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Christian95's avatar

Do you believe in "If you love somebody you got to let him/her free"?

Asked by Christian95 (3260points) November 3rd, 2011

IF it’s the case can you give some examples in which this applied in your life?

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31 Answers

wonderingwhy's avatar

Yes. For your example, my best friend is an ex to whom I was nearly married. Had we not separated we’d likely never have managed to realize the wonderful relationship we have today.

Granted it was a calculated risk.

Furthermore, if you love someone, trapping them in a relationship to suit your own desires is a pretty poor way of showing it. And just because you let them go doesn’t mean you have to excise them from your live and vice versa. You, by-and-large, have to let people be who they are trying to change them frequently just brings even greater pain.

poisonedantidote's avatar

While the quote is a bit of a blanket statement, and therefore bound to have exceptions, however for the most part I think it holds true. Examples of this can be seen in almost any relationship, usually to varying degrees.

A good example would be trusting your partners loyalty and fidelity. If you do the opposite of set them free and try to control them to make sure they don’t cheat, there is a good chance you will end up pushing them away. You can’t stop them from cheating, at least short of locking them up, so it’s better just to trust in them, and let them see who they like and do what they want, while trusting they are in control of what they do.

Similar examples could be seen in parents letting their kids leave home and take control of their own lives, rather than never realizing they are their own person.

It is something that can range to the very small the the very large. If we think about it a while, there are probably many more examples than we realize.

rebbel's avatar

Yes, I do.
When my former girlfriend and I made the decision that we couldn’t go on together we were both sad about it.
We loved each other still, but that seemed to be not enough colliding characters, mutual depression, etc. were not helping.
It is a proven of love when you wish that your (future) ex will find new luck and new love.
We both did that and are still best friends.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, infact, I just “counseled” a friend whose live in lover has been offered a transfer to Hawaii for his work. He is at the peak of his career and this would be a very lucrative move for him, as well as a wonderful living opportunity. She has just bought a new house and has a teenage daughter that is graduating this year.

I told her that she really needs to encourage him to take this opportunity and that the last thing she would ever want would to be accused of denying him such an opportunity.

She can join him later if she chooses, but, it would be very selfish to not be fully supportive, IF she really loves him.

True love is always about wanting whats best for the other and never wants to prevent someone from growing.

Blackberry's avatar

Yeah. Wanting to trap someone isn’t a sign of love. I’m not an expert on love, but I think one of the main notions is wanting what is best for the person, not yourself.

Sher_King's avatar

Yes. Sometimes when you love someone it doesnt mean they are necessarily yours to be. Sometimes its just not meant to be, and you have to let it go. If they come back, then you know.

stardust's avatar

Yes. If two people are in a relationship and they’re not helping each other to grow as individuals, then I feel it’s time to let that person go. It’s often hard and sad but I think it’s better than remaining together.

zenvelo's avatar

My girlfriend said she was looking for a different relationship to fulfill what she thought was missing. It was hard, but I let her her move on. But she did some things that I needed to talk to her about. I had let her use one of my credit cards on some things, and she would use it once in a while. After about four months, we were talking on the phone about it and she admitted that leaving me had been a big mistake.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I absolutely do but that doesn’t mean I don’t get how that would be one of the most painful things one can experience.

whitetigress's avatar

It is true. My soon to be wife loves me, and lets me do as I please. And the same with me. Also something important to remember is there is no love between two who share control over one another. There should be common sense and boundaries, but control over every aspect is not love. Let the controlling person go.

augustlan's avatar

Absolutely. Part of loving someone is wanting them to be happy, even if it makes you sad.

wundayatta's avatar

The thing is that if you don’t do that, then they will usually end up feeling constrained and unhappy and you could lose them anyway. Even if you keep them, something has come between you. Things are generally at a greater distance after that. If you want to hold someone close and keep them from following their bliss, you may keep them around, but they will usually be resentful.

Better to let them go free and to choose to be with you. Then you know it’s real love.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes. I once fell in love with someone I knew couldn’t love me back, not in the way I wanted and so I backed off, hurt like hell and sure enough, better matched love found us both.

CaptainHarley's avatar

IMHO, there can never be true, deep, honest love between two people unless both are free. They then mutually agree that they belong together, and relinquish some of that “freedom” to gain a lasting relationship.

Earthgirl's avatar

Yes, I definitely think it’s true. But who would want to hold onto someone if they wanted to leave anyways?

In the case of a romantic tie, I have always felt that jealousy is so pointless when it comes to fighting to keep someone. After all, who wants to be with someone who doesn’t care to be with them?

There are different aspects to the idea of setting someone free.
As some people have touched on, one aspect is the idea of setting them free by saying goodbye. But in many, if not most, cases the idea of setting them free has more to do with letting them be themselves and follow their own path even if it conflicts with what we want or need from them. Even if it means we disagree with their choices or wish they would consider our feelings a bit more, we need to let them be free.

If you love someone you want what is best for them, but who is to say that what they choose for themselves is best? You don’t know, you only need to respect that that is what their heart and mind are drawing them to. We may not think it’s best and want to intervene. In some cases If we love them and know them well we may think rightly or wrongly that we see they are making a mistake. Sometimes, loving them, respecting their choices, oddly enough,means we have to let them make that mistake. We can counsel them but ultimately it is their choice.

I like the second part of the saying because it carries a positive message-
“If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.”

