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How can you still love someone who hurt you

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How can you still love someone who hurt you
September 12, 2019 Anniversary Wishes For Parents 3 comments

You love the person who hurt you emotionally. And it is the time when both, your mind and heart at a complete war. You are still in love with the.

People are not kidding when they say that love hurts. It does, and sometimes love hurts so much that it is simply time to set it aside and move on.

Almost everyone has been in a relationship with someone who has hurt them, either emotionally or physically. The other person can be a parent, a boyfriend, a sister, or even a best friend from high school. But there always comes a moment when you ask yourself if you would be better off without this other person in your life.

Learning to let go can be as hard as deciding to stay. It is an unfamiliar change and one that you will have to live with for the rest of your life, but you know in your heart that this is the only thing you can do.

You want a better life, a happier life, and since the person you love won’t let you live that better life, you have to let go and face a new beginning on your own.

It is not going to be easy, but nothing in life worth fighting for is ever easy. You are going to have to make the firm choice to let go and move on.

15 Decide On The Now

Make the firm decision that now is the best time to take action and let go of that other person. Things are not getting any better and, in fact, they are getting progressively worse.

Have a quiet moment with yourself and decide on a plan of action. Also, think about why you are removing this person from your life. What has this other person done to you that hurts you so much?

When you have a good, personal understanding of why you are letting someone go, you will be more resolved to follow through with your plans. It is so easy to keep going back to a person who has hurt you, but you need to realize that things are not going to change anytime soon, no matter how much you wish they would. You need to take action and it must happen now.

14 It Is Not Your Fault

Recognize that the bad things the other person did to you are not your fault.

I was in a difficult situation recently. I was not sure if I had the strength to let go of the person who was hurting me. I sought out counseling and after talking about the situation, I was instructed to say, “It is not my fault.” At first I just repeated the words, but then my counselor had me say the words with conviction. She made me repeat the phrase over and over again. I had to believe that what happened was not my fault.

As women, we blame ourselves for a lot of things that are truly beyond our control. It is how we are wired and how society wants us to feel.

The truth is that we can only accept fault for our own actions. The actions of someone else are not our fault.

13 Grieve

After you have decided that it is time to let go, you are going to need to allow yourself time to grieve.

Give yourself the alone time your soul needs to cry it all out. Be angry, be sad, or feel whatever emotion is coming to play. Work your way through your feelings.

It is all too easy to tell yourself you are happy now that you are letting the other person go. You might even tell yourself that you feel absolutely nothing towards what is happening, but you are lying to yourself.

Letting go of someone is hard and deep down you are feeling a bunch of negative emotions. You need to get those feelings out and express them through tears, writing, or art.

Work your way through the bad feelings so that you can heal faster and be on your way to a better life.

12 Remove The Reminders

To make the letting go a touch easier on yourself, do a major house cleaning. Get some empty boxes and start filling them up with memories of the other person. Pack up all the pictures and the gifts. Anything that reminds you of the other person needs to be put into a box.

Decide on what you are going to keep, what you will be trashing, and what will get donated.

There will always be something that you will want to keep hold of, but for right now, you need it out of sight and out of mind. Pack it up and don’t look at it again until you are completely healed and out of contact with the other person.

The rest of the stuff can go. Some of it will be trash, but much of it can probably be donated to clothing and household charities. Let someone else make new memories with the stuff and put it to good use.

11 Change Your Phone Number

The number one way most people stay in touch is through their cell phones. If you are looking for a first step in letting someone go, this is probably it.

I admit that it is a major pain in the butt to change a phone number. You will have to change your number in so many other places, as well, but it makes a huge difference in limiting how the other person contacts you.

After you have gone through the hassle of changing your number, you will also be less likely to break down and contact that other person on your phone. You know that if things don’t work out, which they probably won’t, you will have to go through the whole process all over again.

