It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. A very true statement, although most of us would prefer to have loved and won. Heartbreak, after all, enables us to experience two extremes: happiness and despair. To a person in love, all his or her petty crushes and naive attractions simply pale in comparison. It proves to them that they are capable of so much more, but like most epiphanies, it usually comes at a hefty price. Broken hearts are seldom mended so easily. There aren’t a lot of experiences that can much up to it, and to some, the only comfort is in forgetting…
Perhaps what causes rejected lovers so much grief isn’t losing the chance at love, but losing what they perceive to be as their only chance at it. It’s all to easy to imagine, after all, that such a rare occurrence may never happen again, much like catching a glimpse of a shooting star in your lifetime. What could be more elusive, more ominous? It’s not as if we could predict when we’ll fall in love again… if ever at all.
The only true weapon we have is hope. Hope in either having another opportunity to win the love of that person, or hope in rediscovering love in someone anew. Defeated suitors and admirers despair because they’ve lost hope. We become so concerned about the present and the past that we’ve forgotten there’s still a future ahead of us. Memories of what has been and what could have been, however, haunt and plague us that it becomes too easy to succumb to sorrow.
But another way of looking at things is that a broken heart reveals to us how much more life has to offer. Before we can have our hearts broken, we must have a heart in the first place. It would perhaps be more painful to know that we’re incapable of loving, instead of simply falling in love and having our affections unreciprocated.
Some people, however, don’t feel that way. They think that they would have been better off not knowing the person who evokes such passion in us, or perhaps more importantly, better off not hoping. True, the pain would be less, for in this case, the salvation of hope is also a lover’s damnation. But that’s equivalent to choosing to remain ignorant of what one is truly capable of. It’s like catching a glimpse of paradise, and choosing to forget that such a place could exist in the first place simply because it’s unattainable. We forget that if it was truly unattainable, how did we get there in the first place? And sometimes, we think too little of ourselves that we let our self-doubts assail us with insecurities.
Yes, love is elusive, and there really is no guarantee that we’ll fall in love again, or better yet, someone will fall in love with us. Nothing in life, after all, is truly certain. Yet can we truly blame our predicament? Some people, after all, go through their entire lives never experiencing falling in love. Can we truly say that we’re better off not knowing what it is to dream, to hope, to love, even if such notions are unreciprocated?