Understanding Why Falling In Love Can Be So Painful

By Sanjib Mukherjee,

At one point in our lifetime, every single one of us will fall madly and deeply in love with another person.

Whether the experience be labelled as a teenage crush, an innocent infatuation, a soul mate union or even forbidden lust, no-one escapes the arrows of Cupid’s bow whilst gracing this earth.

Falling in love can be one of the most beautiful experiences we will ever have.

The feelings, unacquainted happiness, enthusiastic child-like joy and renewed passion for living life, can all be felt in abundance, leaving us content with having found our own sense of heaven on earth.

So, why is this same happiness experienced during love also the cause of so much misery and sadness in one’s life as well?

Most cases of depression and suicides are rooted in situations where a person has fallen in love (over 50% of love marriages in the west end up in divorce).

A multi-billion dollar industry has been created via psychiatrists, self-help books, relationship guides, mentors, coaches etc to help people understand what happens during love, yet no one has been able to really understand why falling in love can be so painful. No-one except the ancient gurus, who as always, have documented everything in the ancient texts.

The mind-body complex is made up of a variety of layers including the body, mind, intellect and ego. The ego is our most subtle layer, and is the final step before reaching what the yogis call our Atman (universal divine soul within us all).

Overcoming the ego is in essence the overriding goal of all spiritual quests. The ego is what gives us an individual sense of identity. At this moment in time, my ego is telling me that is it me who is writing this article, whilst your ego is telling you that you are reading the same post. Ego differentiates from one being to another, and it’s a natural tendency of the mind to attach itself to one’s ego.

Ego is not present at birth; it only manifests in a baby around 18 months or so, when it starts to develop its own personal characteristics. Our whole childhood and adolescence is rooted in ego through education and environment.

We become separated from one another at a young age through name, gender, height, academic abilities, talents, race, colour, behaviour etc, and learn to identify ourselves through the identities created for us. We can go through our entire lives establishing our sense of individuality through the ego, and never question any other form of existence.

Ego is firmly rooted in the concepts we have in our minds, however, love bypasses the mind and is manifested in the heart. Love cannot bear separation and continuously yearns to be united with the target of its affection.

Think back to when you were in love; even the moments where your beloved was sitting right next to you, did they not still seem so far away? We want to possess what we love, and submerge totally in another’s thoughts and feelings. In love, we totally lose ourselves, our sense of identity, our sense of purpose, and can spend our whole time thinking, feeling, pondering and fantasising about our partner.

Love creates compassion and unity with another being; ego craves for individuality and a sense of separation from the rest of the world. Here lies the root of relationship conflicts, and explains why falling in love can cause us so much inner turmoil and pain.

Ego and love cannot exist together in complete harmony; sure, there may be a compromise from both sides, and an uneasy marriage of the two components, but ultimately their differences are too vast to ensure any lasting union.

When a relationship breaks up, many times we blame the “other” person for all the problems we faced, and fall into despair when they cannot reciprocate the way we want them to love us. Our hearts dictate that our partner should think, feel, speak, love and honour exactly the way we want.

Our partner is expected to be in totally tuned in with our own thoughts. Ego on the other hand can only exist when it becomes rooted in a sense of individuality. Ego determines; “I think…, I speak…, I feel…, I love… etc for myself and no one else.” This constant battle between these two internal facets is ultimately what can wear us down, and turn the beautiful experience of love into a painful and miserable experience.

The way to come out of such feelings is simply to raise your own awareness of who you really are. By going beyond your own ego, you will realise you are so much more than the individual labels society has given you.

We are all part of a divine consciousness where everything belongs to everyone. The same way your left eye does not get jealous of your right eye, your love for another being will never get distorted if you feel a strong sense of belonginess to this entire creation. If the whole cosmos belongs to you, then surely your lover is also a part of you too.

If your lover is already a part of you, how could you ever feel hurt or pain with whatever he or she does? Whether your lover reciprocates your feelings, or whether they reject your advances, it really does not matter. It’s our very own sense of identity and expectations which causes our own misery.

Vivekananda once wrote: “There is not a single blow we receive in this world, which we have not brought upon about ourselves.” The statement is highly controversial for most people, but he is speaking from an extremely elevated perspective, where he is referring to how our lack of awareness of our true infinite nature is the only cause of any problems we face in this world.