After you do this, you will probably feel a bit phone lonely, but that is only because that other person can no longer trouble you with calls and text messages. You will get over it soon enough and will be thankful for the extra quiet.

10 Don’t Glorify The Past

You will have moments of weakness. We all do when we are taking that big step to let another person go. But these moments of weakness don’t have to send your plans crashing down around you.

When you find yourself remembering the good times or funny times, you need to switch your thoughts back to the reasons why you left the other person.

You have to remind yourself of all the hurt the other person caused. You have to remember the bad times.

When you start to feel nostalgic, get up and start to work on something else. Take a walk or call up a friend. Do something else besides sitting there and reliving the memories.

You don’t want to slip up and contact that other person. You don’t want to be weak.

Instead, be strong. Move on to newer and brighter things. Focus on yourself and set new goals for your future.

9 Get Counseling

Signing up for counseling was one of the best and healthiest decisions I have ever made in my life. I not only got to talk about what was happening and how I felt in a safe place, but I also received guidance.

My counselor empowered me and helped me find my way through the darkness. The right counselor can do the same thing for you.

If you are having a tough time letting someone go, find a counselor that is skilled at helping people in your situation. Meet her in advance to see if you feel comfortable talking to her. If all goes well, show up for weekly sessions.

The best counselors help you to clarify your thinking and your actions. They have you express your feelings and they teach you how to manage the way that you feel. They help you find your inner strength at times when you feel weak.

8 Block Them On Social Media

Social media can be a huge burden when you are trying to remove a person from your life.

First, you will need to remove and block the other person from all of your social media. You might have to remove the other person’s family members or friends from your accounts, as well. It sucks, but it needs to be done if you are going to give yourself the opportunity to move on.

You may also want to take a complete break from social media while you are at it. Think of how much time you waste on it and then think of what you could be doing instead.

There is also the stress of seeing other people in relationships. You can just walk away from social media for the first few days by turning off all your alerts and not giving in to the urge to post.

7 Find New Friends

If the person you are letting go has been in your life for a very long time, you might find that you share many of the same friends.

When it is over with that one person, you may have to let go of other people, too. But don’t feel bummed about the whole thing. Instead, think of all the new friends you will now be able to have.

Get yourself out more and start talking to other people. Attend activities that interest you and interact with the people there.

You really can make friends anywhere you go, from the grocery store to the elevator. Just put yourself out there and talk to the women you meet. Make a real effort to get to know new people.

From my experience, most people enjoy making new friends. As humans, we need that social interaction. So if you are making a huge change, add new friends to your life to help you refocus on the good that is out there.

6 Start A Journal

It sounds kind of dumb, but when you actually try it out, it works in helping you to refocus your life and let go of the crud from the past.

Keeping a journal during the toughest parts of your life does many things. First of all, it prevents you from posting stupid stuff on your social media. Instead of making your drama public, keep it private and write it in your journal.

Second, keeping a journal helps you to relieve built up stress. You get to write about anything you want, without judgement, and you will feel so much better about it after you are done.

Journals are also a lesson that your feelings will change. For example, I kept a journal during the ending of my marriage. I put down all my worries and fears. Years later, I picked up and read through that journal. I discovered that I was worrying myself silly over things that never came to pass. It was a light bulb moment that I might not have had if I didn’t keep a journal.

5 Start A New Project

Instead of focusing all your energy on letting someone go, you can focus your energy on starting a new project.

A new project can be anything. It can be a business plan or an educational outline for your new self. It can be a craft project or gardening.

Choose a new project that is not related to the person you are letting go. Let it be something you are seriously interested in doing. Draw out a step by step plan for the new project so that you can focus on those steps instead of on the past.

No matter where you are in life, you should always have a project to work on. It strengthens who you are and it helps you learn how to focus on what you are doing.

The more involved you become in your project, the easier it is to move on with your life.

