Break Ups: Where Does the Love Go?

Hi, I'm George!

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Something you may not know about me, is that before I became a Spiritual Life Coach I used to be a Tarot Card Reader. Tarot was one of the first spiritual modalities I practiced and I still use it occasionally in my coaching practice. Between the ages of 16 – 18 years old I would take my cards everywhere – parties, gatherings, even at school – and give readings to friends, family, teachers, and anyone willing to receive one.

It didn’t take long after I started reading people to notice a common thread in the topics they were most interested in: In almost every single reading I’ve given in the past 8 years there was at least one question about romantic relationships.

In particular, there were usually feelings of anger, resentment, and sometimes even hatred surrounding ex-boyfriends and break ups, which I found, and still find, incredibly hard to understand.

How is it possible to love someone with all your heart, and then all of a sudden feel hatred towards them?

Love Withers Away

The very concept of un-loving someone seems completely unreasonable to me, yet perfectly natural to others. In a survey I conducted asking people where the love goes following a break up, I received the following responses:

“It is channelled into another project or person, or invested back into yourself.”

“To a new spot in your heart.”

“What you don’t feed and nourish withers away, like plants, pets, skills, habits, friends, anything.”

The common aspect in these responses is that love is redirected to a different space, person or project, and in the most dreadful scenario it “withers away and dies” – as a friend told me.

Love Never Dies

The idea of such a transcended and sacred emotion as love withering away and dying sounds utterly preposterous to me, and I refuse to accept it.

In my belief and experience, once you love someone you cannot un-love them. Yes, the ego may feel hurt, angry or resentful, but the core of who you are maintains a deep sense of love for the other person and what you’ve experienced together.

What does change is the expression of that love. When you fall in love and get into a relationship with someone you express love in words, physical touch, and other love languages. When you exit that relationship you no longer express love in these ways, but the emotion of love never gets lost.

Let me give you an analogy.

Let’s imagine that the love you feel for someone can be portrayed on a cardiograph. In the falling-in-love phase of the relationship the pulses on the cardiograph would be steep and dense, representing the intensity of expressing love. In the duration of the relationship, the pulses would have their ups and downs, mirroring the various phases in a couple’s romantic life. Finally, when the relationship ends the cardiograph would be a lifeless straight line. Whereas this may initially insinuate that the love has “withered away and died”, this isn’t the case, because the cardiograph is still there! The line hasn’t disappeared, it’s simply inactive.

In this sense, when a relationship ends the love never dies, because the heart doesn’t. All the memories, feelings and experiences you’ve experienced with your ex-partner hold that love alive. And since you can’t truly forget or undo these memories and experiences, neither can you take all the love back, or worse, turn it into hatred.

Now, I want to hear from you: In your most recent breakup, where did the love go?

Let me know in the comments below.

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