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Why Does Love Hurt SO Much? The Answer We All Have Been Waiting For!

Why Does Love Hurt SO Much? The Answer We All Have Been Waiting For!

Updated on May 27, 2022

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Why Does Love Hurt So Much - 20 Reasons and 10 Ways to Stop Being Hurt

Why does love hurt?’ ‘Why is love so painful?’

I’m sure each one of us has asked this question… at least once in our lifetime.

Love doesn’t hurt in the initial phases of your relationship because everything seems like a dream come true.

Everything that you ever dreamt of is now taking shape, it fills you with joy and excitement every day.

The pain gradually creeps in when you become so attached to your partner that you can’t bear the thought of a life without them.

If you’ve been through a rough breakup previously, you already know the intensity of the pain I’m talking about here…

You get panic attacks, you get numb. Love might be beautiful, but it sure as hell ain’t easy. You need to put in continuous and consistent efforts to keep it going.

So, today I’m going to answer this universal question, step-by-step.

Why Does Love Hurt - Meaning & Reasons
Why Does Love Hurt – Meaning & Reasons
When is love worth the hurt & How to stop being hurt by love
When is love worth the hurt & How to stop being hurt by love

Why does love hurt so much? – 20 Painful Reasons

Human beings are a storehouse of emotions. And these emotions are why the beauty of love turns into hate.

If you’re wondering what are the probable reasons love hurts, here they are…

1. Fear

Fear is a man’s greatest enemy. No, you cannot deny this because if you analyze, it’s all in the mind.

For example, fear of losing someone, fear of betrayal, fear of failing relationships, or the fear of things not working out.

This fear is one of the key answers to your question ‘Why does love hurt?’ So, think over it and try to know if you are living in any such fear.

If yes, you yourself are burning down your relationship.

2. Anger

Watch out for anger because it has been a prime reason why most relationships end since time immemorial.

If you have a habit of getting your anger out on your partner, it can lead to toxic relationships, conflicts, misunderstandings, and a lot more.

So, keep your anger in check when you’re dealing with the person you love.

Yes, I know it is nearly impossible to not be angry with someone you love so much because you also care for them.

But if you have no control over your anger, you may say words that you don’t mean, and cause hurt that you didn’t intend to.

3. Helplessness

There are times in a relationship when you don’t understand what you should do: You can’t stay because of the pain and also don’t want to leave.  

It can happen when you’re in a manipulative relationship, or when your partner cheated on you but you don’t want your kids to have a dysfunctional family.

So, separation is not an answer for you.

Such situations limit you from seeing love as a beautiful feeling and leave you with a broken heart.

4. Loneliness

Being in a relationship doesn’t always mean you will feel connected to someone.

The emotional pain of loneliness while being in a relationship is more than any fathomable physical pain.

You may feel lonely because they aren’t on the same page with you, or maybe there’s a difference of opinion between the two of you.

At times, it can also be because your partner doesn’t care about your needs even when you’ve repetitively reminded them. In such cases, you will end up being hurt in love.

5. Jealousy

If there’s one word answer to “Why does love hurt?”, that’s jealousy. Don’t agree with me?

Well, imagine someone else making your partner happier than you. Do you understand that feeling now?

Jealousy sabotages a relationship. It can be because your partner spends more time with opposite-gender friends or doesn’t prioritize their me-time than being with you.

These are some petty issues that take control over a relationship and destroy it. Ultimately, you feel hurt.

6. Uncertainty

You will have feelings of uncertainty if you and your partner don’t wish for the same things in life. But how do you know that?

To avoid uncertainty or feelings of confusion about whether you should take the leap with your partner or end it, you must communicate with them.

Know if you both are on the same page.

These feelings of uncertainty can lead to emotional complications, and also cause physical pains like a headache. Ultimately, it’s hurtful.

7. Withdrawal

You know that your body releases the feel-good hormones like dopamine and endorphins in the initial phase of the relationship which makes everything feel perfect about your partner.

Now imagine, if you are a coffee addict, and you don’t get coffee on a particular day, then how will your body react?

It will give up, and cause physical and emotional pain due to the withdrawal.

Similarly, when the body stops producing the feel-good hormones, you will observe pain and feel hurt.

8. Unmet expectations

Before stepping into a relationship, didn’t you have some expectations from your partner? All of us do.

