There are two ways webeginto understand that we’redeveloping feelings for another person: We feel nothing or something.

This sounds too simple to be true, but it is. Our primary methodof understanding what a person means to us is by how we feel. And when someonemanages to make us feel something, that feeling can either be pleasant or unpleasant.

Many people think love should only be associated with pleasant emotions. But I dont want to argue over “shoulds.” Id rather accept things as they are.

Love comes with pleasant and unpleasant emotions — withboth the positive and the negative.

You know that you love someone when the thought of that person brings a smile to your face — just asyou know you love someone when you miss that person, even if its only been a few days since youve seeneach other. And you understand the presence of this need by how unpleasant it feels.

When youre in love, your emotions become more powerful. This happens simplybecause you care about your partner’sopinions, wishes and concerns. The thought of losing this person hurts you.

And all of these emotions we experience in a relationship become building blocks for love.

Our love is what it is because it has history. We love a person not just for how he or shemakes us feel in the moment, but for what he or shemade us feel over the years. Love has memories. Love gives space to avariety of feelingsand emotions.Love is quite literally the result of both pleasant and unpleasant emotional experiences.

Of course, there is more to love than emotions. But the emotions that our loved one make us feel arewhat hold the love together. If we stop exciting each other, we’ll feel like we’ve fallen out of love.

The problem, however, is that its incredibly easy — and common, for that matter — for our emotions to become unpleasant. Its happened to all of us before, and it will likely happen to us again.

The relationship begins to get wobbly. The only reminder we have of our love for our partner is how horrible losing that personmakes us feel. Instead of making us smile, this person now makes us cry. Instead of wanting to holdon as tightly as we can, we feel trapped and unable to breathe. We question our love, and that only makes things hurt even worse.

When your relationship reaches a point where the only emotions youre experiencing are ones of sadness, hurt and an unexplainable need to hold on and never let go, its time to let go. Its time to move on and stop wasting what precious little time you have.

If you feel that you need to hold on tighter, its only because you know this person is slipping away. You know he or she isnt doing much to hang onto what you have.And — as much as you hate to admit it — things will not get better for the two of you.

But you dont want to let go because younever want to let go of the people that are bad for you.

How could we when the pain we feel reminds us of the love we have for our partner? How could we just want to walk away when its clear that this personaffects us so profoundly?

We dont want to let go of peoplewho are bad for us because our incompatibilityis exactly what makes it clear to us how much we love them.

Its never easy to let go of someone who has such a power over us, but it must be done. And the sooner the better because the longer you allow your love to stay alive and be defined by all these negative emotions youre experiencing, the more toxic that love will become. The longer you hold on, the more miserable you will grow.

Its not that you cant let go — you just dont want to. You refuse to. Nevertheless, that doesnt change the fact that you must move on and find yourself a new love story. This one may not yet be over, but its been ruined. No matter what you try, it will never regain its purity.

And while no love between human beings is entirely pure, a certain level of purity is necessary for it to be worth the trouble.


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