Sometimes Loving Someone So Much Means Letting Your Best Friend Go

by Paul Hudson

Love somehow manages to bring you more joy and more pain than anything else in the world. How it’s possible that the very same thing could bring about the best and worst experiences in a person's life is befuddling, but nevertheless, it is the way it is.

To love is not only to be overwhelmed with pleasant emotion; it’s also to accept the pain that is certainly going to come along with it.

The issue lies with the fact that although we’d like to define love as a selfless act, in reality, as human beings, we are incapable of being entirely selfless. Because we can only live via our own perspective, we always consider our perspective as being of great importance.

The pain that we experience when we love is not due to the nature of love itself… it’s our egos that are actually hurting. If we were capable of loving the way we write about in fairytales then the world would be a perfect place. But we aren’t. And so we live in the world we live in.

Love gets even more complicated. Sometimes, although we love someone with all our soul, we know that the relationship will only lead to more pain.

The way that we are taught about love is, I believe, backwards. We are told that it is some ethereal, invisible and magical thing that miraculously appears as a connection between two individuals.

We grow up on stories of searching and fighting for love, but – as you may have noticed – all those stories end once the object of the protagonist’s desire is attained. Once the prince finds the love of the princess, the story ends with a happily ever after.

Never was there a fairytale explaining the fight that is had after the curtains close. No one ever mentions that the end of the story is only the beginning of the journey. We are taught to believe that love is something that is won. But it isn’t. It’s something that must be sustained.

However, sustaining the love that you and your partner have isn’t always possible. You see, we don’t live in a story. When you stop reading a story, the plot stops moving forward. In reality, the story never stops – not for anyone.

We live in a world governed by space and time – two of the most important factors determining the outcome of any situation. It gets more complicated still as we look at the developmental progress that people make throughout their lifetimes.

We mature with age as experience teaches us to distinguish between what is important in life and what is irrelevant. Maturity is really nothing more than a position in your timeline where you are ready and capable of taking on certain life experiences – in this case, we’re talking about love.

You have to be in the right state of mind to pull off loving someone for the rest of your life. Many may deem it impossible, that love always fades. That’s nothing more than the talk of individuals who have given up trying. You can love someone forever – or, well, as long as you are still breathing.

The sad part is that you won’t be ready for love every time you fall in love. There will be a time(s) that you understand how much you love a person and, at the same time, understand that you are not capable of showing that love in the way that person deserves to be loved.

Again, a seeming contradiction. How can you love someone but be incapable of showing a person that you love him or her? The answer is simple: your ego.

To love someone fully is to devote your life to that person. That is probably the best definition of true love that I can come up with: dedicating yourself to a person completely and always looking out for his or her best interest, in every scenario, for as long as you live.

Truly being in love is the most thought- and time-consuming thing on the planet. Your world revolves around the individual.

Every decision you make, every dream that you have or vision of the future, must not only include the person you love, but must make that person the highest priority.

If you decide to love someone, then be prepared to focus your thoughts on him or her for the rest of your life. This isn’t to say that you can’t take some time to focus on other things, but it does mean that some options, some of the things life has to offer, that you have yet to experience and may be looking to experience, will be out of your reach. I’m not even talking about sex.

There are life goals you may have, steps you know you need to take, dreams you will have to give up on. I’m sorry, but in this life, you can’t have it all. You have to make choices.

You choose a path to go on and then you deal with that decision as best you can. When love is involved, more often than not, the only choices you have all involve a lot of pain.

The truth is that no matter what you decide, you will hurt a bit – regardless of whether you choose your partner or your ego. But that isn’t where the true difficulty lies. Most people will choose love over all else – consciously. But some of us… some of us have egos that just won’t budge.

Some of us love with all our hearts and nevertheless understand that the course of action we know we need to take in life will only lead to pain and anguish for both of those involved.

How can you be with someone when you know that you can’t and won’t show him or her the love he or she deserves to be showed? Some people pull it off, but not for long. Eventually the half-lie they are living catches up with them and blows up in their faces.

It happened to me multiple times. I kept going back and thinking that I could put my own wants on the back burner, but in the end, it turns out I’m a selfish bastard. I wasn’t mature enough at the time and, for all I know, I may never be. So I let her go.

Sometimes, when the only two options are the both of you suffering for years, or you suffering alone while the other believes you to be the scum of the earth, you choose to suffer alone.

It’s awful, but what greater display of love is there than letting the person you love go, knowing that you may never actually be capable of giving him or her the life he or she deserves? Whatever decision you make, be prepared to live with it.

Photo via Favim

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