4 Focus On Your Needs

You are probably letting go of that other person because he would use up so much of your time and energy. He would fill your head up with negative thoughts and you were always too distracted to spend any time working on yourself.

The moment you decide to remove someone from your life, you need to begin focusing on your needs. You have neglected yourself for long enough and now is the time for you to get yourself fixed up and on the ball.

Focus on your health, first and foremost. Create an exercise schedule and start planning out healthier meals for yourself.

Need a vacation? You can plan that out too and make it happen now that you have more me time.

Don’t neglect your needs and, as often as possible, give into your wants, too. Life is way too short to live in punishment for something that is not your fault.

3 You Deserve Better

Is the person you are leaving a long-term boyfriend? Is he someone you used to dream about marrying?

Leaving him is probably the hardest thing you have ever done, but you know in your heart that you need to do it. You have to do it.

No matter what he says to you, remind yourself that you deserve better. You do not deserve to be abused, treated like crud, or cheated on. In fact, you deserve the opposite of all those things.

Write the words “I deserve better” on sticky notes and post them around the house. Copy other positive sayings down and put them where you will see them each and every day.

Many women have been in your situation and the ones that have become successful in life are the ones who found the strength to let go and walk away. You can be one of them.

2 Accept Change

Nothing lasts forever. Not love, not family, and not childhood friendships. Life is full of change, and that is a good thing.

Change helps us grow. It makes us become better people. Without change, we become miserable and stagnant.

A part of letting someone go is learning how to accept change. It is difficult in the beginning, but it gets easier the more you accept it and pursue it.

As part of the process of letting someone go, you will need to actively pursue changes. These changes will be how you live your day to day life, how you think, and what you do in your free time.

Make small, positive changes at first. As you make each change, see it as a building block to a better you. Make larger changes to your life as you become more and more comfortable with the idea of living a new life.

1 Have Faith

Each and every day you succeed in not having contact with that person is a day of victory. It is a win for your happiness and your future.

If you are going to succeed in letting the past go, you need to have faith. Have faith in yourself that you can do this, that you are strong, and that you are taking the right action. Believe that what you are doing is the right thing to do.

Yes, it can be scary, especially if you have just let go of a long-term boyfriend, but there is also something better for you if you just open your eyes to it.

We are all strong on the inside, whether we admit to it or not. The will to survive is within us all. Stay positive, move forward, and take the necessary steps to live a happier and healthier lifestyle.

The other person can be a parent, a boyfriend, a sister, or even a best You want a better life, a happier life, and since the person you love.

How to Stop Loving Someone Who Hurt You Emotionally

how can you still love someone who hurt you

How to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you anymore. When love separates or when someone hurts you emotionally, it is you who have to make the decision, whether you want to take up the opportunity and walk away or allow the feeling to destroy you or allow it to make you stronger.

When someone you love hurts you emotionally, that pain, anger, betrayal and frustration hurts. Actually, tends to destroy us within. 90% of the people take the love seriously because it is a healthy relationship between two people. For me, love is all about treating the people the way you want them to treat you.

How to Stop Loving Someone After a Breakup

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”

~Pema Chödrön

What I think that when the feelings or love is not reciprocated, we get hurt. We get hurt because we expect from people whom we love. Never expect the same love and respect from the person the way you do. We do get hurt from different people in our lives.

Like, if my colleague does hurt me, then I would take few steps to rectify the things and move on with it. But what if someone you love hurt you emotionally? Do you know how to stop loving someone who hurt you emotionally?

When we get hurt from the person whom we love, the walls crumble, confidence weakens, trust broken and all we are left with the questions which are unanswerable. And only the time can answer them. So, just give yourself time which you desperately need.

Avoid making the decisions in a second. Just take sufficient time for yourself and understanding the situation. Love yourself, it is the greatest love. Don’t forget yourself, because you deserve to be loved.

I never thought of writing this article, but received few queries from my readers who want me to specify the things which can be done to stop loving man or women who hurt you emotionally. And here, I would be sharing my personal views. They might be similar to the ones which you follow.


