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.
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.
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.
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.
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