When you like someone romantically, you divide yourself- like Voldemort and his Horcruxes (for anyone who’s read Harry Potter). You invest a part of yourself in someone in order to create something new together. When that dies, even though it feels like a part of yourself dies, you still keep on living.
To be in a relationship you take a gamble. If you hit the jackpot then for a moment in time you are richer then you ever could have dreamed. Inevitably though, you won’t be able to walk away with all that money and once its gone, for a while you are left with nothing.
At this stage many people choose to start playing the game again straight away in the hopes that they will hit it rich and won’t have to face the pain of loss. The trade off is that until you take the time to learn from past mistakes you’ll never become a better player. Others take the time to reflect and choose their games more carefully next time, because not all games pay the same odds.
Sometimes people choose to play the same game their whole life, not because it gives them the biggest rewards, but because it’s all they’ve ever known. They choose to just settle with it because after so many years it is familiar and hard to walk away from a game you’ve been playing for so long. As Above & Beyond said though- “when the big wheel starts to spin, you’ll never know the odds if you don’t play you’ll never win”, and the moment you decide to settle for that reason, you stop playing the game and you will never win.
Some people get lucky the first time around and find someone that fits perfectly from the start. When they are together there is absolutely no doubt in their minds that they are with the right person. But if there is a voice in the back of your head telling you that isn’t right, don’t ignore it, it is your intuition reminding you what’s best. Statistically speaking, what are the chances that the first person you find really is the best match? It takes a lot of strength to actually analyse your current situation and say “is this really the best for me?” and walk away. Many won’t be up to the challenge.
Buddhist monks and enlightened gurus instead focus on unconditional love and despite my best efforts I still can’t quite master the concept of love without conditions, perhaps because by its very definition every romantic relationship has some level of attachment.
You can always take a break from relationships too of course. In western society there is so much emphasis placed on having a partner, that we have become afraid of being alone. Sadly a lot of the time people stay in negative relationships for extended periods of time and they never have a chance to actually grow into their full potential as people.
Whichever way you look at it, this game we play is a part of being human and its good to remember that we’re all in it together.