You love the person who hurt you emotionally. And it is the time when both, your mind and heart at a complete war. You are still in love with the person and your heart will take you through a replay of all those happy moments. It will try to convince you.

But your mind will comprehend that the person actually hurt you emotionally and their feelings changed over time. You take your time to think over the situation because your heart and mind will take a time to get into an alignment.


Try to socialize with other people around you. Do mourn over the loss of your loved one, but don’t stay alone. Staying alone will make you miss the person more. So, it is best to hang out with people who love you.


YES. It is the right time to set your personal goals. Don’t forget you have your own dreams. You have to achieve those goals. So, just plan out how you can. Throw the person out of life and make some space to create your own life, your career.


Avoid having any contacts with the person who no longer loves you. Just delete everything from your social media accounts about the person. You have to delete the contact information of the person as well.

Situations are different and the degrees of getting hurt are different because they depend on the people who hurt you. STEP BACK. Most of the times people hurt you emotionally as it comes out of anger.

Avoid reacting to those feelings and just step back. We should try keeping our head cool. Think clearly and leave. DO NOT SPEAK THE WORDS WHICH YOU ARE THINKING.

The next thing is little hard but important to follow if you really want to stop loving someone who doesn’t deserve you and that is TIME. We know that everything gets healed with time.

Just take sufficient time to move on in life. You can talk to the person or anyone close to you about the situation. If they ignore you or don’t listen to your words, then the person doesn’t care about you. MOVE ON.

I don’t think that I will be able to give you the perfect answer to how to stop loving someone who hurt you emotionally, because it varies, depends on the person who actually did hurt you. And also, it depends on the pain. It is painful when someone we love hurt us emotionally.

But if you know the tips to move on and stop loving the person, then it is the best to love your life. According to me, the most difficult time is when the person whom you love hurts you emotionally.

Do have patience with yourself. It is difficult to stop loving someone and it does take time, but it is not an impossible thing. Life is all about having good and bad days.

You just have to remind yourself that you have to let go the person off from your life who broke your emotionally. Just keep letting go of the relationship and believe me in no time you will get through it successfully.

How to Stop Thinking About Someone

If you would ask me, then I am discussing it with you guys. I am just writing the things which worked for me. I do take out time for myself and figure about how to rebuild the trust in the relationship.

So, I ask you people the same question, ‘What you will do when someone you love will hurt you emotionally?’ ‘How you will address the situation or what steps you will take?’ I am waiting for your response guys. Do comment, don’t hesitate.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: He Hurt You? 5 Simple Steps to Open Your Heart to Love Again... (Matthew Hussey, Get The Guy)
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The Causes Of Hurting Someone You Love

how can you still love someone who hurt you

Most of us see the connection between social and physical pain as a figurative one. We agree that “love hurts,” but we don’t think it hurts the way that, say, being kicked in the shin hurts. At the same time, life often presents a compelling argument that the two types of pain share a common source. Old couples frequently make the news because they can’t physically survive without one another. In one example from early 2012, Marjorie and James Landis of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, who’d been married for 65 years, died just 88 minutes apart.

Truth is you don’t have to be a sentimentalist to believe in broken hearts — being a subscriber to the New England Journal of Medicine will do. A few years ago a group of doctors at Johns Hopkins University reported a rare but lethal heart condition caused by acute emotional distress. The problem is technically known as “stress cardiomyopathy,” but the press likes to call it “broken heart syndrome,” and medical professionals don’t object to the nickname.

Behavioral science is catching up with the anecdotes, too. In the past few years, psychology researchers have found a good deal of literal truth embedded in the metaphorical phrases comparing love to pain. Neuroimaging studies have shown that brain regions involved in processing physical pain overlap considerably with those tied to social anguish. The connection is so strong that traditional bodily painkillers seem capable of relieving our emotional wounds. Love may actually hurt, like hurt hurt, after all.