Not everybody will comprehend this article, as we are now going beyond the scope of rationale thinking and entering the realms of yogic knowledge. Yoga is a combination of experiencing life, and uncovering deep-rooted knowledge within. Falling in love is perhaps one of the most life-defining moments any of us will ever have, yet so little is understood about what really happens during the whole process.

When falling in love, pain is inevitable, but prolonged misery can be optional simply by studying the essence of whom and what we really are. Yoga goes a long way towards guiding us to how our minds work, and how we can overcome any mental or emotional problems we may face along the way.

Comments

  1. Anup Kotak says

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… Swami anupanand…

  2. Pashmeena Karani says

    its hardly love these days.. its all more virtual/shortlived … times have changed n so have the importance of feelings like love etc .. Expectations…. in short its a fast world… Secondly, without pain one does not know what is happiness… both different na…. hhhmmm

  3. Neha Shukla says

    If we deny love that is given to us, if we refuse to give love because we fear pain or loss, then our lives will be empty, our loss greater…

  4. Sanjib Mukherjee says

    Yeh Neha, pain is a part of love…both different sides of the same coin. As Pashmeena pointed out, most people who think they arel in love today hardly know what love means. The yogis never spoke about denying pain or love, but expained why certain things happen, and how to move beyond them if you ever get stuck…something which happens to us all from time to time…

  5. Agnieszka Perushanov says

    Because it’s associated with the fear of the rejection and failure and because it requires the courage to BOTH: give and take. Most people have problems with one or the other, hence: hurt, misunderstanding, confusion…Hard task but well worth trying as everything precious in life!

  6. Anup says

    Life laughs at you when you are unhappy. Life smiles at you when you are happy. But life salutes you when you make others happy…. good work dear, god bless you, keep it up.

  7. Kunjal Mehta says

    well these article are amazing I liked it Sanjib as if I am open to the world more dear,

    thanks yaar

  8. Yasmin says

    Love cannot be associated with pain, because love is unconditational, it is giving in without any expectations, it becomes painful when one has certain expectations from the other that is when one is disappointed hence is hurt. Love is the purest & the most beautiful emotion :)
    As Sanjib rightly said “Yoga goes a long way towards guiding us to how our minds work, and how we can overcome any mental or emotional problems we may face along the way”.
    If somebody feels love is painful, then follow the path of Yoga and You will find LOVE IS BLISS :))

  9. Neelima Kulkarni says

    Love and pain go side by side. where there is love there is pain.In love everything is taken for granted , expectations arr high and there starts misunderstanding, disappointments and pain.

  10. Varsha Joshi says

    Love and Ego can never co-exist! So true. The cupid knocks the door and enters into your life again and again only when it does not sense any ‘Ego’ close to you. The pain and the misery love brings is unavoidable. Yet it’s the most beautiful experience in itself. The various forms of love fulfills you to the core and leaves you blissful and yet again can be the cause of all the miseries in your life. I believe if one learns to balance his/her side of the story well by uncovering the deep-rooted knowledge through yoga/knowledge , the other side of the story automatically gets in sync. So just be truly, deeply and madly in love with every being and every thing! Pain prevails….! but one can’t stop loving with the fear of pain….

  11. Blossom Isabel Albuquerque says

    “When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.” -Coelho

  12. says

    our first experience of love is of the pain during the birth after which we feel the warmth of the mother’s arms. One of the reasons why there is so much pain associated with love. When in love without knowledge can lean to suffering but love filled with knowledge turns into bliss and where there is bliss there is no place for pain or suffering- as said by Gurudev in love is pure consciousness.

  13. Blossom Isabel Albuquerque says

    “Love is not to be found in someone else, but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person. The universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with.” -Coelho

  14. Blossom Isabel Albuquerque says

    Great article! Definately, made me reflect and reminded me of Paulo Coelho’s words from “11 minutes.” =)

  15. Naman Chhabra says

    look I don#t know what you all are talking about….I just know of one love, … fact that without saying anything she just looks at my face and she can tell something is wrong….she is strict yet lovable…..she is always there…when I look for something I cant find it she always finds it for me.,,,,if I need halp with anything form emotional anger or something… See More like that to maybe helping me out when I am pissed…she dosent vind me…infact she sets me free…..no possesivness thats my mom…..I CANT LIVE WITHOUT HER…..I NEED HER

  16. Sanjib Mukherjee says

    Hi Naman, yes without any doubt a mothers love is always there for everyone..but what we are speaking about here is love of a romantic nature within a couple. The women who have written here, have shared and written so beautifully…sometimes as men, its best not to try and understand everything, but merely appreciate the wisdom of women for the divine treasures they really are…

  17. Naman Chhabra says

    oops sorry people
    I havent got there yet.. but does love cause pain?…….but also isn’t the good path full of thorns??

