Though I agree that Love doesn’t hurt. I can’t quite get my brain around Loving the wrong person does. Love is spiritual. Love is eternal. Genuine love is pure. It simply loves. It is not hung up on the outcome. It doesn’t require anything in return. It simply loves. If you believe that, then it doesn’t make sense that Loving the wrong person hurts.
Sometimes we have an agenda for “loving.” When there is an agenda, it is no longer pure. When there is an agenda, the ego is playing a significant part. Love then becomes attached to the outcome. Love then becomes attached to whether the person does what you want them to do. Love is conditional. I submit to you that when that happens, what you’re calling Love is not Love.
I understand the intention of the quote. I do. Nevertheless, I submit to you that it’s not the Loving the wrong person that hurts. It’s expecting someone to be different than who they are. Maybe they told you one thing and you were misled. The ego requires that they live up to what they said. Love however accepts the Truth: this person is not who you thought they were regardless of what they said to the contrary.
“What does that have to do with dating again after divorce?,” you might ask. Everything. Divorce takes care of the physicality of things; but it takes time to disconnect from the pieces of your heart and the pieces of your dreams that are still attached to the marriage. I remember when I started dating again. I actually didn’t set out to date initially. I met some pretty attractive guys as I got out socially. At the time, I thought I was just fine. What I discovered however was I tended to rush things. If I found them super attractive and they showed me attention or asked me out, before long I was pushing for commitment. I knew in my head that we had only gone out two times but I couldn’t help myself. And when an argument insued, as it most certainly would, I convinced myself that what I expected was completely normal. It wasn’t. It wasn’t normal to expect exclusivity just because a person said they liked me or took me out once or twice.
I found myself coming up with reasons to contact him. If he was late, I overreacted. If he failed to live up to my expectations, I retaliated either with the silent treatment or an attitude. I hung on to his every word, not in the fantasy sense. Rather, I read more into a single word than was intended. For instance, if he said he was looking for the right woman. I assumed that his wanting to go out with me meant he thought I was her or at least saw my potential as this woman. With this fixed in my brain, I became consumed. What he wanted, what he thought and what he meant took center stage and what I wanted disappeared more and more.
Predictably, I would get worn out from the dating process. I’d write him off, them off as “the man who couldn’t commit.” Then, in a huff I’d swear off of dating. I’d blame it on his immaturity. I’d blame it on his lies. I’d blame it on him wanting something for nothing.
My point, we don’t realize how much of us is still tied to our marriage. We unconsciously think married, act married and expect married. We expect the person we date to be what the ex wasn’t. Or we expect the person to be what the ex was. We require things. We demand things. We rush into a couple role before we even know if the person is worthy. We tend to jump into sex when nothing has been defined, then want to define it afterwards. We start cooking him dinner, letting him drive our car, giving him keys to our home and we don’t even know him yet.
It is true that the more time we take to heal, the better prepared we are for the ups and downs of the dating world. Problem is, most of us don’t take the time to heal. We start longing for what’s lost and we dive headlong into dating. Oftentimes, it’s the same person as our ex just in different skin or different clothes. If our spouse was abusive, 9 times out of 10 the first person we’re attracted to has controlling tendencies. We’re attracted because they are attentive, often paying for our meals and bearing gifts. He buys us jewelry, clothes and shoes. He takes an interest in how “his woman” looks, acts and where she goes. It is flattering at first. We gush as we tell our friends how attentive he is. Then all of a sudden, he flips out. He starts complaining that you didn’t call him back. Or you find yourself constantly explaining yourself. Or he starts showing up unannounced and gets upset if you’re not in place.
Even after going to a relationship coach and working on my issues, some things did not come to the forefront until they had a reason to. In fact, things went well until I met Mr. Right. I got scared down to my toenails. So scared that it was too good to be true. So scared of being disappointed. Those abandonment issue tapes started playing. “You don’t want to care about him more than he cares about you,” they warned. “You ain’t gon run after no man,” they said. When I felt I couldn’t stop myself from pacing nervously watching for the phone to ring, I panicked and ended things. I couldn’t control my obsession or my compulsion. I was too afraid of being undervalued and rather than deal with it, I cast him aside. Fortunately, an intention bigger than my own, brought us back together and we’ve been great ever since.
I read an article entitled, “Letting Go” in a past issue of Oprah Magazine. It said that what hurts isn’t the loving but the clinging. It’s our inability to let go that is our source of pain. We cling because we cannot accept that it’s over. We cling because we feel entitled to something we aren’t getting or didn’t get. We cling because we feel discounted and treated like we don’t matter and we can’t go out like that. We cling because we can’t figure out what to believe. We cling because it doesn’t make sense and we’ve got to figure it out. It causes us pain.
Think about when you reclaimed your own life. Wasn’t it when you finally could let go? Whether it was because you met a new boo or you came to the conclusion that it no longer mattered or the person did something so offensive it shook you loose, you let go. You moved on. Once you did, didn’t the pain stop?
In my conclusion, I’ll admit it’s definitely a catchy quote. Just the same, this is what I believe. Love does not hurt. Clinging to the wrong person does.