A Neural Couple

Hints of a neural tie between social and physical pain emerged, quite unexpectedly, in the late 1970s. APS Fellow Jaak Panksepp, an animal researcher, was studying social attachment in puppies. The infant dogs cried when they were separated from their mothers, but these distress calls were much less intense in those that had been given a low dose of morphine, Panksepp reported in Biological Psychiatry. The study’s implication was profound: If an opiate could dull emotional angst, perhaps the brain processed social and physical pain in similar ways.

Panksepp’s findings on social distress were replicated in a number of other species — monkeys, guinea pigs, rats, chickens. The concept was hard to test in people, however, until the rise of neuroimaging decades later.

A breakthrough occurred in an fMRI study led by APS Fellow Naomi Eisenberger of University of California, Los Angeles. The researchers knew which areas of the brain became active during physical pain: the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which serves as an alarm for distress, and the right ventral prefrontal cortex (RVPFC), which regulates it. They decided to induce social pain in test participants to see how those areas responded.

Eisenberger and colleagues fed participants into a brain imaging machine and hooked them into a game called Cyberball — essentially a game of virtual catch. Participants were under the impression that two other people would be playing as well. In actuality, the other players were computer presets controlled by the researchers.

Some test participants experienced “implicit” exclusion during the game. They watched as the other two players tossed the virtual ball, but were told that technical difficulties had prevented them from joining the fun. Others experienced “explicit” exclusion. In these cases, the computer players included the participant for seven tosses, then kept the ball away for the next 45 throws.

When Eisenberger and colleagues analyzed the neural images of exclusion, they discovered “a pattern of activations very similar to those found in studies of physical pain.” During implicit exclusion, the ACC acted up while the RVPFC stayed at normal levels. (The brain might have recognized this exclusion as accidental, and therefore not painful enough to merit corrective measures.) During explicit social exclusion, however, both ACC and RVPFC activity increased in participants.

The study inspired a new line of research on neural similarities between social and physical pain. “Understanding the underlying commonalities between physical and social pain unearths new perspectives on issues such as … why it ‘hurts’ to lose someone we love,” the researchers concluded in a 2003 issue of Science.

In a review of studies conducted since this seminal work, published in the February 2012 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, Eisenberger offered a potential evolutionary reason for the relationship. Early humans needed social bonds to survive: things like acquiring food, eluding predators, and nursing offspring are all easier done in partnership with others. Maybe over time this social alert system piggybacked onto the physical pain system so people could recognize social distress and quickly correct it.

“In other words,” wrote Eisenberger, “to the extent that being separated from a caregiver or from the social group is detrimental to survival, feeling ‘hurt’ by this separation may have been an adaptive way to prevent it.”

Physical Pain Dies, Lost Love Doesn’t

Psychologists believe that physical pain has two separate components. There is the sensory component, which gives basic information about the damage, such as its intensity and location. There’s also an affective component, which is a more qualitative interpretation of the injury, such as how distressing it is.

Initial studies that followed Eisenberger’s pioneering work focused on the affective component. (The ACC, for instance, is closely related to affective pain — so much so that animals without that part of their brain can feel pain but aren’t bothered by it.) As a result, researchers began to think that while the qualitative aspects of social and physical pain might overlap, the sensory components might not.

Recently that thinking has changed. A group of researchers, led by Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan, believed that social pain might have a hidden sensory component that hadn’t been found because games like Cyberball just weren’t painful enough. So instead they recruited 40 test participants and subjected them to a far more intense social injury: the sight of an ex-lover who’d broken up with them.

Kross and colleagues brought test participants into a brain imaging machine and had them complete two multi-part tasks. One was a social task: Participants viewed pictures of the former romantic partner while thinking about the breakup, then viewed pictures of a good friend. The other was a physical task: Participants felt a very hot stimulation on their forearm, and also felt another that was just warm.

