…No, it doesn’t.
Being betrayed, cheated on, lied to, broken up with, thinking someone is different than they are – those things all suck. Love, does not.
Our generation has a considerably difficult time finding love. As I have discussed before, instant gratification and a culture that is seemingly valuing monogamy less and less is making many of us question if there really are any good people left who want the same things we do. It tends to be that effort put into a relationship ends up being one-sided, and those on the giving end repeatedly seem to associate the disappointment with the emotion of love itself.
Heartache is natural. Failed relationships are natural. And often times, associating the pain of heartbreak with relationships themselves, is also natural. But this is to fall into the trap of just assuming that putting yourself out there will always eventually mean getting hurt. And, sadly, this is very often true.
So then, what is the point? If a relationship is just going to end and cause you pain, why enter into it in the first place? Would it not be smarter to stay closed off and eliminate all risk?
Consider for a moment going to see a movie, hearing a symphony, reading a book, or enjoying a nice dinner. We enter into all of these experiences with the clear knowledge that they have an end – yet we still crave them. Why?
Because they bring beauty to our lives. They open our minds and our hearts and add another layer to us as human beings. To refuse the experience because it will eventually end is to rob yourself of all of the good that it brings.
The same goes for relationships. To build walls around our hearts is to, possibly, keep out pain. But it will also very likely keep out happiness. When we make our best attempts to protect ourselves from people who may hurt us we also fail to let them get far enough to determine if they may actually make us happy.
We need to experience this heartbreak because it opens our eyes to what we do and don’t want in a future partner. We need to allow ourselves to be (somewhat) emotionally vulnerable because that is how we form a bond with someone. A connection that cannot be forged through a wall of armor. It is a risk, but without it, there is no reward.
Love is one of the strongest driving forces for humanity. We pursue it and crave it from family, friends, and significant others. It is what attaches us to other humans on the deepest level. This is not because it hurts. This is because it lifts us up and makes us feel invincible. Like we want to be the best versions of ourselves and bring happiness to the life of another.
Do not confuse love with betrayal or being hurt. That is the end of a temporary infatuation that was masquerading as love.
The ‘dating game’ is akin to playing the lottery. You may have to lose quite a bit before you actually win – but winning itself is impossible if you never play. We may spend years with the wrong people. We may spend months giving someone a chance who ends up walking away. We may spend much of our lives wondering if the person who appreciates us is really out there – but we must realize that no relationship is ever a waste of time. If it did not bring us what we wanted, it helped teach us what we did not want.
When we finally do make it through the forest and into the clearing where the right person is waiting, we will proudly say it was all worthwhile.
Minimize the pain you feel by not giving away too much of yourself emotionally too soon. Love is not an overnight occurrence. It is not a word to be thrown around with people you just met. It is something that builds over time and bonds people together. If we let it.
“It is a risk to love. What if it doesn’t work out? Ah, but what if it does?”
– Peter McWilliams
Originally appeared at JamesMSama.com
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Photo: Flickr/Thomas Leuthard