General Question

Disc2021's avatar

What happens when love isn't enough?

Asked by Disc2021 (4488points) June 2nd, 2009

Well? Thoughts?

This is an open-ended question really – there are no specifics for a reason. The “there is no right or wrong way to answer” rule applies.

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38 Answers

rooeytoo's avatar

In real life, I don’t think love is ever “enough.”

bythebay's avatar

Love is never enough. A true relationship thrives or fails due to numerous factors; love is but one of them.

Sariperana's avatar

I’m not quite sure, but having it there is certainly better than not having it there…

dynamicduo's avatar

Stop stealing my words from my mouth, @bythebay! :)

But it’s true. Love isn’t enough. Relationships are challenging commitments. They need effort and care and maintenance just like a garden. You can’t just be together and expect everything to work out fine without communicating and evolving; just like you can’t plant a garden and leave it alone and expect it to give you a wonderful bounty at the end of the season. you have to prune it and weed it and tend it.

Love is the seed for a relationship. Commitment, communication, and collaboration are the soil and water that help the seed to grow. Deprive the relationship of one of these and you will start to see it change and wilt. Replenish it and give it high quality dedication and it will thrive.

jackfright's avatar

you fall back on the next best thing; mutual respect, and character compatibility.
and i forgot what could be the most important- a similar sense of humour

fireside's avatar

Ditto what dynamicduo just said.

Response moderated
bythebay's avatar

@spresto: No spresto, love chooses us. What we choose to do with that love is up to us. You cannot make someone love you anymore that you can make yourself love someone.

Tink's avatar

@spresto – You can’t help who you fall in love with. It just happens sometimes without a warning

cwilbur's avatar


cookieman's avatar

Love is the frosting.

Respect, friendship, communication, honesty and a boat-load of hard work is the cake.

Love alone is never enough.

CMaz's avatar

If love is not enough, and it encompasses allot. Pat yourself on the back for doing the best you could. (not easy) and move on. We all have things in the back of our head that we do not know about. They surface sometimes and can muck up an otherwise perfectly wonderful relationship.
Don’t beat yourself down,. But, learn from it. A good loving relationship starts with yourself.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

How can love not be enough?
Love is so much more than just romance. There’s the love between family, the love between friends, and the love between couples. Humans are always searching for love. Whether it’s acceptance or companionship.

In my opinion, if you feel that love isn’t enough, that’s probably only because you aren’t getting the full thing. If you can fill those three types of love in your life, you’re pretty much a happy person.

Of course, it would be simply wonderful if you could find all three types of love within one person.. Though that’s rare..

CMaz's avatar

I think it is not the issue of love not being enough. It is not getting it in return the way you wish to have it.

Judi's avatar

I learned the lesson the hard way. After my first husbands suicide I determined that I would never put myself in a position of falling in love with someone I wouldn’t consider marrying.

svladcjelli's avatar

What if it is?

It’s generally not. I don’t mean to be a downer or anything. But love is rarely enough. At least one-sided love. But I still hope for the day when it is.

CMaz's avatar

Don’t we all.

oratio's avatar

Well, you have got to eat and sleep as well.

dynamicduo's avatar

@spresto Nuh uh, you are wrong. Look how valuable that was.

Interestingly enough, there are different types of love depending on the length or type of relationships we have. So sometimes the initial infatuation wears off and develops into a different kind of love, which may be confusing or different to those not expecting it. Much of love is chemicals in our brain, it’s a bit unromantic but it’s great to know this, it helps explain a lot of areas of love.

Response moderated
oratio's avatar

@dynamicduo Oh, I didn’t know that. You should have told us. Your account info says nothing about you being a bitch. And here I thought you were Canadian.

dynamicduo's avatar

Uh, what’s with the attack @oratio?

Too bad you don’t actually read my posts, it would be obvious that I’m a bitch.

CMaz's avatar

Comon… Batman is not a bitch.

bythebay's avatar

@dynamicduo: Ha! Learn to embrace your inner bitch; “sometimes love just aint enough”. :)

wundayatta's avatar

When love isn’t enough, sometimes counseling helps, and sometimes meds, and sometimes both.

There are people such as myself, who have gone through periods of time where love wasn’t enough. There just wasn’t enough love in the world to make me feel good about myself. Not enough love to make me even feel love. Meds and counseling, as I said, eventually helped me get to a point where I can feel love, and it is close to enough. There’s still a little part of me that is lost in the underworld, and I don’ t know how to retrieve it.

