Relationships can be beautiful and fulfilling — but also very complicated. So recently, people started opening up about the potential downsides of love.
The other day, redditor u/Due-Lawfulness735 asked the internet, "What is the dark side of falling in love?" and the responses are actually thought-provoking. Here are some of the most fascinating — and heartbreaking — ones:
1."When love works, it completes you — but when it fails, it utterly breaks you. And it often takes a long time to recover."
2."The stronger it is, the harder it hits when it ends — and it will end. If you are lucky, you'll die first."
"Knowing that it ends, one way or another, makes really, truly, honest-to-god love that much more special. You have to seize it and appreciate every second of it when it comes around."
3."The sacrifice. I’m usually single for a long time between relationships. Right now, I’m going on five years single, and before that, it was three years. In between this time, I get myself into daily routines. I mean, from the moment I wake up to the time I go to bed, everything is planned out to the hour. Getting in a relationship means I have to change all of that. Most of the time, I just pass on even trying to build romantic relationships because I’m so set in my ways, but I’m still relatively young (just turned 30 this year), so I haven’t been too worried about finding someone anytime soon. I love the freedom of being alone and being able to do what I want when I want."
"I understand that sacrificing that comfort for a relationship, although it would upend my current lifestyle, is probably more beneficial and would make me happier in the long run, but I’m just not all that excited to give up that freedom."
4."You might be more in love with them than they are with you."
"My ex said he loved me a couple of months in after telling me how he didn't believe that falling in love was real. Not long after that, he said, 'God, I really hope you love me as much as I love you,' and really, what were the chances of that? I never did fall in love with him, unfortunately. I felt bad about it the whole time."
5."Slowly losing yourself...when you fall in love initially, it's all fun and games — you get to explore your new sides: being caring, romantic, passionate, etc. But it all comes with a gradual attachment increasingly growing within your mind — and you start associating everything you do with your partner."
"I'm not saying it's necessarily bad or anything; it's good as long as things stay like that. But what if you both fall out and everything snaps? Like, in a second, you'll be left with nothing, and you'll realize what you've lost is yourself."
6."Grief. Everything you love will change. You will change. Eventually, you will lose what you love or your love will lose you. It's inevitable."
"When you lose your love or your love loses you, the absence will be felt, deeply. That is grief. The more we love, the more we grieve. The stronger we love, the stronger we grieve. I believe that living with love is worth living with grief."
7."Realizing that you need to be vulnerable to fully experience it…but realizing that your partner might not be able to reciprocate is the dark side. You can try to connect and convince yourself, but there’s a limit to the connection that you can build with someone like that."
8."Who you think the person you love is and who they actually are can be quite different. You have to accept the person as they are and not what you'd like them to be. Some people can take advantage of your perception of them and string you along."
9."Realizing that you are willingly allowing yourself to have a kryptonite-level weak spot. My house could burn, the 401(k) could get raided, or my job could get downsized — I'll just yell, 'Plot twist!' and keep moving. But let harm come to my husband or kid? The deeper the love, the deeper the ache. And that's okay."
10."Everything in life comes at a price. Even love. You don't fall in love with a person. You fall in love with how a person makes you feel. So if you decide to build your entire life around a person, when they leave, it will create a void. So the darkest part of falling in love is the severe attachment and emotional dependency on someone."
11."By giving yourself to someone, you have given them the ability to really hurt you if they betray you. Love is that trust."
12."People can change their minds from one day to the next. The dark side is that it's never certain or guaranteed — no matter how in love you are."
13."This is actually a big lesson for people: You can’t treat your partner as a 'piece of you' (that is, the 'They complete me' type of attachment). They are your partner and an individual — as you are. You have to find and love yourself (absolutely the cliché), because if you don’t (if you place no value on yourself, your life, or your hobbies), you will lose everything if you lose them."
"Ideally, you shouldn’t be left with nothing if you were to fall out with a partner."
14."It's hard to give them up. You know ultimately that you want their happiness, but you want to be happy too, and they bring you happiness. I'm currently in a long-distance relationship right now, and it's terrifying that he might want to let go someday if things don't work out. I'll be torn to shreds."
What are some other "dark sides" of falling in love that people don't always talk about? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.