“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up a whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life… You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore.
Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ or ‘how very perceptive’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love.”
-Rose Walker (The Sandman #65: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman)
This is one of the most memorable quotes from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman graphic novels, where Rose Walker is talking to Desire of the Endless after she realizes that the man whom she slept with the night before is actually married. Somehow it reminds me of a quote from another Gaiman work, where a character says that love will inspire and ruin you in equal measure.
Love is such a powerful thing, isn't it? Its effects can sit at the two opposite sides of spectrum at the same time. It makes a walking dichotomy in all of us. Falling in love demands a lot of requirements, and obviously the top two of these are (1) to allow yourself to be weak and (2) to put all your trust to the one who have stolen your heart. You wager your bottom penny because that's how much it costs...and sometimes, in the end, you end up empty and cracked.