Moment Of Clarity

Why Falling in Love Hurts

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I’ve had dozens of conversations with men and women about what love is and is not. While the beginning of those conversations were usually defensive, they typically end in silence and reflection.

There are a number of reasons why falling in love hurts and none are more right or wrong than the other. With that said, I prefer the Jungian explanation and understanding as it speaks to the soul. For the purposes of this article, I will keep the explanation brief and oversimplified with the hopes that private or public conversation may take over and give way to deeper individual insights and learning.

Let’s begin with what really happens when we fall in love. When you fall in love, you fall in love with the ideal woman or man that lives in your inner world, your fantasy. Hence, you don’t ever fall in love with a person, just your fantasy of who you think they are or should be.

Now, most people immediately become defensive of their fantasy. They rationalize having their fantasy by calling it an idea or standard of what they want in a partner, but the truth is … it isn’t. The truth is they are simply projecting onto others a type of self-love that only exists in the inner world of our souls.

It is because we are unable to connect to that type of love within ourselves that we look for it outside of us. And, the reality of that is it can never exist “out here” because that type of love is infinite and our outer world is finite. The outer world has limits that are unable to bear the power of the love we are truly capable of experiencing and creating within ourselves.

When we try to create or find the “ideal” man or woman outside of us, we set ourselves up to be hurt because at some point, we will fall out of love, and therein lies the problem with falling in love.

The question typically and hurriedly becomes, “How can people stay in love?” The only way to stay in love is if someone dies. In other words, one can only stay in love if the other person allows himself or herself to try and become the person you want them to be or think they should be. If they do that, they must give up who they are and all they can become as an individual, ergo, they die.

While people are initially open to “changing” who they are, it only lasts for so long. Their soul and self becomes suffocated and needs to breathe. This is often where people start to reject their partner’s projections to be perfect or other than whom they are and become more “themselves.” They begin doing things that they like and stop behaving like the ideal man or woman. When this happens, people fall out of love and experience disillusionment.

When people fall out of love they feel hurt, betrayed, etc. because in contrast, reality is depressing. Just think about it. They go from being overtaken by positive emotions and perfection to living in a world where people are inherently imperfect.

So, let’s talk about the difference between being in love and loving. To be in love is to deny or reject who a person really is in favor of making them who you want them to be; it comes from your ego. On the other hand, loving is a state of being. It values and connects with the person who is actually there as an entire person, with all of their imperfections, not the fantasy you carry in your mind.

Does this mean you should just accept anything? Of course not. What it does mean is that you should not project unrealistic attributes onto others, but instead, see them for who they are. This can only happen if you love yourself and can see your own potential. It is through self-love that you can connect with someone else who can love you for who you are. Without that level of connection to self, you will spend a hefty amount of time being alone or going from one disappointing relationship to another.

The rule of thumb is if you are in love with being in love, you probably need to work on loving yourself first.

With love and light, I wish you pleasant journeys.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in clinical and spiritual psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and RoHun.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!