These expectations are based on the promises our partners made to us. But how would you feel if these promises are not met? Yes, nothing hurts more than unmet expectations.

Yes, it isn’t wrong to keep expectations with your partner. But unrealistic expectations from your partner will only disappoint and hurt you in the relationship.

9. Rejection

‘I don’t think I can deal with this anymore.’ Or ‘It’s not about you, it’s about me.’

We all fear such statements because they make us go through the painful process of rejection. It hits your ego and makes you feel cheated.

Rejections make you question your self-worth and may often leave you in a state of despair.

10. Past baggage

A few of us tend to move into a new relationship when we haven’t healed from the previous relationship that obviously failed.

You still have a lot of baggage which you carry along with you on this new journey.

If you still haven’ healed from the trauma, take it as a red flag and do not start with something new. It will not only hurt you but also depress your new partner.

11. Unintentional situations

There are times in a relationship when you do or say something that unintentionally hurts your partner.

It may be as easy as talking to their friend they might not be comfortable with or making fun of them in front of their family.

These are very trivial things, but you never know what can hurt them. Same happens when your partner hurts you unintentionally.

12. Third-party influence

When other people try to interfere in your relationship and guide you on what you must do, it might not always lead to pleasant results.

Yes, it is okay to seek advice from people to know the right thing to do, but do not let them decide.

You entered into a relationship with them, made promises to them, and not the people around.

It can lead to emotional distress, but when others try controlling your relationship, you are likely to suffer.

13. Discomfort

If you or your partner don’t feel comfortable in a relationship, it is never going to work out. You may feel discomfort because of certain habits or actions of your partner.

It can also be because you have tried your best to share something with your partner but they are plainly disinterested.

After a point of time, you have discomfort sharing things with them because they never heard you.

In the long run, this discomfort manifests and the partners end up hurting each other.

14. Over-ambitious

There are relationships where one person tries to dominate the other. If your relationship sounds similar, it’s always gonna end up hurt.

So, whether it is an argument or real life, until and unless both partners have a stand of their own, you will not be able to maintain balance in your relationship.

Trying to win against your partner is a sign that you respect your pride more than your relationship, and that will hurt both of you.

15. Acceptance

Your partner is not what you thought they were in the initial days of a relationship.

Actually, knowing a person takes time, as we all shed our filters only after we’ve been with a person for a while.

It is only in the later stages of the relationship when you get to witness the vulnerable sides of your partner, and you must accept them if you love them truly.

When you are unable to accept your partner the way they are and try to bring in changes, you will get hurt in love.

16. Anxiousness

‘Are you taking the right step ahead?’ ‘Will you be happy with them?’ ‘Will they fulfill your expectations?’ These are some questions that make you so anxious that they take away your peace.

17. Change

Change is an inevitable process and everyone changes with time. You must know that the partner you have today is bound to change with time. They might not always be the same.

You define a comfort zone with your partner. But when they change, you will be thrown out of your comfort zone and that’s what hurts.

18. Imperfections

None of us are perfect. You might be short-tempered, while your partner might be lazy.

They may have flaws or shortcomings but as a partner, you must accept these imperfections and your partner the way they are.

You will have to figure out ways to deal with your partner’s imperfections. Say, for instance, they know you are short-tempered, so they mustn’t argue with you when you are angry.

And if you know they are lazy, don’t leave much work for them. If you don’t figure out ways, you will always be hurt in a relationship. 

19. Humiliation

How would you feel if your partner humiliates you in front of others or belittles you? Wouldn’t you like to leave the place at once?

So, if you try to humiliate your partner, they might have similar feelings.

Your partner may hide their tears in public, but deep inside, they have lost all hopes in you because of the disgrace you inflict on them.

This is because you are the last person from whom they expect any humiliation. So, never try to deride or embarrass your partner, not even jokily.

20. Stress

If you are under stress, and you let it come between you two, it may hamper your relationship.

No, it is not because your partner doesn’t understand you. They definitely do. But such behavior is acceptable only once in a while. Not always.

Stress doesn’t allow you to think straight… you don’t know what is right and wrong.

While your partner may support you in tough times, nobody wants to become a regular victim of something they haven’t done to you, isn’t it?

These are some reasons why love hurts so much, but let’s now dig into what science has to say about it.

Why does love hurt, according to science?

