One of the saddest moments in a relationship happens when you realize the person you love most in the world no longer feels that way about you.
He or she no longer loves you in the way you need. It's a moment we hope never to encounter.
Love is an incredibly complex experience. I say "experience" because love isn't only an emotion; it's a shift in reality, a shift in the way we understand life and our place in the world.
But loving someone else isn't entirely up to us. We refuse love from others because we already have preconceived expectations of what love should be.
Unless we feel loved, we don't believe we're loved, and that hurts like hell. More than that, it severely threatens the relationship.
This is why we say we need to make compromises in order to make a relationship work.
People don't make compromises just for the sake of it, or to show their partners they can. We compromise to make our partners feel loved.
Too often, people get caught up in their own needs. They don't think of how their partner needs to be loved. In time, couples grow lazy.
The relationship gets casual and comfortable, and passion fades. We stop worrying about losing each other, and by doing so, we forget to hold on to them, to show our love and appreciation. They feel neglected and alone.
Sometimes love does fade. Sometimes relationships don't work simply because they can't. But sometimes relationships fail because we don't keep the love alive.
When this happens, when our partner fails to put forward that effort, we feel a unique sort of hell. Whether the love is lost, or the person we love is simply not returning that love, the end result is the same:
We get the wind knocked out of us.
The deeper the love, the more the breakup will hurt. Although it's unhealthy to keep seeking a new peak in a relationship, it's important to have something to look forward to.
When we feel we've lost a future filled of pleasure and happy memories, it's necessary we rewrite it. Those thoughts alone can eat away at you.
When we start believing our partners have stopped feeling for us, we initiate the breakup.
It may take months or years, but unless something drastic changes, the path you're on will come to an end.
The relationship will disappear. Being forced to accept this as reality will leave you shocked and breathless.
We start resenting someone who, not too long ago, meant the world to us.
Not only do people change -- the way we perceive them changes. Our experiences, our issues, our way of dealing with problems -- all change or reinforce the way we feel about each other.
When our problems begin to define our relationship, the way we see our partner changes drastically for the worse.
We begin to dislike spending time with our lover. We begin to dislike whom we perceive our partner to be. We begin to question why it is that we're still putting up with it.
The longer it drags on without turning around, the more miserable and hateful you'll both become.
We watch the love we once shared wither and die.
With each new day, we watch the love we once had shrink a little more. We reach back to reminisce on all the good times, when things were good and we were happy.
Then we realize how much things have changed, how different we've become.
All the pain that you've caused each other hasn't warped the memory of the people you used to be. Oh no, it's much worse than that.
Instead, we have to keep the memory of how great life once was and accept our new, colder, darker, sadder reality.
This just adds to how awful we feel, with waves of emotion catching us off-guard at the most inappropriate times.
One day you look at each other and feel like complete strangers. And then you'll know. You'll know that you are no longer compatible.
You'll realize that the love you once shared no longer exists. You'll have witnessed the fall of your relationship and realize it's time to call it quits.
Your lives will improve over time. You'll likely find happiness -- maybe even love -- again. But you will forever have lived the sad story of a lost love. Maybe it's not lost... maybe it's just destroyed. What a sad story that would be.