As expected from prior research, activity in areas associated with affective pain (such as the ACC) increased during the more intense tasks (seeing the “ex” and feeling the strong heat). But activity in areas linked with physical pain, such as the somatosensory cortex and the dorsal posterior insula, also increased during these tasks. The results suggested that social and physical pain have more in common than merely causing distress — they share sensory brain regions too.

“These results give new meaning to the idea that rejection ‘hurts,’” the researchers concluded in a 2011 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Still it’s not quite accurate to say that physical and social pain are exactly the same. As other research suggests, social pain may actually be much worse in the long run. A kick to the groin might feel just as bad as a breakup in the moment, but while the physical aching goes away, the memory of lost love can linger forever.

A research group led by Zhansheng Chen at Purdue University recently demonstrated this difference in a series of experiments. During two self-reports, people recalled more details of a past betrayal than a past physical injury and also felt more pain in the present, even though both events had been equally painful when they first occurred. During two cognitive tests, people performed a tough word association task significantly more slowly when recalling emotional pain than when recalling physical pain.

“Our findings confirmed that social pain is easily relived, whereas physical pain is not,” the researchers reported in a 2008 issue of Psychological Science.

Heart-Shaped Box (of Tylenol)

There is a bright side to the new line of research linking social and physical pain: Remedies for one may well double as therapy for the other. A group of psychological researchers, led by C. Nathan DeWall of the University of Kentucky, recently tested whether acetaminophen — the main ingredient in Tylenol — could relieve the pain of emotional distress as effectively as it relieves bodily aches.

In one experiment, some test participants took a 500-mg dose of acetaminophen twice a day for three weeks, while others took a placebo. All 62 participants provided self-reports on a “hurt feelings” scale designed to measure social exclusion. After Day 9, people who took the pain pill reported significantly lower levels of hurt feelings than those who took a placebo.

As a follow-up study, DeWall and colleagues gave either acetaminophen or a placebo to 25 test participants for three weeks, then brought them into the lab to play Cyberball. When participants were excluded from the game, those in the acetaminophen group showed significantly lower activity in their ACC than those in the placebo group — a sign that the painkiller was relieving social pain just as it normally did physical pain.

“For some, social exclusion is an inescapable and frequent experience,” the authors conclude in a 2010 issue of Psychological Science. “Our findings suggest that an over-the-counter painkiller normally used to relieve physical aches and pains can also at least temporarily mitigate social-pain-related distress.”

The effect breaks both ways. In another report from Psychological Science, published in 2009, a research group led by Sarah Master of University of California, Los Angeles, found that social support could relieve the intensity of physical pain — and that the supportive person didn’t even have to be present for the soothing to occur.

Master and colleagues recruited 25 women who’d been in relationships for at least six months and brought them into the lab with their romantic partner. They determined each woman’s pain threshold, then subjected her to a series of six-second heat stimulations. Half of the stimulations were given at the threshold pain level, half were given one degree (Celsius) higher.

Meanwhile the woman took part in a series of tasks to measure which had a mitigating effect on the pain. Some involved direct contact (holding the partner’s hand, a stranger’s hand, or an object) while others involved visual contact (viewing the partner’s photo, a stranger’s photo, or an object). In the end, contact involving a romantic partner — both direct and visual alike — led to significantly lower pain ratings compared to the other tasks. In fact, looking at a partner’s picture led to slightly lower pain ratings than actually holding his hand.

At least for all the hurt love causes, it has an equally powerful ability to heal.

One reason is that you probably still care about the person. Because usually the person who hurt you is the one you love the most or.

Why do you let the person who hurt you occupy your thoughts?

how can you still love someone who hurt you

When we think about love, most of us imagine candlelit dinners, wine and roses. Why, then, did the poet Kahlil Gibran describe love like this?

“When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.”