Science says the feel-good hormone: dopamine, which is produced in higher quantities in the initial period gradually decreases with time. This gives love the magical start to the relationship, but once it becomes part of your routine, it hurts.

Well, some people may come up to you and say ‘It is not love unless it hurts.’ Do you think it is true? Your mind may have questions like ‘Is love supposed to hurt?’

If you believe in science, then you must be shocked to hear that science answers this question as a ‘YES.’

Science states that heartbreaks don’t only bring along emotional changes, but also deal with physical, spiritual, and mental changes.

Also, you may find it difficult to digest that love doesn’t need to hurt only when you are apart from your partner.

But it may also hurt when you are with them. If you are wondering how then read along…

Remember the scientific saying ‘What goes up, must come down.’ Oh, it is not only in terms of physics, but it also has real-life applications.

In the initial period of your love life, your brain produces feel-good hormones like dopamine in higher quantities. Hence, you feel like the protagonist of a romantic movie.

Once the initial period is over, the release of these hormones decreases as you get used to your partner.

The decrease in these hormones worsens your mood and it is why most people get hurt in a relationship after the ‘honeymoon’ period.

The scientists at the University of Michigan concluded in their 2011 study that love can cause physical pain too.

They first made the participants feel pain in their arms. After which, they conducted the MRI scans of these participants.

Later, they showed the photos of their former partners to the participants and made them think about the rejections.

Again, they did an MRI scan. When they tried to match the reports of both MRI scans, they concluded that the brain activities were similar in both these cases.

You wouldn’t believe it if I say people are actually dying of broken hearts! Well, it also has a medical name, stress cardiomyopathy.

It is a rare heart disease that weakens the heart because of sudden emotional or physical stress.

In a few cases, it can even lead to death. For example, if a person’s spouse died, the living partner can die within six months due to sudden emotional stress.

10 Things you do that makes love hurt more

Love hits you beautifully… then why is the pain so intense that it consumes you from the inside.

Love broke you apart but it is your thoughts and actions that are fuelling the pain and expanding the void. Do these words sound absurd?

Well, let’s try and look beyond the haze.

1. You isolate yourself

They hurt you. But it does not mean everyone else around has the same intention.

You isolate yourself from people who care about you and expect that person to care for you, who put you in this situation in the first place.

But avoiding people only enhances the pain as all you can feel is the negative energy with no love and care to neutralize it.

So, get up and open that goddamn door for people.

2. You self-sabotage your relationship

You find yourself trapped in an unending loop, but you yourself have created the loop.

You nearly forget what you wanted to do or be in the first place and avoid moving towards your goals by adopting self-sabotaging tactics.

Do you ever wonder why you do such things and cling to the pain? It is because you are somewhat afraid of moving on in a world without them by your side.

All you wanted was for them to be a part of it, didn’t you?

3. You’ve drowned yourself in addictive substances

Wasn’t your relationship toxic enough? If you’ve taken the saying ‘iron cuts iron’ too seriously and have modified it as toxin cuts toxin, then dear, you have to stop right there.

Drowning yourself in a pool of alcohol or burning your lungs might ease the pain for a moment, but eventually, it is going to multiply just like the toxins in your body.

And then you wonder why the pain won’t stop.

4. You’re SUPER clingy

You believe there is still an empty space in their life that belongs to you. You keep trying to push yourself into their lives and expect to change their mind somehow.

You badly want them to love you back even if they make it quite clear there is no chance. The more you chase them, the more they want to escape. It is just another face of pain, dear!

5. You avoid moving on

Tip of the day, the world would not stop without them.

You keep wondering if you can find someone better than them.

Even if you do, would you be able to love the other person the way you loved them, or will you be able to see your beloved love someone else?

These thoughts cloud your mind, and you refuse to let go. Moving on may feel difficult right now, but there is no way better than this to outwit the pain.

6. You relate everything to them

You lose your sense of clear understanding. It is why you relate everything you see with them.

It again proves like salt on your wounds because everything around reminds you of them, whether it’s your mutual friends or the roses in your garden.

You feel like the poem you just read was written just to fuel your pain. But this is just a part of life, not your whole life.

7. The expectations touch the sky!

Who hasn’t heard expectations hurt the most? But probably you seem to have forgotten it amidst the unending clouds of darkness and emotions.

