Warning: There is a very high likelihood that this post will be riddled with clichés.
A friend was visiting last week, and she told us about her new romance. It was sweet to see her so excited and happy. I thought I detected some nervousness there, as well, but that seemed normal, and I decided it was probably part of the excitement.
When she had gone, Brian said to me, “I hope she doesn’t get hurt.” He has said similar things in the past, usually about other female friends who are beginning new relationships, so I wasn’t entirely surprised. But I didn’t quite agree with him.
“She probably will,” I told him. Brian was seemed astonished that I said so—maybe because I am usually the romantic and sentimental one. Still, I thought what I said still qualified as romantic and sentimental.
Another friend used to quote a lyric from a folk song when I was nervous about a new relationship (including my relationship with Brian), and I quoted it right back to him at least once. I was tempted to quote it to Brian right then, but I always feel a little funny offering up wisdom from music, and so I just tried to explain myself.
I told him that she was probably going to get hurt no matter what happens, because she's in love. If the relationship doesn't last, it will be painful since she has already allowed herself to care so much. And if things do work out, the two of them will almost certainly hurt each other, just as Brian and I have. We don't want to hurt each other, and because we are in love we try not to, but it can't be helped. When we cause each other pain, we apologize (because that line from Love Story? It's just wrong. Not that I've ever read the book or seen the movie.) and try to do better.
I feared sounding trite, because I knew I was expressing something of an “it is better to have loved and lost” sentiment. When you love you get hurt. You open yourself up to that. And that’s why being in love is so exciting and so good.
I didn’t say that I hope she does get hurt. That sounds wrong, and it’s not really what I mean. But if you care enough to get hurt, I think that’s probably good for you. That’s romantic. That’s wonderful. And I hope the hurt isn’t too terrible.