Thinking about love, we all hear about the fairy tales and the stories of beauty.

We hear of soulmates, of people who meet each other and feel like they’ve found their other half. We hear of people who found love at fifteen, got married at 23, then lived up to their deaths with their partners. We hear of people who die holding hands with their loved one. And isn’t that beautiful? It is.

Yet, behind the facade and beauty of love, there’s another side to it, a much less glamorous one. It’s a side of suffering, of heartbreak, and grief. And it’s a side of attachment, of reliance on another to fulfill deep-held insecurities.

When it comes to love, there are many kinds of it.

There’s co-dependency, where two people come together not as lovers, but as sources of light for each others shadows. It’s when being alone is terrifying, so it’s better to have this person. Sometimes it’s for emotional fulfillment, sometimes it’s sexual. Sometimes it’s mental, sometimes it’s spiritual. It’s for a shared pain, a shared suffering we’re trying to forget, just like a drug. Both people come from a state of lack, which is easier to forget by being with someone all the time.

Then there’s interdependency, where two independent people are together. They’re not together because they feel compelled to, but by choice. It’s because the other person makes them feel better than just being alone. But both of them are as happy alone as together. They’re both coming from a state of fullness, which then creates even more abundance. When these two people come together, the stars seem close, the Sun dances with the Moon, the Divine comes down on Earth.

The perfect ideal is two people who, under complete freedom and free from pressures or attachments, come together.

It’s two independent people who are free to love everyone and anyone, whose love is limitless, who are loving to themselves and to others all the time. Then, these two people don’t fall in love with each other. They rise in love.

They’re both completely full, thus aren’t using each other to cover up insecurities. They’re both completely free, thus don’t enslave and imprison each other then call it love. They’re both loving and giving of their love, thus their purity is certain. There is no doubt, there is no darkness to hide their light.

The worst ideal is two people who, under complete restriction and full of pressures and attachments, come together.

It’s two people who feel like love is something to grab onto, to take from each other, like a hunter chasing his prey. They lose their senses of boundaries, reinforce their insecurities and fear being alone. They’re then destroying their boundaries and imprison themselves in self-created walls. They fall in love, losing everything along with it – their dreams, their lives, themselves.

They’re both so utterly empty, thus using each other to fill up some of this emptiness. Yet, the more they see and use each other in this way, the more empty they become. They’re both harassing each other and want to know what they’re doing at every moment, who they’re with, and what they’re up to.

And above everything, they both insist on the other person to say the magic words… “I love you”. Yet, these words aren’t spoken because of truth, they don’t carry the magic vibe with them, because they’re spoken from a place of insecurity.

“I love you” is only real when it feels real, not when it’s taken from the other person who’s a prisoner of the cage we’ve created for them.

It doesn’t matter how well we decorate the cage not to look like a cage. It doesn’t matter how many flowers and gifts we put inside, nor how many beautiful words we speak. A cage is still a goddamned cage.

Yet, is this all there is to it? Interdependency and co-dependency? I mean, who is there that is completely independent, or completely co-dependent? And does love exist only between these two spectrums? There’s also infatuation and mature love, attachment and deep love, and many others. There’s a whole spectrum, actually.

Now, before you leave this page heartbroken and swearing that “No, I won’t get into another relationshit!!” I just want to make it all clear. I want to shine some light on all this.

At any given moment, we’re all somewhere on the spectrum. No one is completely independent and interdependent, nor completely co-dependent. Love doesn’t happen inside a vacuum, and life isn’t concepts, but moving and shaking, changing and alive. There isn’t only infatuation and mature love, and a great deal of it always happens between the two sides of the spectrum. And that’s the great thing, or else we’d all go mad over it. It would always make us feel like shit, since the nature of most relationships is transitory.

But the most important thing, by far, is to water the fuck out of it, wherever we find ourselves at.

If we’re only capable of a small, co-dependent love, then so be it. Let us live it. If we’re capable of being interdependent but sometimes need reassurance and help, then so be it. If we’re capable of a love Divine, then so be it – make it shine.

But by far the most important thing is to welcome and grow through it. After heartbreak, we have to be willing to open our hearts again. Just like the great poet Rumi said, you have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.

After the Sun sets, it doesn’t mean the night will last forever. We have to be willing to let it rise again, for this Love, small or big, high or low, is all we’ve got.