You just can’t let go of the hope of them coming back. It is natural because they made you believe they would stay forever but instead left you in a world of infinite grief, pain, and loneliness.

But expectations are more like knocking on a wall… you will end up hurting your hands.

8. You feel it’s your fault

They once loved you the way you loved them, or at least they told you so. But it no longer exists from their side, and you end up alone on the other side of the knot which you once tied together.

You somehow feel that it’s your fault and you don’t deserve to be loved.

You think you weren’t good enough for them, that you don’t fit anywhere, and it eventually turns into self-hatred. In short, you feel hopeless.

But there is no point hating yourself just because one person does not love you anymore. The world does not end with that one person, and you deserve to be loved for every inch of you.

9. You imagine an unrealistic future with them

You often indulge in daydreaming and imagine an unrealistic future which is hardly possible.

You think of a rosy life in the palace of your dreams… where they treat you like a prince(ss) and you both have a happily ever after.

But you never know what is going to follow, and unrealistic thoughts simply end up manipulating your mind and hurting you.

So, stop assuming the future and, rather, focus on building one.

10. You tend to lose yourself in the dungeon

You no longer follow your daily routine which makes you feel like yourself.

It feels like you are drowning in an ocean of mixed emotions where you don’t notice yourself but only the pain that seems to grow with every passing second.

But dear, no one is missing their daily meals or compromising their daily routine for you, then why should you?

It is okay to feel lost for a while, but ultimately you are the one who has to fix yourself and find your true self.

Now, do you realize where you are lacking? In short, it’s self-care and self-love. You deserve to be a better version of yourself and let the pain diminish like a passing cloud in the big, blue sky.

But is going through all this worth it? Let me tell you.

When is love worth the hurt? – 10 Reasons

Some people hold onto the relationship even when it hurts to an extent where quitting is the only option.

But why do they do that? Is love worth the hurt? If yes, how do you know when is love worth the hurt? Well, these points may help you find out.

1. If there is a future together

Now, I know that this might sound stupid because why else would you be in a relationship? Or why would you be hurt if you knew things were temporary?

But this point is important because you need to ask yourself if you can sort this matter out.

If yes, how? Or has your relationship reached a dead-end? If you think your relationship is drowning, then you must let go.

2. If it is a temporary problem

If you know that the problem will fade out with time or you can work out some solution to the problem, then your relationship is certainly worth not giving up.

Accept the hurt for now because the future is only going to be better and happier.

3. If you feel it is the right thing to do

Your heart knows the truth and gives you instincts to follow. Most of the time these instincts are correct because it knows what is going to happen ahead.

So, if your heart says holding onto your relationship is the right thing to do, despite getting hurt, just stay there.

4. If you want it to work

Before taking any step, you must know what you want. So, sit and analyze if you are ready to take the hurt and willing to make the relationship work.

Because once your mind is stable and has taken its decision, there is nothing that can disappoint you.

5. If you’re willing to sacrifice

This is where most people fail. They want to love and be loved but are not ready to make sacrifices.

A relationship is never just a bed of roses. You have to make your way through the thorns too. You will have to sacrifice a lot to stick to your partner.

6. If you genuinely love your partner

People are ready to cross oceans for their love. So, if you are one such lover ready to do anything for your partner, then love is worth the hurt.

It will give you a surmount amount of happiness that you wouldn’t get anywhere else.

7. If it makes you a better person

All of us have heard that love changes you for the good. So, if you think struggling for a while is going to result in something better, then give it a shot.

Most people turn into a better version of themselves after being hurt, and maybe this hurt can be a life-changing break for you too.

8. If you trust your partner

You will be ready to go through every hurt if your partner is with you. It is because you trust that they will make things right for you.

You may not know if a rainbow or a storm is waiting for you at the end, but all that matters is their support because you trust them so much. If you feel the same, then yes, love is worth the hurt.

9. If you see your partner making efforts

If you see that you are not the only one making efforts to stay in the relationship, and your partner is equally struggling to make things work, then you must hold onto the pain.

Things will settle with time, but you wouldn’t get someone taking that kind of effort for you again.

10. If you think it is worth it

When you believe that your love is worth the pain, then being in the relationship is the right decision for you.

You might have heard the saying ‘It’s better to have loved and lost than to have not loved at all.’ Hence, fight for your love, and wait for the results.

