Falling In Love Vs. Falling into Pain -- Is There a Difference?

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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,771
2,037
113
#1
Hey Everyone,

I'm sure there's probably an actual scientific name (and maybe even hundreds of journals) published about this phenomenon, but this is a half-baked idea I've been churning around for years.

How many people say and believe they are falling in love, when in reality, they are actually "falling into pain"? It has always intrigued me that in the English language, "love" AND "pain" both fall under what we proverbially hint as being mischievous "4-letter words."

When listening to/reading/reflecting over stories of people's relationships (including my own), I can't help but notice that in more instances than I can count, "falling in love" seemed to be synonymous with "trying to get to a state of feeling less pain."

The most classic example would be rebound relationships: someone finds someone else in order to fill the void left by another person in an attempt to ease the pain. But are these relationships based on anything solid other than pain? Maybe this is why so many second marriages also fail?

How many people have met their current significant other while they were going through a really rough time? (Such as, meeting someone while in rehab, going through a traumatic time, suffering the loss of a loved one, or even just the garden-variety pain of everyday life.)

Finding someone we're interested in (and hopefully, who is also interested in us) is a fresh, exciting novelty that helps distract our minds from the pain. Having someone we really like to talk to and spend time sure does feel better than the worries, stress, and painful frustrations of everyday life. And when you're in pain, even a little bit of relief can feel like something big. Sometimes even big enough to marry?

But how long does the escape last? And what happens to a relationship built on pain?

Here are a few thoughts -- feel free to answer any or all that you have thoughts about or recognize:

* What happens when the pain changes -- maybe it lessens or changes, or maybe the person builds a "tolerance" -- and suddenly that other person isn't easing the pain like they used to, so there is a temptation to look to something or someone else to once again, ease the pain? Do couples in this situation tend to work through it or do they split up?

* What happens if one person becomes free from pain while the other is still trapped? (Maybe one has overcome something while the other is still stuck in a cycle.) Does one person become chained to the other's pain?

I have been thinking especially about couples who feel that initial "rush" and relief from pain in each other's presence (or so they believe at the time), get married, and then... something happens to that pain (which built the foundation of their relationship) and suddenly they are stuck looking at someone they no longer know or even want to be around.

* If it's true that a good number of people "fall into pain," believing the bonding they form in the midst of the pain is actually love, what does falling in love really look like? (And of course, sometimes love and pain really are intertwined.)

* Do you believe a lasting, quality relationship can be based on pain, and if not, what are the alternatives? What is the "proper" pain-to-love ratio of a "healthy" relationship?

It's interesting to me that the Bible says, "Perfect love casts out fear," (1 John 4:18,) but it does not say that perfect love casts out pain.

I'm sure that as God watched His Son suffer on the cross, He knew more than anyone that love, perfect love, often involves a terrible pain. But how much can we humans tolerate when building relationships?


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
 

CharliRenee

Member
Staff member
Nov 4, 2014
4,786
5,459
113
#3
You know any kind of love, any kind of relationship, familial or otherwise, even with our beloved pets, brings loss and pain.

True valuable love brings work, and sacrifice and yes pain, but the rewards are so beyond priceless also. I suppose He who is given much, much is expected.

I have known a lot of pain. I suppose that is something all who have lived awhile share. It is a part of living and a part of loving. We take the good with the bad and everything in between. I think love requires investment, with vulnerability as part of the interest... the dividends can be more than rewarding but require giving of ourselves to the point of dying. Death of self is usually a painful necessary to get us where we need to be... in the promise land.

Dang you seoul, you have a gift for taking your readers to deeper places. It is good, but now I reckon I'll be pondering this for awhile.

Throw me a life jacket will you, as I'm swimming in deep waters now...🥴❤🤔. Hey I like the deep end. Thank you. Probably need to play in the kiddie pool more too.
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
27,813
6,290
113
#4
Love reveals the places we have been hurt and gives us hope we will heal.
God is the author of love and the great physician :)
 

laughingheart

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2016
452
409
63
#5
I think that this is why it is essential to make sure that you, and your potential partner are strong in your relationships with God. No other person can be your everything. Any partner you find is flawed and a sinner. That is all that is out there. When we look to someone else to meet all of our needs, know us perfectly and never have an off day/week/month, we are setting ourselves up for a world of hurt. When both people love and respect each other AND lean on God, then they have a chance at something great. Expecting someone else to fill that void that only God can fill, doesn't work. Too many person question if their partner is the right one because they can't do the impossible, being all knowing, all you focused, and always delightful.
Avoiding relationships because there might be hurt only does one thing. It doesn't guarantee no hurt but it does guarantee no chance of a healthy and meaningful relationship.
 
Aug 2, 2009
22,679
2,466
113
#6
Hey Everyone,

I'm sure there's probably an actual scientific name (and maybe even hundreds of journals) published about this phenomenon, but this is a half-baked idea I've been churning around for years.

How many people say and believe they are falling in love, when in reality, they are actually "falling into pain"? It has always intrigued me that in the English language, "love" AND "pain" both fall under what we proverbially hint as being mischievous "4-letter words."