It’s a really weird thing when love isn’t enough. You can have a gazillion people fall in love with you, and it still isn’t enough. It’s as if you can’t believe it, and it’s all because you don’t feel you are worthy of love. Or of anything. It’s a contradiction. When you feel unworthy, no amount of love in the world can make you feel better. When you feel worthy, you don’t need any love to make you feel better.

cyn's avatar

Ditto…oh darn….always too late to answer!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I believe that if you really love each other, communication, respect and friendship will follow – it all flows from love, a connection of a higher level

CMaz's avatar

Keep dreaming. With all due respect. As much as I would love to believe that. The outside influences (family, friends, things that go bump in the night) that life tend to throw at you can really screw up a good thing.
Takes more then “true love.” I would say a true desire to have commitment.

chelseababyy's avatar

Then it’s not love.

hitomi's avatar

People talk about love like there is one universal definition…I know (if anyone has read my other responses to things) that I harp on the idea of everything being a matter of perspective, but love is just another one of those abstract things. You can say “If you love someone you would/wouldn’t do [insert action]” but that is simply what YOU would/wouldn’t do if YOU were in love. No one can place their definitions and ideals onto another person, which is why love ISN’T enough. Both people can say “I love you”
and neither one means it less or more, but because they have different views on what love means they might not both be willing to make the same steps to make the relationship work.

I also don’t necessarily think that there ARE different types of love…love is love…it’s the other emotions that ACCOMPANY love (like lust and respect and affection) that are different.

Clair's avatar

love is a lot but love is not enough.

dannyc's avatar

Love will find its way and is always enough.

Disc2021's avatar

Well, I’ve got some amazing answers here! I’m glad there is as many of you that weren’t afraid of such an open-ended question – as I love questions like these or any just for the purpose of thought stimulation.

Thank you all – I found some of the answers to be insightful, funny, realistic, firm, concrete, etc.

To answer my own question (and I’m going to answer it with two separate responses):

1. I think if “love” is there in a relationship context, there ALWAYS remains a possibility of working it out. This is not to say that if it doesn’t work out then the couple has not yet explored those possibilities – but rather I only suggest that it’s possible the couple is clearly aware of those possibilities but lacks either the faith, energy or ability to achieve those certain possibilities. With that said, sometimes the best choice is just to give yourself a pad on the back for the hard effort and walk.

2. It seems as if a lot of people are unhappy without love and a lot of people are unhappy with love. Then the ones that once find it have problems happily keeping it, etc. I think although it’s a shame, some people have grown to accept that after trying and trying without any success, that sometimes they would just live best without love. I certainly think life has much more than just “love” (at least “love” by our conceptions), but I do think it would be almost too simplistic without it. I guess what my response in this form translates to asking another question “If not love then what else keeps us moving?”

astrocom's avatar

It depends what you mean by enough. A lot of people here seem to think “enough” mean “enough to stay in a relationship besides any difficulties” and others seemed to take it as more of a “enough to put real effort into making it work.” To me, either way, it is. To be fair, no love is truly unconditional, mine certainly isn’t. Love can form for any number of reasons, but mine would honestly be broken by intentional disrespect (of me as a human being not necessarily my judgment), betrayal (and my definition of betrayal is more forgiving than most), or repeatedly causing emotional pain.
To say we don’t choose who we love is foolish: love rarely happens instantaneously. Far more often it is a process, an evolution and culmination of feelings, and there are decisions along the way. All of the relationships I’ve seriously pursued have been clearly at one point or another of that process. In three cases, the other person involved, chose not to allow those feelings to progress, in one of those cases I did the same. (The most recent case, I haven’t gotten over yet, she made her decision based on an association she formed between her ex and me, one I think is illegitimate, I’m still angry/hurt).

sakura's avatar

LOVE is always enough because it has so many reasons behind it

I love these cartoons!!

capt_murph_e's avatar

If true love is enough, would people argue over bills or picking up the groceries? If people truly loved each other, one would forgive their significant other for cheating. I know that love sometimes isn’t enough because of the painful experience that I’ve face in the past and many people can relate. Sometimes I don’t understand my generation of 20-year-olds that find themselves in love and argue that it’s enough. They get married and many get a divorce after a couple year, month, .... in today’s society especially in america, i think we need more than love. we need trust, communication, energy, respect, etc. for a relationship to work.

remember to spread love evenly through-out your relationship and savor it. bring into the relationship other substance that is common for any relationship to flourish.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@chelseababyy said it all.

Love is not the problem. We misunderstanding what love actually is. We mistakenly attempt to make love fit into our own personal reality box. We do this because we think that love is something to be owned. It is not.

Love owns us, and it shows itself when we give ourselves to it. Every problem in the universe will be overcome when we all finally decide to give ourselves to one another.

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