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Love Hurts: How to Deal with the Pain That Comes in 6 Different Stages

Love Hurts: How to Deal with the Pain That Comes in 6 Different Stages

How many times have you asked yourself, “What is love exactly?” You’re not the only one to wonder. It’s an age old question that has left many people questioning their romantic relationships and future.

So, what is love? Love is a process: finding a partner, falling in love, and sometimes falling out of love. It isn’t a permanent thing. It’s not something you find and have forever because it never changes. Instead, love is fluid. Its definition changes over time, depending on each couple. Couples who make love last have learned to change together and to support each other’s individuality.

Love is beautiful and sometimes painful.

Just as love is ever-changing, so is the pain it can bring. Pain from love occurs in different stages of a relationship . You’ve probably already experienced some of the various kinds of pain in love. If not, you’ll probably experience them at some point in the future. Let’s take a look at some of the different kinds of pain so you’ll recognize it when it happens to you.

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Love and Pain Come in 6 Different Stages.

1. What is love? Is this love?

Looking for love can be pretty painful. First, there’s the issue of finding love, which means getting over emotional traumas from past relationships. You have to be ready to find love and know what you want before you can go looking for a significant other. You also need to have some idea of what love means to you, which might not be the same idea for everyone.

Once you think you know what you want and you’ve answered, “What is love?”, there’s the pain of figuring out how to ask the other person out on a date.

Just when you work up the courage to ask somebody out, you might be hit with the next great pain: rejection. In this case, what you have to do is learn to cope with unrequited love, or romantic feelings that are not shared. If you get through the date part and the feelings are mutual, now you get to face even more discomfort. You have to figure out if you’re really in love with your partner or just attached to them. If you think what you feel is love, it’s time to show the other person how you feel. Perhaps the most painful part of this stage is deciding how to tell them you love them.

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2. I am definitely falling in love!

The second stage of love and pain is the falling in love part. The pain from this stage comes from the same age-old question: what is love? Except this time, you ask yourself, “Am I falling in love?” You can answer this question by paying attention to your actions. If you catch yourself doing any of the things on this list, you just might be in love.

To avoid some of the pain associated with love, it’s important to understand the science behind love. Remember, these strong feelings are due to the production of certain chemicals in your brain.

If you’ve confirmed that you’re falling in love and you understand the science behind it, congratulations! You can now participate in one of the best parts of being in love: holding hands. Holding hands results in a number of positive benefits for your health.

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3. It’s official, we’re a couple.

The next step in the progression of love is usually that the two of you become a couple. If you’re not sure what step you’re in, start looking for signs that you’re in a committed relationship. Once you’ve determined that you’re officially in a relationship, you have a whole new set of potentially painful concerns. You might start wondering what to do now, how to act, where to go, and how to keep the relationship healthy. First of all, stop thinking so much. If you overanalyze your relationship, you’ll end up frustrated and anxious. Focus on being mature in your relationship to create and maintain happiness.

Much like a business, you need to think of a mission and vision for your relationship. Where do you hope to be in a few years and how can you improve on your relationship every day? To answer some of these questions, it’s important to learn what kind of personality your partner has. Take the time to really understand them. A highly sensitive person has different needs than a grounded and serious person, for example.

4. How did I ever love this person?

At this stage, one of two things can happen. You either continue your relationship forever in the classic “happily ever after” story, or you start questioning the decisions that got you here. “What is love?” you find yourself asking again. “How did I ever love this person?” Well, if you’re a guy, chances are you fell in love with some of the typical qualities that make men fall in love with women. If you’re a woman, you probably hold some of those qualities.

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Looking back on why you fell in love in the first place and questioning everything can be painful. It’s one of the hardest moments you’ll ever go through in your relationship. Look for things that will give you strength as you go through this difficult time.

5. It’s over.

This relationship isn’t everything you thought it would be. With all the pain and effort of trying to make it work, you somehow lost yourself along the way. Now you need to question if it’s time to let go so you can fo cus on loving yourself again.

Once you’ve broken up, you’re left to pick up the pieces of a broken heart. Just because the relationship wasn’t healthy, doesn’t mean it’s easy to get over losing somebody that you once loved. Recovering after a breakup is hard – your entire future is now up in the air. Despite this, you still need to get over it and move on as quickly as possible. Take the time you need to learn the important lessons that come with losing love d ones, listen to all the saddest songs when you want to cry, and then move on with your life.

6. I’m single again.

Now that you’ve gotten over the breakup, you’re back out in the single world again. This can be fun or it can be painful if you start to feel lonely. Just focus on how to love yourself and look for the motivation to appreciate yourself. Embrace this moment in your lif e and true love will come when you’re ready.

Featured photo credit: Can Anh Khai via pexels.com

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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