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How can we love fully but still protect ourselves from the pain that comes with love?

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Nivari Van der Voorde
Nivari Van der Voorde Nov 09, 2020
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The more we care about a person the bigger the pain is that comes with loving. Why is it that in order to be hurt less we have to care less about a person? Are there other ways to be hurt less?
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Don't mistake other person for the source of happiness

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Povilas S
Povilas S Nov 11, 2020
Learn to be happy independently from people and circumstances - that's true happiness. Then you can share it when you're with people and enhance it, but if you depend on people to feel happy, you'll hurt when they are not around or not showing affection to you. Relationships are only for sharing happiness, not gaining. You can gain for some time, but then you'll lose again. Don't look for happiness in outside objects, including people and relationships. Humans are very social beings and social connections are about the most important thing in life for us, but still, it's not the synonym for happiness. That doesn't mean one should stay away from people/things/activities - it simply means understanding that those things are essentially not responsible for your happiness. Superficially it might seem so, but it's enough to do some contemplation and ask yourself a few honest questions to see that it's not true.


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Love the current version of yourself

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J
Juran Nov 16, 2020
What people often say is that they don't love themselves that much or at all. I read in some articles that love shouldn't be a passive thing, the feeling that you reached and is now making you happy for the rest of your life. Instead, it should be an active caregiving, acceptance, discussion, need and a dynamic environment that you accept and enjoy actively. That would mean that if you don't brush your teeth, clean your clothes, do your hair the way you like it, "talk" to yourself, think about your social standing points and things you've done, think about what makes you happy and do it, you are not actively working on yourself and could fall into an undesirable version of yourself much easier. So, you not investing in you could be a sign of you not loving yourself.

So what if I decide to invest in me? How does can it help while getting hurt?

I agree that loving someone and getting hurt is not only about you.
But it can definitely hurt less if, when you break up and get hurt, you still have yourself who you truly and actively love.
Understanding love as an active process, which you can easily train on yourself, can also affect you not breaking up with your loved one, too.


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Understand impermanence, remain equanimous

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Nov 20, 2020
Love, as we conventionally understand it, is a double-edged sword if we think about it. While being in love is a transcendental feeling that makes us emotionally warm, it has its own downside. When we are too much in love, it underplays our capacity of objective thinking and rationality. Love, like every other emotional realm, also becomes toxic when we don't know how to handle it properly. An overprotective mother might ruin her daughter's childhood, a possessive partner might make life truly hard for the other partner, albeit in love.
There is one simple wisdom to avoid the suffering that comes with the kind of romantic love that we often find ourselves in: everything is impermanent. All of our emotions are fleeting- no matter how tender and lovely they might be in one moment, most of them are short-lived, and they wash away with time. That is why relationships are so sweet and joyful in the beginning and tend to become mundane as time goes by. When relationships end in an abrupt manner, it is very natural for us to become worried and feel heartbroken. It just shows that we have had a serious emotional investment in our partner, and the fact that we are no longer together is obvious to cause us some heartache. To tackle this heartache, we can borrow the ancient wisdom from Buddhist philosophy- the impermanence of things. Just like good moments that don’t seem to last forever, bad moments shall pass away too. The root of all suffering, as Budhha had told, is our attachment to things, people and memories. When we understand that no phenomenon in the entire universe is permanent, it will become a lot easier to tackle the day to day misgivings of life (and love). Rather, we can think of love from another angle: it always need not be passionate and romantic. The kind of love that liberates is where we are compassionate and mindful, where we expect nothing in return and just love with an open heart. Though it sounds ideal, we can practice compassion and empathy and learn to be more equanimous to the emotional turmoil of romantic love. Moreover, when we accept the idea of impermanence and the constant change, we can aim to develop a habit of not reacting to things that are beyond our control. By remaining unreactive and treating incidents in life with equanimity, we save a lot of emotional and mental energy, and we reduce the suffering that these incidents can cause us. Hence, to love without being hurt, we have to first teach ourselves the notion of ‘nothing is permanent’ and then build a habit in which we treat things objectively and equanimously, without being too invested or aversive of the people/memories and incidents.
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Emotional resilience training

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Nov 22, 2020
We are a highly adaptive species. We get good at anything with enough practice.

The question becomes - how can you practice being heartbroken without it actually breaking you? How can you take a small dose of pain continuously to adapt to it? In other words, figure out how to do what scares you, but start with a safety net and build up to not needing it.

Maybe set stricter criteria in what you don't want in a partner and walk away when you detect it. If walking away is challenging, then training your will power might also be in order. Then put yourself out there and meet new people again, and again, and again. Remember, the goal is not to avoid pain - so let yourself feel.

When things go bad, you build emotional resilience, when things go well you meet someone worthy of your love. Adjust your filters/criteria based on experience and open yourself to new people again.
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Don't try to own the other person, have a life outside of your relationship

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Manel Lladó Santaeularia
Manel Lladó Santaeularia Dec 06, 2020
A common mistake when being in a relationship is that people tend to become way too possessive of the other person. This includes jealousy to other people that may be sexually/romantically interested in our partner, which is an evolutionary trait and very difficult to erradicate, although with proper communication, enough trust can be built to limit jealousy to just an instinct. However many relationships end up evolving into a kind of symbiosis in which both people tend to only do things when the other is involved. Even when meeting with friends, people will bring their partner. This way, all activities and experiences are shared with the partner. While this can seem sweet, it is also the source of many problems. First of all, your partner doesn't necessarily need to like your friends. In the end they are your friends, not theirs, and you should be able to enjoy their company without being conditioned by your partner. It's nice to bring your partner sometimes, but it doesn't need to be the norm. This can also be applied to a plethora of other things: tastes (music, food, activities), hobbies, family, etc. One of the keys to an emotionally healthy relationship is to have a fulfilling life outside of that relationship. Part of that life you will be able to share with your partner, but other parts should be independent of them. This allows you to have quality time without your partner, have healthier relationships and more hobbies, and also have something to tell your partner when you get back home.

This, incidentally, also helps better deal with the pain of breakups. When your life revolves around your partner, breaking up with them can destabilize your whole persona. However, if you have a fulfilling life on yourself, you may lose a central piece of it but you can still have a solid support system to help you deal with heartbreak better.
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