When listening to/reading/reflecting over stories of people's relationships (including my own), I can't help but notice that in more instances than I can count, "falling in love" seemed to be synonymous with "trying to get to a state of feeling less pain."

The most classic example would be rebound relationships: someone finds someone else in order to fill the void left by another person in an attempt to ease the pain. But are these relationships based on anything solid other than pain? Maybe this is why so many second marriages also fail?

How many people have met their current significant other while they were going through a really rough time? (Such as, meeting someone while in rehab, going through a traumatic time, suffering the loss of a loved one, or even just the garden-variety pain of everyday life.)

Finding someone we're interested in (and hopefully, who is also interested in us) is a fresh, exciting novelty that helps distract our minds from the pain. Having someone we really like to talk to and spend time sure does feel better than the worries, stress, and painful frustrations of everyday life. And when you're in pain, even a little bit of relief can feel like something big. Sometimes even big enough to marry?

But how long does the escape last? And what happens to a relationship built on pain?

Here are a few thoughts -- feel free to answer any or all that you have thoughts about or recognize:

* What happens when the pain changes -- maybe it lessens or changes, or maybe the person builds a "tolerance" -- and suddenly that other person isn't easing the pain like they used to, so there is a temptation to look to something or someone else to once again, ease the pain? Do couples in this situation tend to work through it or do they split up?

* What happens if one person becomes free from pain while the other is still trapped? (Maybe one has overcome something while the other is still stuck in a cycle.) Does one person become chained to the other's pain?

I have been thinking especially about couples who feel that initial "rush" and relief from pain in each other's presence (or so they believe at the time), get married, and then... something happens to that pain (which built the foundation of their relationship) and suddenly they are stuck looking at someone they no longer know or even want to be around.

* If it's true that a good number of people "fall into pain," believing the bonding they form in the midst of the pain is actually love, what does falling in love really look like? (And of course, sometimes love and pain really are intertwined.)

* Do you believe a lasting, quality relationship can be based on pain, and if not, what are the alternatives? What is the "proper" pain-to-love ratio of a "healthy" relationship?

It's interesting to me that the Bible says, "Perfect love casts out fear," (1 John 4:18,) but it does not say that perfect love casts out pain.

I'm sure that as God watched His Son suffer on the cross, He knew more than anyone that love, perfect love, often involves a terrible pain. But how much can we humans tolerate when building relationships?


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
No pain, no gain.
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
27,813
6,290
113
#7
Do you believe a lasting, quality relationship can be based on pain, and if not, what
are the alternatives? What is the "proper" pain-to-love ratio of a "healthy" relationship?
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
29,058
7,460
113
64
Florida
#8
I think love requires investment, with vulnerability as part of the interest...
...this is key. Unless you allow yourself to become vulnerable the other will never truly know and understand you. Relationships definitely require an investment, and yes, pain is often involved and in a strong healthy relationship preferably shared. In theory, what doesn't kill a relationship can only make it stronger. At least this has been my experience.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
29,058
7,460
113
64
Florida
#9
Do you believe a lasting, quality relationship can be based on pain, and if not, what are the alternatives? What is the "proper" pain-to-love ratio of a "healthy" relationship?
I don't believe that it can be based on my marriage to my late second wife. Due to her debilitating psoriatic arthritis I had to watch her in pain for almost the entire 11 years until the day that she died. I believe that God provided me to her to alleviate her pain and suffering. In doing so, perhaps I was in the greater amount of pain because for a lot of the time, despite what I could do or provide, she still suffered greatly. It was very much a relationship based on pain but the quality was most dubious at times.
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
1,496
815
113
#10
I think that this is why it is essential to make sure that you, and your potential partner are strong in your relationships with God. No other person can be your everything. Any partner you find is flawed and a sinner. That is all that is out there. When we look to someone else to meet all of our needs, know us perfectly and never have an off day/week/month, we are setting ourselves up for a world of hurt. When both people love and respect each other AND lean on God, then they have a chance at something great. Expecting someone else to fill that void that only God can fill, doesn't work. Too many person question if their partner is the right one because they can't do the impossible, being all knowing, all you focused, and always delightful.
Avoiding relationships because there might be hurt only does one thing. It doesn't guarantee no hurt but it does guarantee no chance of a healthy and meaningful relationship.
you do wisdom as well as encouragement? what a human being!
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,115
1,134
113
#11
One thing I think we talk too little about is the bonding potential of shared pain. This doesn't mean that pain is good or that a relationship based on pain is healthy. I'm just saying that you feel really close to people that you go through a painful experience with. So I don't know that getting together because of pain is a horrible or bad thing, but you have to be more focused on each other and supporting, encouraging, loving, helping, and enjoying each other than on the pain that first brought you together. Otherwise when the pain is gone all you're left with is a coping mechanism you no longer need.
 

