“DEAR DR EVE
I am in love, but it hurts. No, he is not abusing me or physically hurting
me. In fact, he is showing devotion and loving actions to me all the time.
But this is just the beginning of the relationship—can I even call it a
relationship?? I’m scared and I’m excited all at the same time. I don’t
sleep, and sometimes I feel nauseous. Maybe I have covid??
We met online, chatted, met up. it was so great. We had sex and ever
since then – about 3 months now- we have seen each other almost every
day. However … and here it comes— he is still married, but he has been
going through a divorce for many months, long before we met.
Can I trust him Dr. Eve? Should I walk away or stay and take the pain of
Indeed love hurts. Love awakens us to feeling fully alive, excited, hopeful, expansive, and filled with possibilities. It takes away past and current pain. It distracts us from life’s challenges, for moments, days, weeks, months, years, and even a lifetime.
Love is about chemical reactions in your body. There is a whole body of
love science. Dr. Helen Fisher breaks love down into 3 categories: lust,
attraction, attachment. And each category has its own set of brain
– LUST – testosterone, and estrogen (sexual gratification )
– ATTRACTION – Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Serotonin (reward
pathway – we feel so good when we are thinking or being with this
– ATTACHMENT – oxytocin, Vasopressin (bonding through cuddling )
Your story beautifully shows how love hurts. It is never a rosy path
all the way, all the time. Love, dominated by these chemicals at
different stages, is often accompanied by jealousy, the erratic behavior
of the other, and irrational behavior on your part. These wonderful
hormones make us irrational, especially in the early stages of the
release of love chemicals.
You are seeking attachment, the most instinctive longing that we all
want from love. Even if that attachment is for the night,
consensually agreed upon hook up, we want in those moments to
Your body is letting you know that you are in the early stages of
lovesickness. And yet you hurt from the uncertainty of the future,
future attachments, as your new person is still elsewhere attached.
Security and safety are the two most vital ingredients needed in
love.. not great sex, lots of cash, card, and fancy car.. rather feeling
safe and secure with this person is what is needed to settle your
love chemicals to a lovely flowing level.
I say stay in the mindful moments. enjoy what you’re feeling whilst
still maintaining your own gut feelings of safety and security.
Set aside the expectations of what could/should be. Stay away from
your busy demanding mind that may ask questions like: is he still
having sex with his wife? Will we move in together? Will I meet his
When he leaves you and returns to his own home/life, take a walk
in nature, do a yoga/Pilates class/ talk to a trustworthy friend/and
through this soothing, your rational chemicals will come online and
remind you of your worth, his trustworthy predictable actions.
Suki, I am sure that you come with your own history of Love. From
your first love with your mother to the loves of past lovers/significant
people in your adult life, you anticipate certain hurts and joys from
Love. Notice these same patterns of hurt love, just notice your
same reactions now based on the past. In the past, you ran away,
which is why this is now an option.
Remind your self “THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW” and try to stay a
little longer than usual… Unless your gut really lets you know by
remaining nauseous long past the LUST/ATTRACTION phase of your
situation.. then listen and run!