your lover could love someone else more than you or thoughts like those.

When you are in a state of unconditional love, you don’t need to project your love onto an object in order to feel it. It just is. Why is this distinction important? When you have clarity, you see the fear, desire, jealousy or whatever is on the other side of love for what it is. You feel your happiness for what it is. The two can exist simultaneously for what they are.

When you separate out what is love and what is the opposite of love, you may start to notice that that place where both love and fear exist simultaneously is an approximation of love. It’s like like the twilight or dawn of day. It’s a mix of things. To radiate with pure love, you have to release fear, doubt, jealousy, and judgment. When you are able to get to that place, you’ll never mistake the absence of love for love, and you will be at a place where love will no longer hurt.

Posted in coping, relationships, self-help and tagged .