The Fragility of Love
and the Complex Path to Loving Well

“How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach….”

43rd Sonnet written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the 19th century.

From this beautiful romantic poem we are led to believe that to love is uplifting, heartwarming and provides intimate connection that lasts forever, way beyond our current lifetime.

Shattered Glass

Shattered Glass (Photo credit: ImageMD)

The truth about being human and loving in the real world

is that very few of us have experienced such all-consuming, lifelong, undying and passionate love.  For those of us who find ourselves in the throes of love, we really do believe it will last forever.  We believe that the passion will always be there and our hearts will continue to lead us back to love.

But love does not always prevail. 

That spark of love can be easily shattered.  Small, sometimes seemingly insignificant events and emotional letdowns can chip away at our attempts to love, destroy our desire to be intimate, and block and suppress our passion.

Most of us have discovered….

Love is more fragile than we had originally believed. 

But that is not surprising.  Watch how a babies and young children  respond to mommy and daddy.  They are so happy to be coddled and held by their parents.  But sooner or later, the growing child discovers the real human beings that had once appeared as powerful Gods.  The letdown and disappointment, hurt and confusion can be enormous.  Once the innocence of believing in all powerful perfect parents and a perfect world is broken, we cannot easily get it back.  From that point on we need to grow up and learn to live in the world as it is.

When we are attracted to someone new and fall in love, our innocence temporarily returns.  We trust in love and we believe these wonderful feelings will last.  And they can and often do.

Those who keep passion alive know a secret that others do not comprehend. 

Just as a champion is looked upon with envy and admiration for “winning” and “achieving results,” those who manage to keep the spark of love alive have followed a different path from those who have not succeeded.

The path of love is usually not easy. 

Those who succeed have overcome, forgiven and recommitted often.

Success in love over time involves facing your self, sharing openly with your partner, overcoming emotional ups and downs, setting clear boundaries, and giving even at those moments when you feel there is nothing left to give.

What has the path of love been like in Your life?  There is a simple solution to creating lasting love.  Please share about your own experience with love in the comments below.

I do believe “Where there is love there IS a way.”

Here’s to living your life in love.




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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

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10 thoughts on “The Fragility of Love
and the Complex Path to Loving Well

  1. Dr. Erica,

    After 19 years and going being married we both came to understand accepting to disagree on many issue keeps us strong. No one is responsible for you except yourself so choices you make you alone are to be accountable for the end result not your spouse.

    Laura, my wife has so many good ideas yet dreams without action . No matter my motivation and unyielding support. Yet, myself I choose to mostly overwhelm myself with others challenges and this fault pays a heavy price with her.

    Our love is just that understanding that emotions other than love are to be accepted yet not necessarly agreed. I do not like public display of affection and never will to a point. My lovely wife likes to smooch all day no matter if I am in my office. She knows that hurts me yet she does what she enjoys and I do what I enjoy. We meet in the middle of sharing that days adventures no matter if she was not physically there.

    Understanding that God gives us each day to create our adventures and enjoy what is given. So, if you are blessed to have a spouse that you agree to disagree you will have that level of love married people have.

    Just my lifestyle and looking from the outside in. No one has to agree even with my share yet this is how it is with me and Laura for 19 years. Who know or thinks about 19 more we just understand each other agrees to be loyal with each other and if there is anytime one of us accepts a choice to be romantic with another. We will be transparent and end our relationship as husband and wife. This is the agreed lifestyle from day one and still each year we recommit. That makes it simple for us.

    Thank you Dr. Erica for getting us to interact on a personal deep serious matter. I love this article and have so much more to share yet I kept it brief.

    Have a great Holiday if I do not speak with you until after Christmas. I do not celebrate that day of Thanksgiving. We show our gratitude daily and each day is a gift. Enjoy!

    • William,

      Some people make the mistake of thinking that their spouse “should” come around to their way of thinking, should please them in exactly the ways they want to show their love. But each of us shows our love in our own unique way. And we have certain preferences that are deep seated and extremely uncomfortable to change.

      You and your wife seem to have learned how to accept and love each other just as you are. That is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and to another person – to accept and love each person, including yourself, exactly the way you are. Of course, we can always look to improve our way of interacting with others but that basic acceptance gives us the confidence to follow our dreams.


