The Truth About Why We Keep Going Back To A Love That Hurts Us


It’s human nature to become addicted to things that take the pain away. The tragedy is that sometimes the things we crave the most are the things that end up breaking us. We all have weaknesses. We all do things that we aren’t proud of. But sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. You do what you have to do to get by today, even if you know it’s going to hurt like hell tomorrow.

There are some habits that are just so damn hard to break, and love is quite possibly the hardest of them all.

When you get older you realize that the devil doesn’t always rise from the ashes with a vengeance. Sometimes he hides quietly among the things you love, and you don’t see him until the damage is done. Sometimes we want to see things a certain way so badly that we close our eyes to what’s really there. You can know that something is bad for you and still long for it anyway. The things we love become an essential part of who we are, and that never really goes away; even when it changes.

No matter how hard you try to fight it, the ghosts of the people you used to love will follow you wherever you go.

The mind tries to focus on the painful memories, but the heart will hold on to the beautiful ones.

Those are the ones that will haunt you.

There is comfort in familiarity, so sometimes we cling tighter to the good memories than we do to the bad.

This is why we keep running back to the people who have hurt us. We can hate them for who they have become, but still love them to pieces for everything they used to be. Even when they aren’t a part of your life anymore you can’t help but think about what you once meant to each other. When you spend enough time tangled up with a person, your muscles form their own memories. No matter how bitterly it ended, your body still responds to their touch like a reflex.

The feeling of their skin against yours will relight a fire somewhere deep inside of you, and you will melt into each other the way that you have so many times before. You know that you should stay away, but sometimes you just don’t have the energy to fight it. You will slip into their bed, swearing that you’ll be gone before morning. You will swear it’s the last time every time it happens, but it never is. The most exhilarating highs come at the risk of the lowest lows, and so we keep lighting matches long after we’ve realized that playing with fire means you’re bound to get burned.

We run back to the people who hurt us because the things with the power to hurt us are usually the very things that we care about the most.

It’s the way that someone who quits smoking cigarettes falls in love with oxygen. They will savor every breath of fresh air that they take, but still breathe a little deeper every time they smell smoke. Their hands will twitch every time they see a lighter or a pack of Marlboro reds behind the counter at the gas station. They know how dangerous smoking can be. They know that cigarettes will eventually kill them. But knowing that their life is better without them won’t keep them from missing the way they used to make them feel.

The thing that people don’t always understand is that love can survive the destruction of a relationship. You don’t have to want someone to need them. It’s like the feeling that you get when you find yourself in the driveway after talking on the phone while driving home. You don’t remember how you got there, but suddenly there you are. Your instincts will always lead you home again.

And sometimes home is in the arms of someone you love. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog