Welcome to the first Deconstructing Love column where Aaron Zhu, our guest writer, and I will be deconstructing quotes or answering questions on love and relationships — Please feel free to send in your own quotes and questions by emailing me at email@example.com.
Today we will look inside a quote by Franz Kafka, a 20th-century novelist and short story writer. Aaron picked this quote because he hoped it would help us stop chasing toxic love and find the motivation to continue growing despite our pain and loss. Let’s see how so.
“Everything that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”- Franz Kafka
Love is always changing. Like a living organism, it grows with experiences and time. Although it may sound cynical that everything you love will eventually be lost, from a different perspective, it is quite beautiful. It’s impossible to go back in time, therefore, it’s impossible to experience the love we once had; a pretty straightforward connection.
Life is all about adaptation and finding a lasting relationship requires resilience and open-mindedness. Most people will interpret this quote as “my relationship will end eventually.” But I’d like to tell you that you can experience many forms of love with the same person. A mistake we all make is seeking someone who perfectly fulfills our idea of love. The problem with this is the initial love will eventually fade with time. If a conception of love is the only thing keeping two people together, the relationship will inevitably end. There must be something more because love comes and goes.
You may lose one form of love with your partner but that shouldn’t diminish your hope. On the contrary, it should fuel your desire because it is an opportunity to move on to the next chapter of your relationship. In the end, a beautiful and lasting relationship is built by two individuals who are willing to grow, seek, and experience different forms of love together.
Ha, eventually. Yes, eventually, we will all die and we will all lose everything including ourselves and our love. But even if it happens while we’re still alive, during our lifetime, there’s always love coming, perhaps just in different forms — things or humans. This is my understanding of this quote, and I like how hopeful it is.
More often we cling onto a specific person as we believe this person and only this person can give us what we want. But we don’t realise what we ultimately need isn’t limited to this one person. What we need is what this person enables us to achieve, and there are others who will be able to do the same for us — perhaps not exactly so but in different forms as the quote suggests.
Now I don’t suggest that we treat people as a means to an end. What I’m saying is, when a relationship fails, it’s not the end of the world. Yes, we might break up with the one we love and we might never get to know them intimately again. But they aren’t the only one who can make us feel loved. We will feel loved again. We will find a healthy, rewarding relationship again. And that’s why we should accept endings and keep moving forward with an open heart.
I also like Aaron’s idea that when love leaves and returns, it can still be with the same person. But hey, maybe love is never going anywhere at all. It’s all around us!