      Dr. Erica

  2. Love! One word that encompasses many different feelings. When we first meet there can be fire works with passion. We can get consumed in that passion of love, as we gaze into each other’s eyes with wide pupils.

    But then…life happens…. This stuff doesn’t last long at all. I believe love grows in many different shapes and forms. The passion gets less consuming as we take our partner by the hand and head off to life’s journey.

    To me, communication is the key to love. As long as we can communicate effectively, we can make compromises and live a balanced love life. Things come into our lives as we love, children, careers, family…should I go on?

    Together, 2 people must be there for eachother and understand and have empathy and love starts growing stronger. I can only speak for myself, and after 23 years with my husband there is passion, consideration, strength for one another, compromises and great communication.

    I see it as a wonderful journey with a partner by my side. Passion of course is not as intense as when we first met, but better in a way. It is less time spent on passion, but when it comes WowWeee!


    • Donna,

      How beautifully said. I love your comment that “we take our partner by the hand and head off into life’s journey.”

      My new blog post will be about having the tools to create long lasting love. You have described the process so well. You find someone “hot” and you are both filled with passion. But as you get closer and time passes, the passion cools but the love can grow in many different ways – or it can be stifled and crushed.

      You are one shining example of having what it takes to keep love alive. One huge piece of that is communication but there is much more. There is that level of acceptance, full acceptance and appreciation of your partner as well as a commitment to support each other and grow together.


      Dr. Erica

  3. Loving relationships were frustrating experiences until I first learned to love myself. Too often we seek to fill our empty spaces with another so we can feel complete. Better to fill up with self-love that can then be shared and mirrored. Great post, thanks for your perspective.

    • Mary,

      It always begins with loving yourself. We cannot feel free to love another if we are insecure, doubting, jealous, needy. We need to feel complete inside and choose to be with others to share and to give, not to “get” something. People who love their own self will naturally reciprocate and give back.


      Dr. Erica

  4. I recall sharing about the house, job, car, amount of money I was going after. My grandmother told me that all that really matters is how much you
    experience love in your life. When it is all said and done, it does not matter
    how much money you had, how big your home was, what your job title was or what kind of car you drove. All that really matters is how many moments
    you experienced love. To live your life to the fullest, you must love your life to the fullest.

    • Rachel,

      I’m not sure if I totally agree with your grandmother. Yes, it is important to love but you just said it, it is important to love your life and the moments in it. So if you want that special car or that beautiful home, and by acquiring it you are more able to love your life, then maybe the car and the home symbolize love. And if you can love others, humans and animals, your life has even more meaning for you.


      Dr. Erica

  5. Hi Dr. Erica,

    I saw it many times. It happened to me, too. When the spark of love bursts into your soul , it is no spark at all. It is a flame a little atomic explosion that takes over the whole soul. The magnitute of the feeling is so great that you find yourself saying: “I don’t want to live without … X .”

    So many people experienced this and so many (especially the young ones) believe there is nothing in the world so powerful and so beautiful than this and it will last forever.

    Some months (sometimes years) later, the feeling fades or simply disappears. You find yourself near a person who is stranger to you.
    You ask yourself : “How on Earth was I able to live and even marry that person. It is so different, so alien to me.”

    Well, there is a difference between love and passion. Passion is so closely related to sexual energy and the voice of the species. Most people fall pray to passion and believe it is love.

    Love is very different. Love starts where sex ends.

    When you want a relationship based on love you should control your heart your body and imagination and choose differently. The choice must not be based on feeling alone.

    Heart is not what poets say, a land of love, magic and wonders, a land of light and truth and wisdom. It is a very mixed territory and it should be always corrected by reason.
    Only when you heart and your reason are in line you must choose that person. Otherwise you must resist the urge to go where you heart tells you to go. In most cases, it is not your heart that speaks, It is your body.

    Have a wonderful day

    • Silviu,

      I think the key is to follow your heart and let it take you where it leads. Then as you get into the relationship, you discover traits and behaviors you don’t like. But you cannot know what you like and don’t like until you have some experiences. To be with another person purely based upon logical reasoning can take all the joy out of life. There is no spark, no energy, no enthusiasm. To be with someone purely based upon hot sexual attraction can lead to a sense of emptiness and boredom. The key is to lead with your heart, feel your feelings, and choose to go toward… or turn away from… using your mind.


      Dr. Erica

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