  18. Sanjib Mukherjee says

    Don’t apologise Naman, you spoke from the heart…yes a mothers love is unique, you are blessed to be able to recognize it and speak so passionatly about her….keep speaking you mind whenever you write..:)

  19. Rama Gandikota says

    Expectation is the root cause for Misery – When one extends love to another there is a component of expectation, if that is met out, will result in happy ending. If not results in pain…

  20. Gomti Dembla says

    Falling in Love is so easy,simple and the most beautiful thing to happen……..But forgetting yr loved one is not…..!!!

  21. kamlesh rastogi says

    very true, it’s the fact,we all know but still when we keep ourselves as an individual and then inspite of knowing everything our love starts expecting and demanding, it’s life keeps on moving. I feel when one is in pain then only comes true realization of so many factors. So my idea is love and pain are directly propotional to each other. You cannot rescue from either of it .

  22. says

    “sometimes as men, its best not to try and understand everything, but merely appreciate the wisdom of women for the divine treasures they really are…” Very sweetly put Sanjib!! No more comments!!!

  23. Ekta Narula says

    As Sri Sri says, we should not fall in love….rather rise in love…..we are love and our nature is love…………..that’s the reason why we can feel love simultaneously for several people at a time…Love should have the capacity to transcend us beyond……………and not look out to possess or cling onto. If we love, it is to give……………..the taking will happen automatically. But as Sanjib points out, our EGO comes in the way. Therefore, a Master can guide you there as well………When you have a Master in your life, your love is more rich and you want to love more….:)
    I have experienced that…………….so whatever i am saying is from personal experiences……Make Love a medium for you to reach out to……….it’s more fulfilling and satisfying….a few of you may ask then what about the physical aspect of love……well when there is love, the physical aspect follows automatically because it is the way of expressing your love…it’s only natural…..like the saying goes “if you love something/someone then set it free. If it comes back to you, then it’s yours, if it doesn’t, then it never was yours”.
    Will write more, if more thoughts flow out”.

  24. Orla says

    love is the vibration we are vibrating at…simply put pure being is smooth like the velverty flow of love that guides all our actions, thoughts and being. It is the responsibility of each to awaken to the flow of love. Sometimes a person or nature or some beauty can awaken this channel and we remove our blocker like the the stopper in the bath, it is safe to flow. Fear however turns this and we close putting our stopper back in place fully or partially. Allowing the flow to move through is is all we can do – the heart feels this and opens and so we are – One.

  25. Lalit Bhatia says

    I should comment here Mrs Kunjal ….. love is always subtle, so there is no sacrifice as such because sacrifice is more of a gross process… its just love…. with deep consciousness & embodiment of love… that particular is spirituality…

  26. Naman Chhabra says

    love is not sacrifice..cos sacrifice means giving someting when there is not enough to go around……

  27. Jaishree Charan says

    Love is irresistible desire to be desired irresistibly…yes,,,though it wants to be unconditional sometimes there is expectation,,here is where Ego plays a role…we need to transcend this thro Yoga and go beyond………
    Very well said by Sanjib…Thx
    Liked what Ekta said too..“if you love something/someone then set it free. If it comes back to you, then it’s yours, if it doesn’t, then it never was yours”.

  28. Geethanjali Rao says

    The insight into love and ego was beautiful. Thanks Sanjib.
    A little more..to add to all the beautiful expressions of love…
    We love to love because it fulfills. We feel the need to feel full because we are under the illusion of not being whole. This false notion is creating the feeling of being seperated from the whole.
    The ‘whole’ is the sum totality of all existence; God, who is the source of all creation, the root.
    So, in actuality, all our experiences of love has a basis in our love for Him, however we would like to address Him.
    The way to transcend the emptiness would be to transfer all our love unto Him….and see Him in all that we love…
    When the root is watered, the whole plant gets nourished. When we pour our love unto Him, we are fulfilled.

