Giving Up On Love -
When and When Not To

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Giving up on love is something that many of us, at some point in our lives, have declared we are going to do. The thing is though, that usually when we utter these words, we do not truly wish to give up on love, we simply wish to avoid repeating the pain and misery that prompt us to utter these words.

Because we have experienced the ending or breakdown of a relationship, or have seen the object of our unrequited affections being swept off into the arms of another, we may decide, at least temporarily, that love feels awful, and that we want no part of it. At times like that, when we are emotionally bruised and battered, giving up on love can be a viable and healthy short-term option.

Consider the analogy of getting back on a horse after experiencing a fall. This is all well and good if your leg is not broken! If you are hurt, then you need to give up on riding until you have recovered sufficiently to be able to then jump back in the saddle. Likewise, it is smart to give your broken heart time to heal before you jump right back on the horse of romantic relationships.

In this situation, what you want to aim for is giving up on love for just long enough to allow your heart to mend, without swearing off love so long, or so vehemently, that your heart will harden. Judging how long this will take is not something that can be calculated with a mathematical formula. Every person is different, every relationship or situation is different.

Patience with yourself and gentleness with your emotions are important in the early stages of recovering from heartbreak. Self awareness is vital too, in drawing the line between healthy grieving and prolonged wallowing in misery. As soon as you start feeling a little stronger, and catching glimpses of happier feelings returning to your life, apply some firm and gentle self discipline.

Even while you are in a period of giving up on love, make a real effort not to linger too long in a period of giving up on life. While you may be far from ready to begin dating, or even flirting again, you can start throwing yourself with more enthusiasm back into the other aspects of your life; aspects that might have been neglected while romantic upheaval was claiming a lot of your attention.

This can be a great time for pursuing your interests with more time and focus, really concentrating on your career, and strengthening relationships with family and friends. It can also be a perfect opportunity to try something new; something that you have wanted to try, and perhaps haven’t had the time, or that your former partner discouraged you from doing. All of this can make life a lot more fun and fulfilling, and takes the focus off relationship induced misery.

While in the aftermath of a breakup, there is often an intensity of wanting to protect ourselves from a possible future repetition of the pain that we are currently experiencing. This is usually the period when we most strongly declare that we are giving up on love. When the pain eventually subsides, and we are able to refocus more of our energy and attention to other areas of our lives, the conviction that we will never allow ourselves to fall in love again tends to also become less intense.

If the pain of the breakup, and the determination to avoid future relationships, does not seem to be lessening after an extended period of time, I would suggest that you seek some help in dealing with the surrounding issues. Like a physical injury that refuses to heal, lingering emotional pain can be harmful to your wellbeing, and needs to be attended to.

In a healthy situation, as your broken or bruised heart continues to mend, your determination about giving up on love will naturally diminish, and your heart will begin to open, little by little, to future possibilities. Determinedly and permanently giving up on love prevents the experience of joy in one of the most important areas of life, and can also lead to feelings of bitterness and isolation. On the other hand, giving up on the need for love, and the desire to control when and how it will enter your life is a healthy way of gradually reopening the channels for love to flow to you in better and better ways.

You can then focus your attention firmly on the one relationship that is totally, one hundred percent within your control; the relationship between you and You (the strongest, best, and most loving part of yourself - your inner being). No matter how awful you may feel right now, and how much you feel like giving up on love, there is always love, and support, and guidance available to you. Whatever you give up on, your inner being never gives up on you, and is right there for you whenever you are ready to find what you truly need, right where it has always been and will always be.

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