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Why You Think Love Hurts Like Owen on Grey’s Anatomy

Okay, I confess. I am a Grey’s Anatomy fan. I have watched it from the beginning and in spite of some ups and downs in the story, I still love it. One of the couples that I have watched with interest and fascination has been Owen and Christina. This week Owen said “I love you so much it hurts” to Christina. He had that moment of revelation that was brilliantly played and written.

So have you ever been in that kind of situation?  Where you loved someone so much that it hurt?  I think we all have thought that, even if it was just at a point in our lives when we were young and infatuated.  What does this mean?


There is a song called “Love Hurts” by Nazareth and the beginning lyrics go like this:

“Love hurts, love scars, love wounds and mars”

Is it True that Love Hurts?

No. Love, by its very definition, can’t hurt.  What hurts is the LOSS that we feel. If you truly feel connected to another person and feel loving towards them, that does not hurt.  Owen did not realize that it was not the act of feeling love towards Christina that hurt. It was the feeling that he had lost that love.

When you feel pain associated with “love”, it is a miscommunication with yourself.  In a way, you have made a “complex equivalence”…that is, you are saying X = Y.  Love = Pain.

Think about it…is that true?  Does love really equal pain?  No. It can just seem like that and it might seem like hair splitting.  Nobody knows how another person feels deep inside or how they represent the world.

True Love Doesn't Hurt

What is true love?

  • True love is respect
  • True love is honoring the other person and their values
  • True love is spending quality time together
  • True love is feeling that you are your best when you are with the other person
  • True love is supportive and kind
  • True love is forgiving and understanding
  • True love is loyalty and sharing
  • True love is accepting your own imperfection and the beloved’s imperfections

When we are in relationship with other people, feelings do get hurt and that is a normal part of life. Hurt feelings that happen in the give and take of every day life is not what Owen was talking about. He was referring to a deep wounding that he identified as his love for Christina. 

The Problem with Believing that Love Hurts

If you have a complex equivalence (that is an NLP term) that love = hurt or pain, you might find yourself tolerating a relationship that is not for your higher good or the higher good of the other person.  From that, abusive elements can rise in a relationship. 

Many women (and men, too) find themselves tolerating abusive relationships because of the belief that “love hurts”.  Feelings can get hurt in any relationship and there is a difference between that and abuse. When a partner cheats on the other, like in the case of Owen and Christina,  that is abusive.  When one partner goes ahead and does something specifically that the other partner is not in agreement with, that can be deemed abusive as well.

Emotional abuse is just as devastating and damaging to a relationship as physical abuse.  Neither form of abuse is acceptable in a relationship. If you find yourself in that position, get help, quickly. If you are in a relationship with someone who tells you that “love hurts”, that is not true. It doesn’t.

In other cases, where abuse is not present, the belief that “love hurts” can be deeply ingrained because of the loss of a previous love. You lose a significant other and decide that “love hurts” and then, possibly, don’t allow it into your life again.

Grey’s Anatomy is not real and yet, the stories can mirror how life happens for some…Owen and Christina have a story that I have heard before. I am going to watch and see how it plays out. I like the two characters and if they were real, I would wish them the best and good luck, they need it.

So step back and take a good and hard look at how you feel about love. Decide for yourself what defines love in your own life. Realize that you deserve all the best that love can offer you and then claim it. It’s yours…as soon as you do…and remember the love you feel for yourself…make it true…

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner

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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Eva Blaskovic March 31, 2012, 11:02 pm

    Great post, Sherie. Nicely explained. I used to listen to Nazareth’s song “Love Hurts” all the time because I liked the music–but I never agreed with the words. You are right. Love can’t hurt because love is joy and good feelings. It’s either a loss of love or a love that is not doing us good that hurts. Loss of love can actually cause a chemical change in the brain similar to withdrawal symptoms from drugs. No wonder it’s unpleasant.

    • Sherie March 31, 2012, 11:24 pm

      Thank you, Eva! Love your insight!

  • andy moore March 30, 2012, 6:37 am

    Great post, Sherie.

    We often get confused with Love and ‘love”

    I love Nazareth too!

    Andy Moore

    • Sherie March 30, 2012, 8:55 am

      Andy, thank you!!! I appreciate you coming over and reading the post! Love your blog!

  • Susan Preston March 29, 2012, 1:53 pm

    I love this article Sherie! Thank you for sharing your great wisdom and knowledge, my friend 🙂

    • Sherie March 29, 2012, 3:14 pm

      : D : D Thank you, Susan!!

  • Suzanne Jones March 21, 2012, 9:45 pm

    I really enjoyed this post. Very good breakdown of love and what it is and is not. Based on a persons past, yes they could feel like love =pain, if that is all they know. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

    • Sherie March 21, 2012, 10:44 pm

      Thank you very much, Suzanne! No, it doesn’t have to be that way…

  • SangD March 21, 2012, 7:57 pm

    This is amazing! I, too, am a Grey’s Anatomy watcher! I love how Christina has evolved from the Burke days….and now with Owen. I do understand the hurt and how losing love is what the hurt actually is! Great post! <3

    • Sherie March 21, 2012, 8:45 pm

      Thank you, Sang! So glad to connect with another Grey’s Anatomy fan!!

  • denny hagel March 21, 2012, 7:12 pm

    Great article! I was taught that love is not a feeling but an action…when we love someone we want them to do and be all they need to bring them the greatest joy…and we want to be a part of what brings them joy. We treat them with respect and consideration and kindness…all things positive!

    • Sherie March 21, 2012, 8:45 pm

      Absolutely, Denny, I agree with you! Thanks for the comment!

  • Susan Myers March 21, 2012, 6:17 pm

    Sherie, loved this post. A great reminder to all what love is.

    • Sherie March 21, 2012, 6:20 pm

      Thank you, Susan, I appreciate your comment! : D

  • Joyce M Washington March 21, 2012, 10:31 am

    starting to date again after a few years of soul searching and getting to know me again… this is a nice reminder, a great definition. Thank you Sherie! 🙂

    • Sherie March 21, 2012, 11:21 am

      You are very welcome, Joyce! Best of luck, you are starting off on the right foot by getting to know you first! Thanks for commenting!

  • Solvita March 20, 2012, 12:33 pm

    You are so spot on, the part that hurts is the loss of love. Love is the strongest positive energy that can be, if that is not felt, then unfortunately it is not love, but something different. Thank you Sherie for making it so clear.

    • Sherie March 20, 2012, 12:53 pm

      Solvita, thank you so much! Yes, you have put it brilliantly “Love is the strongest positive energy that can be”. I so appreciate you and your comment!

  • Rob Hodgins March 19, 2012, 12:54 pm

    Yes, love is not supposed to hurt. You aren’t supposed to be on the lookout for sources of pain. Unfortunately, love does require a high level of attentiveness. Common sense cannot be abandoned in the hope that everything will be rosy.

    People need to tell others how to they want to be treated. That can take courage.
    People need to listen when they are told how to treat others…that’s a new concept for many people.

    Love shouldn’t hurt. Love does take patience.

    • Sherie March 19, 2012, 1:16 pm

      Well said, my friend, well said!