  29. Marina Nadir says

    I like the wordsfrom one of the songs: “Loving may be a mistake but it worth to make it…”

  30. Indira Dora says

    love is ultimate!!!! but when in love we tend to get narrowed and all our attention is focused on our love……we get scared of losing him/her and so get possesive and the end result……….pain.

  31. urvashi says

    Love transcends the reason to be…
    there is something which connect you and your lover…
    its like a meditation when two hearts meet and understand what the pther has to say seeing just the eyes, hearing just his voice, feeling through telepathy..this is love
    What makes you forget all the worries when you place your head in your mothers lap…it is love indeed…
    Just imagine yourself in the lap of God each moment..and this world will seem a silly thing to you…making you float in the Maya God has created!!!

  32. says

    Perhaps the most true love one can ever experience is love for yourself. Not necessarily your ego, but acknowledging that you are a being…a human being who is in love with being is the ultimate love. Falling in love with another is an entirely ego based reality because you want to possess them. Loving being goes beyond other people to love of the essence of existence. I easily hurt when my lover does not return my love, but when I reflect on being love and loving being then all my hurt simply slips away. What a fleeting thing loving someone else is and what an all encompassing thing falling in love with yourself can be.

  33. Rekha Malhotra says

    love…is like other births…is work of nature.!!! it is true that falling in love can b painful…but it is so beautiful that even we have to suffer pain everyone must experience this .May be it is way of nature to teach other beautiful feelings and emotions that we never able to learn…with love comes the feelings of togetherness..dissolving ourselves…

  34. Om Shukla says

    Wherever there is attachment, the clinging to the things of the world, you must know that it is all physical attraction between sets of particles of matter – something that attracts two bodies nearer and nearer all the time and, if they cannot get near enough, produces pain; but where there is real love, it does not rest on physical attachment at all. Such lovers may be a thousand miles away from one another, but their love will be all the same; it does not die, and will never produce any painful reaction.

  35. says

    Advantageously, the article is in reality the freshest subject on this associated situation. I fit in together with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your upcoming updates. Just saying thanks won’t just be adequate, for the exceptional clarity in your writing. I will directly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.

  36. says

    Thanks sanjib for such wonderful thoughts.. true!! the same love which is responsible for shooting us in utopia is responsible for misery and depression and giving great career option for psychiatrists.. until or unless people would stop going selfish and rather I am surprised love is such a wonderful feeling people cant go selfish.. couple should get submerged in oneness..

  37. Hrubesh Junglee says

    Perhaps the whole view was wrong. Love exists all over everywhere in everyone and when people forget all principles and lessons life has been teaching since the beginning, they fall. That’s the naming: FALL in LOVE. Otherwise, Love sublimates, elevates, is beautiful. Principles, good ones
    complementary actions like Kindness, truth. Love not persons, places or things. Love emotions that we bring everyday for ourselves and others.t forget them.
    Love is a magical Energy and EVERY ONE has it. Then comes complementary actions like Kindness, truth. Love not persons, places or things. Love emotions that we bring everyday for ourselves and others.

  38. Hrubesh Junglee says

    Choices you mean, people are taught one thing but asked to do another. On the other side, people are taught one thing and they do the opposite.

    Think Good, get Good. Now, the point of view of Goodness is another debate.

  39. Arpit Shekhar says

    ‎”Not everybody will comprehend this article, as we are now going beyond the scope of rationale thinking, and entering the realms of yogic knowledge.”……this applies to me

  40. Hrubesh Junglee says

    ” If the mind of any soul speaks to the soul to not pay attention to truth, to love, to purity, then that soul is on a very short road.” Original Love

    “God, all I ask is that I work from love of myself so that I could see the love of others.” Original Love

    “Through love you will always find your way. Clean out the cupboards of your heart and throw away what is spoiled or expired. Let it go and move on, the path of self love will open a new cupboard, where you can store more love and freedom for your soul. Choose your soul and you will find the truth of who you are.” Original Love.

    by Nadia Khalil Bradley

  41. Urmil wadhwa says

    very nice, an eye opener! thanks Sanjib, kudos for such a nice explaination on the most difficult topic.

    I guess most of the problems arise when love converts into attachment and ego rules over with a sense of control and possesiveness.

