HOW TO AVOID GETTING HURT IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP

You can’t.

The end.

Just kidding!

I’ve been puzzling through this lately, as I have recently fallen in love again. Or perhaps for the first time. Every time is different; every time feels new. I’m equal parts ecstatic and terrified.

The biggest problem is how afraid I am. I am afraid to love as fully as I know I am capable of. I’m afraid that the things that have happened before (betrayal, falling out of love, monotony) will happen again. I’m afraid it won’t be what it is supposed to be. And I’m afraid that I have such a cool single life -with travel, independence, and yes,  a little bit of loneliness thrown in, but it’s a trade-off, right?– that I might not want to give it up to be in a couple again.

Let’s face it, relationships are not always what we conceive them to be in the beginning. It’s hard. It’s brutal. It’s disappointing. Even if we dodge the marital bullet and end up in a long relationship, it’s all of those things. Just easier to extract ourselves from. At least, physically. Not emotionally. (Believe me, I learned that the hard way.)

Mostly I’m afraid of the kind of hurt that comes at the end of things when you have loved fiercely and lost it all in the end. The kind of pain that leaves you reeling, sobbing, begging the heavens for another chance while you know deep in your heart that it ended the way it was supposed to. That you learned another lesson. That once again you were with the wrong person, or that the person you were with was not necessarily “wrong”, but not the person you were meant to be with forever.

And then again, what is forever? Can we really promise each other that, in all honesty?

So I feel the need to go into this with caution and also blindly. To trust and to doubt. To risk it all while drafting an iron-clad pre-nup.

For we never really know, do we?

I talked to a friend the other day who has gone through many romantic relationships and never married. Our mutual friend with three young children was lamenting that she and her husband never had sex anymore. My friend said, “I don’t want to be that! The couple that never has sex? Isn’t it better to go from one romance to the next, learning and growing and feeling all the feels?”

Well, yes. I think so, anyway. But I don’t fall in love that easily, and so the feels don’t come that often. After a long dry spell, it’s good to be feeling them again, no matter how fearful I am.

So maybe I don’t know how not to get hurt. And maybe I still don’t even know what love is. I think I knew this more resolutely at age 16 than I do today! But the willingness to risk your heart when you think it’s love is a foolish and admirable thing. It’s what all the books, movies, and songs are about. It’s part of what makes us human.

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About catnipkiss

I am a writer who is working on a travel memoir. I write about issues that speak to my soul: love, sex, yoga, spirituality, body image, dating and friendship, and more as it comes up! I love comments - thanks! What would YOU like to explore?
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6 Responses to HOW TO AVOID GETTING HURT IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP

  1. The other Eric says:

    I think I’ve been lucky, I’ve always taken “Love” where and when it came, full speed ahead! The only kind that has ever hurt me is the unrequited variety. That’s the killer….

    • catnipkiss says:

      yes, that is the tough one! I have found that each time is so very different, but love does seem to be rare, so I am trying to enjoy it while it lasts! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Christina Hildebrandt says:

    You know, sister, you’re a very wise woman.

  3. Ironmikealfa says:

    Interesting topic.Perhaps the idea of not getting hurt,is a catch 22.You will get hurt in a romantic relationship, the question is,can you avoid the mortal wound? In any relationship,romantic,or platonic,there will be hurt. If one is in a romantic relationship,there is passion,raw emotion,pain is to an extent,unavoidable.That is part of the human experience.To not experience pain,is to not be alive,and isn’t being alive,what makes a romantic relationship so intoxicating?At its height,the feeling of just the two of you,existing alone in the universe,only living for the passion of the moment. But,we can’t survive only at the top of the mountain,eventually,we fall to the valley below. Sometimes,we don’t always have an equal descent, back down to the world,where every one else resides.With out the passion,the willingness to let go,live for that moment,or moments,is that really a romantic relationship?And if not,what’s the point?If we want to avoid the pain,and potential heartache/heartbreak,just find someone reasonably comfortable,agree on a script,know your lines,hit your mark and action!! Now,if you don’t bore yourselves to tears(“Are we there yet?”)Congratulations,you probably will avoid getting hurt,but who cares,IT WAS BORING AS HELL!! Sound good?Count me out.I’ll take my chances,risk the pain,just for that sense of wonder,every raw sensation,every nerve on high alert.The feeling of immortality,even if but for a fleeting moment. But,that’s just me,I could be wrong.

  4. catnipkiss says:

    yes, I think it is worth it. But each time there is hurt it is harder to open yourself up and be trusting. I’m still working on it!

  5. Ironmikealfa says:

    Worth it? Absolutely.Hurt,without a doubt.But,the hurt is only a part of it.Taking the chance the next time,is where the joy,the mystery resides.Life,and love(can they really not be the same?) is about enduring,rising like a phoenix,new and stronger. After a fire is not the forest,reborn,often more alive,more diverse,teeming with fresh possibilities.New and better.The human heart must always be allowed to grow,and expand.It has been said that the human brain is the greatest miracle in all creation.I beg to differ,it is the human heart,the very being of us that is the true miracle.It is the heart,the soul,that allows us to sense,to give,receive love,and yes,pain also.To avoid pain,to insulate the heart and soul can work,for a time.But we risk not living,not knowing the sweet intoxication of another spirit,also searching,risking all for the chance,to love and be loved. I know,you’ve been hurt(as have we all),but,are you not a stronger being because of it?If not for the hurt,would you have embarked upon your amazing journey,of discovering life,and yourself,along the way? Did not the pain lead you to yoga,and the miraculous transformation,you are experiencing? Run,toward the flame,of passion,risk it.The possibility of more pain is real,but what of the chance of joy,possibly enduring? You have the the biggest,most amazing heart of any I have ever known,and I am truly blessed, to have known you,and call you friend. Wishing you well,during these holidays,and beyond. Love ya’ sweet girl……..

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