Thomas Moore talks about the complexity of love while answering a question for Beliefnet, Finding Hope After Heartbreak
. In his response to a woman who still thinks about her former partner, Moore says a lesson learned may be,
"When your love is substantial and solid, you have to be both attached and willing to let the other person freely make life decisions that go against your will and desire. Most of us would like to possess and even rule over our partners and lovers, but that isn't real love.
Love is always complex and paradoxical: a mixture of deep attachment and a willingness to let life flow, in oneself and in the other. This is a maturity of love you arrive at through painful initiations of the kind you are experiencing now."
Moore asks, "Do you think you could find it in yourself to acknowledge the strength and importance of your emotions and the role of this man in your life, and at the same time understand that he is living his own life and has made a choice in a direction away from you?"
He then suggests finding a concrete way to express this: directly through a letter or a final gift, or indirectly, by talking about the situation with a friend or writing a private diary entry.
Moore says, "... don't expect your disappointment and loss to completely vanish. These emotions, painful though they are, can give you maturity and complexity for the next relationship that comes along - and there almost certainly will be another."