But if you don’t want to go through this, here are a few ways to know how to stop being hurt by love.

How to stop being hurt by love? – 10 ways

If you are looking for ways to heal yourself or find a way out of this hurt, here are a few steps how you can do that.

1. Work on yourself

Nobody knows you and your relationship more than you. So, if you really want to bring a change, start with yourself. Relieve yourself from the baggage to live a free life.

The more you let go, the less hurt you feel. So, stop thinking about situations out of your control.

Let time heal you. Working on yourself can be the best remedy to prevent yourself from being hurt.

2. Exercise

As mentioned previously, feel-good hormones like endorphin and dopamine help you be happy in a relationship.

So, if you are hurt, you can opt for exercise since they also release the same endorphins.

These endorphins released through exercise can help you feel better and also prevent you from becoming prey to Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and other diseases.

Exercising at the age of 20s and 30s will prevent you from age-related complications in the future.

3. Distraction is the key

The saying ‘An idle mind is a devil’s workshop’ has some weight. Distracting yourself by being engaged in other activities will not give you the time to overthink.

Ultimately, you will feel better.

You will ruminate less and stop wondering why your previous relationship couldn’t work out.

By the time you are back to your routine, your heart would have healed a little to cope with the pain. Hence, distraction can help you from being hurt in love.

4. Take a break from social media

I know that social media keeps you connected with your age-old friends and occupies a major part of your day.

But is it even healthy to use social media when you keep going back to your ex’s profile?

It would simply make you feel unlucky when you see other couples happily posing and flaunting their relationship.

Rather than a distraction, being occupied in social media will lead you to depression, and that certainly isn’t the right way to go.

5. Decide to let go

If you cannot take any more pain, just let things go. Cut off all ties with your former partner, leave that fight, or walk away from the relationship.

Do whatever relieves you from the pain and burden of love.

Falling in love is easy, but sticking to your boundaries and letting the relationship go is a tough decision.

However, you cannot let a failed relationship overpower you and keep you from moving ahead in life.

6. Surround yourself with people

Being in the presence of your friends and family members can be the best way to heal yourself from the pain.

You know that you can show your vulnerable sides to them, and still, they wouldn’t judge you. No matter what, they will always have your back.

Moreover, they also know what can uplift your mood, and hit you right when you feel down. So, don’t you want to call your friend now?

7. Practice gratitude

If you keep focusing on the negativities, you are only signing up for more pain for yourself. But if you train your mind to look towards the positivity in your life, you will heal from the pain.

Be thankful for the good times and for the people you have in your life. Most people struggle with their basic needs, but you have someone by your side through your rough patches.

If needed, you can also practice keeping a positive jar beside you where you can record the positive things happening in your life every day.

And looking at the jar getting too full too fast would definitely make you feel better.

8. Write journals

Whenever you don’t see a solution, journalise your thoughts because it gives you a broader perspective to your problem.

You may note down how you are feeling, and analyze them. You’ll be able to identify that it is not love that is hurting you, but some unresolved issues that you must work on to get out of the pain.

Moreover, nobody will open your journal, so your secrets are safe inside.

9. Take responsibility

Have you heard the saying, ‘You can clap only with two hands?’ Well, this applies to relationships also.

No one person can destroy a relationship. It takes two people to be in a relationship and both are equally responsible for the damage in it.

So, sit down and analyze your problem. Try to figure out where you were responsible for the problem and rectify that. Does this sound like something you can do?

10. Seek help

I know dealing with complicated emotions is always overwhelming. We have all been there, but if you think you cannot handle it, seeking help can be the best way out for you.

If you don’t want to share your problems with friends or family members, you can seek help from a licensed therapist. No, don’t hesitate with this idea because they won’t judge you.

In case, you don’t want to move out, seek online counseling and share your problems. Trust me, they are experts for a reason and can help you heal faster.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

Pain is a part and parcel of every relationship. You get hurt because you loved someone so dearly and that’s not bad.

The bad is when you expect them to make your life beautiful. That’s when things start to roll downhill.

Expect less and try to rebuild your relationship from the ground up. But, if you are suffering in love, try to list out the reasons why you are suffering.

If you spot your own faults, try to work on them and communicate with your partner about their faults.

But if you are trying to heal from a broken heart, follow the steps given here. Destiny definitely has something better in store for you. I have faith, and so should you!