Krumbeard

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2019
481
410
63
#12
I think that this is why it is essential to make sure that you, and your potential partner are strong in your relationships with God. No other person can be your everything. Any partner you find is flawed and a sinner. That is all that is out there. When we look to someone else to meet all of our needs, know us perfectly and never have an off day/week/month, we are setting ourselves up for a world of hurt. When both people love and respect each other AND lean on God, then they have a chance at something great. Expecting someone else to fill that void that only God can fill, doesn't work. Too many person question if their partner is the right one because they can't do the impossible, being all knowing, all you focused, and always delightful.
Avoiding relationships because there might be hurt only does one thing. It doesn't guarantee no hurt but it does guarantee no chance of a healthy and meaningful relationship.
This! What she said!
This is what I was thinking only laughingheart says it 100 times better.

Also, cinder makes a very good point!
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
14,969
2,763
113
#13
All I know is, all the people I know who have run after relationships on the basis of "I want you because you can do this for me" have always become trapped in relationships they hated. The best end for all the ones I have seen has always been divorce. The worst has been a long life of nagging and complaining as they try to reshape their partner into something they think will better fit their needs.

As cinder said, sharing pain can be a powerful bonding experience. But if there isn't anything else beneath that, you're sunk!
 

Krumbeard

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2019
481
410
63
#15
not for masochists :ROFL:
Sadly for some, the pain is the pleasure and is accompanied by much humiliation, embarrassment, utter shame and isolation. They feel like a freak because of it.
 

JustEli

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2018
874
636
93
45
#16
When a relationship is born out of secrets and desperation, what chance does said relationship have?
Is there a moment, a catalyst, some unforeseen event that will turn the helper into the captor?
Yesterday you where my everything, and now have become my everything wrong.......................
 

Solemateleft

Honor, Courage, Commitment
Jun 25, 2017
1,258
1,081
113
#17
What a great question and intriguing topic Seoul...

Coincidentally the DivorceCare Christian-based support program's week #7 topic was on New Relationships...
Where we learned some varying humbling statistics: divorce rate for American marriages ranges from 40% to 50%. Roughly 67% to 80% of second marriages end in divorce, while third marriages crumble at an even higher rate.

One can hypothesize that the increased rate of divorce for 2nd and 3rd marriages are likely attributed to the rebound effect (falling in pain), where people are too quick to fill their painful void... Only to repeat the same mistakes in their choices - having not taking the time to complete themselves to the point that they do not need someone else to make them complete...

While the reciprocal side of those failed 2nd and 3rd divorce rates suggest that 20%-33% of them are actually succeeding - or at least finding a way to make it work...

So while it is certainly statistically possible to be one of the blessed who 'Falls in Pain' there does seem to be that glimmer of hope that they could be fortunate to have found someone who was able to actually help them thru their struggles to ultimately rediscover themselves and to ultimately attain their sense of self completeness...

Of course, on the other side of this coin is our Christian reasoning that our respective journeys with him help us to find our completeness. Knowing that it is not what someone else can bring to a relationship to make us complete - rather it is in knowing what you can bring into a relationship to ensure that you are able to bring happiness, trust, respect and the assurance of your unconditional love to another human being...

So Yes - I believe that a Christian/someone who is COMPLETE (in HIM and themselves) is fully capable of 'falling in love' with either someone else who is similarly COMPLETE and able to reciprocate by also 'falling in love'; while those Christian/someones who are COMPLETE are equally capable of falling in love with someone who is INCOMPLETE and who is only capable of 'Falling in Pain' at the time - based upon where they happen to be along their journey...
 

love_comes_softly

Well-known member
Feb 13, 2019
389
409
63
#18
I love this topic and it has me thinking lots, but my initial thought is that love requires sacrifice and with sacrifice comes pain (typically), so in the end it could be viewed as one in the same. Falling in love in general can be seen as falling in pain.

However, it’s all in how we choose to view it, as to whether that pain is a negative thing or not. Pain and trials cause growth, which in turn can make love deeper and even more real.

It could be argued that everyone enters relationships with pain and the amount of pain probably grows as we get older.

When we fall in love, we are choosing to take on the pains that come with that person. Perhaps we are drawn to people because of shared experiences and levels of pain, but ultimately I think we choose to be with someone not because they can relate/alleviate our pain, but because there is a deeper draw. In this way of thinking, when someone is healed of pain, I don’t think it should be used as an excuse to look elsewhere. It’s an excuse for an out.

The questions are hard for me to answer because I see a relationship as a permanent thing. If you enter knowing the person, their baggage and your own, you are committing to them. Healing on your end or theirs should be exciting and shouldn’t change a relationship. I know it does happen.

I didn’t really answer 🙂😁, but it has me thinking a lot. Thank you for that.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
4,267
1,666
113
#19
So is it a form a pain relief?
Is there a broken heart emoji?

No sure where you going with this but it was pretty painful for Jesus to be crucified. But he took up his cross because He loved us and bore all our sorrows.

Another thing is, when you fall pregant, childbirth is very painful, absolutely excrucitsting according to many accounts, but some people are willing to go through it over and over and over again. You try pushing a baby out of ...well i dont want to get graphic.

GOd did say to Eve it was gonna hurt. So its not like she wasnt warned about it.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
4,267
1,666
113
#20
My preference is just to wake up and the baby is there already without having to go through any of the yelling screaming and blood and morning sickness....