At first glance, it feels as if he must have got it wrong. After all, we’re far more accustomed to thinking of love as an overwhelmingly positive experience, something that happens to us rather than something we have to make happen.

The reason is that Gibran understood the difference between love and lust. Lust is what romantic stories and fairytale endings describe: an intense, overwhelming, all-consuming desire, an inability to think about anything other than how to capture the heart (and more to the point, the body) of the object of our desire. That’s lust. That is not love.

Lust is a purely sexual response. It’s all (and only) about the need to procreate, and although it’s most often described in terms of visual attributes, in fact when we’re “in lust”, we’re responding more to scent than to sight. We lust after a person if our senses inform us (generally without our conscious awareness) that this individual possesses an immune system that is maximally different from our own. If we conceive a child with this person, our scent is telling us, we’ll produce the healthiest, most disease-resistant child possible.

Lust idealises and projects. It makes it possible for us to see only what we want to see and what we hope to see in the other person. At the same time, it allows us to overlook any of their faults or defects. When we’re in lust, we see the other person as perfect, as someone who is utterly desirable.

Lust is more or less an instantaneous response. “Their eyes met, and the feeling was electric” – this describes lust, not love. It is a primitive bodily response, the aim of which is to ensure the survival of our DNA. It hits our senses and stimulates the production of the same neurochemicals – dopamine in particular – that are awakened when we become addicted to narcotics. Sadly, however, this overwhelmingly pleasurable experience is only temporary. Within weeks – months if we’re lucky – we fall out of lust.

It’s only then that, if we choose, we may begin to love.

Love, real love for another person, is best defined by the psychiatrist and writer M Scott Peck. He describes it as the will to extend yourself – at whatever personal cost – to nurture the growth of another person. Love, in other words, is about overlooking your own needs and pleasures in the service of allowing the person you love to seek their potential, to be the best they can possibly be.

Love isn’t about our own need to procreate, or about any other need of our own for that matter. When we truly love someone, our primary focus is on their self-expression, not on our own. Of course, as Peck cautions, the other person won’t experience this in a positive way if we don’t also first love ourselves.

Those who purport to “love” someone because they’re hoping to fill the void of emptiness within themselves will only cause that person to feel smothered and resentful. Nor is love about evening up a “score”. It doesn’t expect anything in return. Love simply flows outwards. As Gibran says, “Love possesses not nor would it be possessed. For love is sufficient unto love.”

When we really love someone, we’re willing to accept that person as they truly are. There will be no attempt to idealise them or to make them over in any way. We’ll try as hard as we can to understand how the other person hopes to reach their potential, to become everything they can be. This requires patience, vast amounts of time, and lots of hard work – not least because quite often, the other person isn’t even clear themselves about what will fulfil them most.

This is where some of the hurt comes in when we love. It requires incredible effort to accept, and then truly to understand, another person.

Love also hurts when we discover something about the other person that will result in a loss to us. All parents must experience this when their adorable, dependent little baby becomes an adolescent, then a young adult. To allow them to fulfil their potential, parents must show their love by giving up the delicious sense of being needed, and encourage their child to do for themselves, because only that way can the child become fully independent. Love hurts because there are times when we have to let go of what we’ve loved most.

Finally, love hurts because when we truly love, we must do so honestly. No secrets, no avoidance, no kidding ourselves, no ulterior motives. When we truly love, what we discover about the other person inevitably demands that we confront our own beliefs and desires. Loving another person means, therefore, that both individuals will grow and change – and change, even when it’s for the best, is a painful process.

Is it worth all this pain to love, really to love?

It is. To love is to live fully, to have a purpose that makes life worth living. Once again, it is Gibran who explains most eloquently what happens when you truly love another person:

“All these things shall love do unto you
that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.”

I received an email from a reader, whom I will call Grace, that I really think warrants a longer and more thoughtful response from me, and when I.

how can you still love someone who hurt you
Written by Yoshakar
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