It's complicated. Because, on one hand, you want your reader to "fall in love" with your characters. That's what creates a connection between novel and reader.
But on the other hand, we authors can't fall too much in love with our own characters, or else we end up protecting them (from heartache, from flaws, from bad decisions). Nathan Bransford just wrote a great analogy of this, using Game of Thrones --> click here.
So, I guess the trick is balance. We need for readers to love our characters to the point that they feel it when the character endures a heartache. But as authors, we need to love our characters enough to let them fall, to find their own way.