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.