Why Does Love Hurt

Why Does Love Hurt?

Love can hurt and especially romantic love”, states Dr. Michael Dadson. Relationships,
particularly, are one of the most meaningful places for humans to find purpose, contentment
and happiness. But why do they seem to hurt so much? “The reason is in part because of our
biology”, Dr. Dadson adds.

We are wired for connection. Neurologically human beings as mammals are biologically designed to attach not just for our pleasure and to fulfill primal drives but we need other mammals just to survive. Human beings take the longest of any other mammal to mature, relying on adult primary care givers for their survival longer than any other mammal. That means, food, shelter and clothing but it also means emotional connection and relational engagement. We cannot hope to survive let alone survive if we are abandoned by adult caregivers.

This means early relationship injuries that occur in attachment relationships set patterns of pain
that, if they are not healed, will be relived in future attachment relationships.

When love is awakened, when we are hit with Cupids arrow, those hurts are also reactivated. We start seeking the missing the object of our love and passion. We feel fear of past hurts of rejection, abandonment and loss. The closer, more venerable we become, the greater the risk and the deeper the potential hurt.

In Latin literature Cupid ( Eros) was the son of Aphrodite (Venus) the goddess love. As her
messenger, Cupid is a child who sets loose his arrows that when the golden tip hits ones heart,
they are lost to love and passion (Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream-1590s).

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love’s mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is love said to be a child
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.

The awakening of love needs to find voice because we are not just connecting to the other person, rather we are reconnecting with a deep part of our selves that can take us back to our childhood experiences of love, love lost, and love hurt. This is a very important part of ourselves that needs to be awakened, understood and healed. It is not just about finding a person to love, but in a deep way it is the emergence of soul’s need to be known, loved and to give love. It presents the possibility to know oneself and one’s deep capacity for love.
The striking of the arrow deep into the heart bursts the heart to bleed, hurt and feel the ache of love. Knowing oneself in this place and accepting the place of one’s basic biology can be the beginning of a new way of being in relationship with oneself and with another.