But now that I think about it, this is the crux of the issue! They are never “ours” to own and keep. They are their own person. Our love needs to be a gift, freely given without any demand of being loved in return.

spykenij's avatar

I’m going thru it right now. On November 15th, it will be 6 yrs that I’ve been with my girl, but Sept. 24th she broke up with me. That same day, my mom kicked me out of the family and my last cat had a urinary blockage, we unblocked him and he had surgery and then he had to be put down. I can’t force my now ex to love me, all I can do is be the best friend I can be to her to be there for her and hope she falls in love with me again. She said I still have all the qualities she fell in love with, but it was a wake up call to stop throwing temper tantrums and so I have. We both need space to heal and until then, there is nothing else I can do. I am truly miserable with this, but what other option do I have? I’m just grateful to still have her in my life.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes…sadly there comes a time and or place in the relationship or your life where fate has other plans that can cause you to realize things will not and cannot work out no matter how much you might want it to work.

spykenij's avatar

Side note here… I have never been friends with an ex, nor have I ever wanted to be before this girl. She really is something else and I want her back so bad that I can’t stand it. I’ve never met anyone worthy of my friendship after a breakup before, so this is all new to me and very difficult for me. I kinda keep telling my brain that things are the same, but when she leaves the house to hang out with work friends, it makes me feel crazy inside, but I do know her well, so I know there isn’t someone else. She has it in her head that love is not in her cards, but it’s only herself that removes that card from her deck. I loved her more than anyone ever.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Nope… I keep all my loved ones chained to i-beams in the basement.

Sunshinegirl's avatar

Sometimes the choice is made for you…we might not like it, though if we don’t accept it…we will end-up being miserable…

perspicacious's avatar

You’ll never own or hold anyone. If you try, you are pathetic. People must be together by choice and stay together because of choice and commitment. Otherwise, the relationship is a sham and what do you really have? Nothing.

spykenij's avatar

@perspicacious – I don’t think it’s pathetic to try to verbally work your problems out with someone who has a tendency to give up on things way too easily. Sometimes you can say something, find out why they are wanting to bolt and talk some sense into someone. People shouldn’t use the words marriage or forever (and the word love, for me at least) if they don’t know if they could even be with someone like that long or not. I think the people who tell you they will always love you, get clingy with you, jealous as hell when someone else hits on you…shouldn’t be saying it at all if they think they could ever leave you anyway. It’s nothing but a lie in the end if they do and then don’t follow through. I’ve wanted to leave, but I know I told her I’d love her forever and I also know love ebbs and flows, so if you just wait it out, you’ll fall again when it’s real. I’ve always said that if my girl ever gets hit by a truck or something happens and she needs taken care of tomorrow, I’ll be there for the rest of her or my life, whichever ends 1st and I still probably wouldn’t want to be with anyone else but her again. When someone really loves someone else, they don’t leave and if they do, they eventually come back and come back to their senses. If not, it was never love at all.

perspicacious's avatar

@spykenij “I don’t think it’s pathetic to try to verbally work your problems out with someone who has a tendency to give up on things way too easily.” That has nothing to do with holding or owning anyone.

augustlan's avatar

@spykenij I disagree. People who truly love each other at some point in their lives can and do fall out of love at some other time. That doesn’t make the love they once had any less real. In addition, sometimes love is not enough. My ex-husband and I genuinely loved one another at the time of our divorce. We just couldn’t stand living together any longer… we made each other miserable! We tried everything to fix our marriage, but it was broken beyond repair. That doesn’t mean our love was a lie. Not at all.

I’ve been in love three times in my life, and if the first two relationships hadn’t ended, I wouldn’t be in the one I have now. The best one of them all!

spykenij's avatar

I was in the best one of them all, made some mistakes by not checking my anger, had some tantrums because my parents drive me nuts at almost 32 yrs old and I couldn’t handle it. I fucked up by expressing my upset and dislike of how my mother still tries to control everything I do. She has no boundaries, so I pushed her out of my life, my girl leaves me that same day and my cat got sick and had to be put down a few days later. Too much. She does give up too easy. We never even broke up before.

Mantralantis's avatar

Oh, absolutely 100%.

Especially, if they have very high standards that are so senseless to the laughing point where if they had the tallest ladder in the freaking world, they could still never see it. Yep.

SmoothEmeraldOasis's avatar

@spykenij – the woman that did not stay with you and kept changing her mind on the last decision she had committed to shows you right then and there what her inner desire really is. She would rather be alone than with someone that want to love her in a truly monagamous relationship. I wish you well and although your mom interferred like she did as you mentioned above. She is the reason you can live and love the way you do. Work out that relationship so that you can be totally at peace. I say that is because I love and want the best for my boys and for me I knew that early in their teen years is when they need to know that I was there for them when ever they reached out for me, but I was going to have them sit down and we would talk if I saw that the choices they were making were hurting themselves. To this day my now adult boys come talk to me about anything. That is the first relationship that needs to be made and kept strong. Peace Be With You and be Happy!

spykenij's avatar

@SmoothEmeraldOasis – Things with my mom are better. They’re not 100%, but they’re better. The ex is still the ex. I had to move home for a short while to go to The Cleveland Clinic because I was sick and had to go to a program there every day for 3 weeks, but I ended up getting better for real for the 1st time in 4+ years. I’m no longer controlled by whatever was making me so sick that I lost everything. I had the chance to move back to Cleveland, which is where I was born and raised. I never wanted to leave, but I decided to come back to Columbus and am working now. I’ve had some obstacles, but I’m getting through them and getting back to my feet and my own life. I’m dating someone now, but not in a “relationship” with her. Going slow and getting to know each other. It’s all new to me in so many ways. Kinda just winging this.

SmartAZ's avatar

People sometimes adopt a slogan without ever considering what they actually mean by it. I was married to a woman who decorated her house with butterflies. (The slogan comes from a hippy song called “Butterflies Are Free”.) What she actually meant was “If you love something, throw it away.” After ten years of being repeatedly thrown away, I just didn’t come home one day. And she couldn’t understand why.

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