What does it mean to love, if not to find peace in the pain that it brings? Love and pain go hand-in-hand; without one, you can’t hope to experience the other. You see, when you fall in love with someone, a connection is formed.

A connection reinforced by wanting and needing this individual in our life. It’s an incredibly strong connection, as it quite literally changes the course of our lives.

It’s easy to underplay the significance that love, romantic love in particular, carries. After all, what’s one love story when the world is filled with millions? But that’s just it… there are millions.

Millions of people falling in love. Millions of people going through the ups and downs that love is known for. The world is filled with individuals who are guided by the love that they’re feeling.

Without love, there would be no art. There would be no music. There would be no family, no society, no passion. There would also be no war. How can I claim that love is the root of all this?

Because there is no higher bliss, or more severe emotional distraught, than that which can be brought on by being in love. Love turns people into angels. Just as it turns people into demons. If humans didn’t love, we would cease to exist.

Love gives us purpose. I may be an extreme example, but without falling in love with one special individual, my life would be drastically different.

So different, that I can honestly say that I have no idea what it is that I would be doing with my life. Surely not writing theoretical prose on love and relationships. More than just that, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.

I wouldn’t think the way I think. I wouldn’t see the world the way I now see it. I wouldn’t understand the world the way I understand it.

If I never loved, I never would have experienced the greatest joy life has to offer, just as I would have never had to claw my way out from rock bottom. In short, without love I never would have truly lived.

I know many of you feel the same way, or at least will one day feel this way. It may be difficult to see now, but all the pain that you’re feeling will eventually make you into a different person — if it hasn’t already.

Now, and this is important, the person it will turn you into may not be the person you want to be. This is probably more often the case than not.

Truth is, most love stories end badly, and when they do so, they cause emotional damage. If you’ve never been in love — real love — this is impossible for you to imagine. But here’s a good way to think about it… imagine that you figured it out.

You figured out what happiness is. You figured out how and with whom you want to spend your life with. Imagine that all your problems faded into the background, and that you felt content, happy, joyful, hopeful.

Imagine reaching that peak and soaking up all the beautiful glory. Now, look down. Scary isn’t it? Even if you’re not afraid of heights, standing on top of Mount Everest will send a chill down your spine. There’s one last thing that I want you to imagine… you’ve just been pushed off the cliff.

Sometimes I’m not sure what’s scarier… losing the one you love, or losing the future the two of you could have had together. Because that’s another truth you have to accept: when you lose the one you love, you lose one of your lives.

You lose one of the many possible storylines you could have written. And it hurts.

Here’s the crazy part. The more it hurts, the more you love. Fucked up ain’t it? With each painful memory, your love only becomes reinforced. It’s like you’re drowning and gasping for air, but with each breath your lungs just fill up with more icy cold water.

Some of us do drown… others find a way to stay afloat long enough to get saved. Nevertheless, the memories don’t go away. The connection you have doesn’t magically sever.

As the years go by, most individuals seem to find someone new to love. Sure, there’s a ton of baggage to sort through, but when you meet the right person, you help each other unpack. But not everyone meets someone right off the bat.

Some of us have a difficult time finding someone else to love. Maybe it’s because we can’t meet the right someone. Maybe it’s because we haven’t been able to let go. Or maybe we just don’t want to let go…

Whatever the case may be, I will tell you this: if you love someone intensely enough, for long enough, you begin to look forward to the pain. Truthfully, not even sure you can call it pain anymore.

It’s a sort of acceptance and understanding of the situation. Understanding that you love someone and that you’ll never fully stop loving them. Understanding that you don’t need them to love you.

Sure, the thought excites you, but you no longer feel an intense need for them to reciprocate your love. I guess you just realize that it doesn’t really matter if they love you or not, because it wouldn’t change the way you feel about them.

People change as time goes by, and the person you love may no longer be that very same individual. So in a sense, the person you’re in love with no longer even exists. But they do exist — to you.

Because you have those memories. You have that part of your life, that part of you, that they touched and influenced. They made a mark on the canvas that is your life, and their work is simply too beautiful to ever stop appreciating.

It’s funny… I feel like one day I’m going to look back at all the pain and reminisce. It’s almost nice feeling a void within you. Truth is you can’t feel that void until you meet someone that fills it.

And once they fill it, even when they’re gone and the void is all that’s left, you know that a person exists — or once existed — that made you feel whole. The realization alone is often what holds me together.

I often think about what purpose love plays in the grander scheme of things. Is it actually something ethereal, something tangible and real? Or are we all just getting lost in our own delusion?

Is love something that we made up, something that we could just as easily do without? Or is it perfection in its truest form.

After all, is there anything more perfect than something that encompass all that is good and all that is evil?

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