  42. Priyanka Chawla says

    good piece of work Sanjib..!! keep up.. N ya most importantly Thankyou… :) this was really needed.. a good motivation… :)

  43. Priyanka Chawla says

    As for men their EGO is important for women their EMOTIONS are.. both must take care of each others priorities… A woman must not hurt a man’s EGO and a man must not hurt a woman’s EMOTIONS… :)

  44. says

    This is a nice post. Love is a beautiful thing. I guess most of us have fallen in and out of love. It’s important though that you learn to love yourself. And also love your neighbours. Rain doesn’t only fall on your roof. Show love and you’ll receive love. As for love in a relationship, that’s complicated and everyones case is unique. If you’ve been hurt, find comfort in other things. Start fresh, that’s why we every new day.

  45. kiennguyen says

    Sometimes and some cases love is really make you painful and miserable but without love, is there any thing gentle, meaning left in the world?

  46. says

    ONE SOLUTION FOR ALL PROBLEMS

    Yes, one master solution for all our problems is to fall in love with our Lord and that is what we find in Luke 10:27a, where it says, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind . . . It obviously means that we should love Him with all our faculties.

  47. Amritanshu says

    “LOVE” the eternal gift of god. Such a beautiful thing.Only a person who has experienced it in life can see the real colors and flavors of life.It can be said as one of the golden moment of a person life.I don’t deny that it does not gives pain. Of course there is lots of pain in this journey .The best thing according to me is that not to expect anything from your partner.Because expectations are the thing which give rises to pain in future.Also there are no conditions in love.Love is totally unconditional, a priceless gift given by Almighty.No matter whatever be condition. No matter how far you are from your better half. No matter how much different the living style of the two persons.True love will find its way….So experience it folks…………

  48. Amritanshu says

    Oops…forgot to add one more thing…

    Never give up…
    Follow your love….
    Have faith in yourself……You will get it…
    Its hard to wait around for something that you know might not happen but it’s even harder to give up,when you know it’s everything you wanted…

  49. Seif says

    Love is a hard endeavour, Even if we expect that the other person will love us back, we should proceed with extreme caution and not letting ourselves fall in love so quickly, because love can give us pain and misery as much as it gives us joy and happiness.

  50. says

    love is difficult to understand and to know what the definition.. but the most important thing is how we can enjoy the moments when falling in love :)

  51. Vie says

    Destiny is written and true love is found once in a lifetime…cultures and traditions try and force love ..however true love and destiny will bring you back to where you started…god won’t take the burden of traditions or cultures as your destiny has already been written by god the superior being ..

  52. Conatus says

    My mother recently died and I found myself falling deeply and immediately in love with the police officer investigating my mother’s death. It wasn’t until a few days after we met that I woke with such an intense feeling of love for him that I felt I could go on living – the world seemed serene. I had been so close to my mum, spoke everyday, saw her every weekend that I have been devastated by her death. The pain of my love for the Police Officer is I think a desire for it to become a relationship, to be with him though I know I may never see him again. However, I cannot let go of this love for him because for me, it is not just deep love of one human being -though thinking of him makes my heart melt – it is a holding on to the essence of life. Of course I ‘wish’ he would contact me, that we could be together – it felt like all the cliches – a connection, an infinity, a sharing of eternity – and of course the pain of not seeing him is mingled with the grief for my mother but I cannot let go; I fear I will slide into depression if I do. I recognise that the feeling-love is a real connection to another’s self but the pain/longing is the ego wanting resolution. Is it possible to let go of the longing/painful desire to be with someone but still hold onto the intense feeling of love? I fear if I let go of the longing, the feeling-love with go too and then I will be so sad and grief stricken, life will lose all its meaning. Thank you.

  53. NLS says

    This is so true to my experience. I wanted to blame when the love turned into pain which ultimately caused me to turn away from it, but over time I realized that it was my internal spiritual struggle that was really crying out. My whole perception of life changed and the fuel for that transition was the feeling of deep love I’d experienced for the first time. People try to tell you its not really love if you are in pain, but I disagree — nothing other than love could be so completely transformative, we cause our own pain, and this article addresses that beautifully.

  54. Vicky says

    I’ve loved before. But this is the first time in my life (I’m 43). That I have fallen head over heels in love! I have only very recently had my heart broken. I feel so delicate, tender, bruised, like I’ve been run over by a ten tonne truck.

    I miss everything about him. His energy, conversation, passion.

    The higher we are. The harder we fall!!

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