This is a response to a post done by a blogger I follow, who is by far one of the most interesting and intelligent and searching souls I’ve discovered on tumblr.
Everyone says that love hurts, but that’s not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Everyone confuses these with love, but really love is the one thing in this world that covers up all the pain and makes us feel wonderful again
Let me first say that I think living hurts in general. Getting invested in temporary things, material things, or fleeting things hurts. But I think love brings the greatest and deepest hurt. Love is suffering. Opening yourself up to someone that exists outside of yourself, who can turn on you any minute, whose human nature is to be fickle and unpredictable brings down the ultimate hammer of pain.
Because we do that, don’t we? We let ourselves be vulnerable to people. We let them into our most intimate places and give them a key and even let them move in their ugly furniture and trust them not to hurt us, not to take advantage of that privilege. I think the real kicker is how irrational the anger and betrayal we feel is when they inevitably hurt us, intentionally or otherwise, because emotional attachment is pain; love is suffering. There’s this dysfunctional delusion we blind ourselves with when we fall in love with someone new, and it’s that there’s this unspoken agreement that you won’t hurt each other. Which is dumb, because you will. You will because if you aren’t experiencing irrational, illogical pain, you aren’t in love. You are, in fact, detached. You are safe.
Try being selective about what you get hurt by when you’re into someone. We can grow hair in a petri dish but we can’t seem to figure that one out. Our highs get higher and our lows get lower, except now, somebody else is manning the reins. It’s like trusting your drunk friend to drive your car. Eventually they will fuck things up.
I agree that love is the shit sometimes. Or all the time, if you’re one of “those.” Rose-colored glasses or something. But I think of how he said “loneliness hurts.” He’s right. But when does loneliness hurt? Loneliness only hurts after you’ve had a taste of what it is not to be a lonely. After your first relationship (or whatever it is you call your first fling) you see just how your highs can go when you’re with someone, when your happiness becomes tangent to being around that somebody else. It sets a bar unprecedented. After that your life will never be the same. After that your life will be hell, because you are forever doomed to try and find ways to reach that bar again.
Rejection hurts because that connotates that there was hope, and thus emotional investment. Rejection hurts because, let’s face it, you have fantasized about the moment when they say yes. Rejection hurts because you have been robbed of that chance for love (or, more aptly, to be loved back) — your opportunity to reach that high love bar has been taken away from you. You must walk home alone and sleep alone and in the morning, try again. And again. And again.
Losing someone only hurts because of the mere fact that you knew how it felt to have them in the first place. You had a taste of that love high that is now irrevocably attached to that person, or at least your memories of them. Losing someone can also play into feelings of inadequacy, and thus delivers an unmistakable blow to your pride.
You never bet your coins on losing someone, on that slow fade of love, on growing apart. Somehow we cling onto this belief that love lasts forever. Or at least a special kind of love, and it might be this love. But I don’t think that it’s stupid. Nor do I think it’s entirely Disney’s fault. I think it’s part of biology; I think we have to do that, in order to create new romantic bonds after the tragedy of lost and broken relationships. If we adamantly held true to the reality that all relationships are doomed from the start, we would never bother talking to people. We would kill ourselves from the moment we gained this grim understanding. We would be evolutionarily stunted and incurably jaded.
I think that is the only way we move on, and learn. Deep down we are familiar with the rules of reality, but fantasy - like “this love could be the one” - keeps us going. We think it makes life worthwhile, and meaningful. And it gives us pretty music.