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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38942points) February 8th, 2010

People always say this phrase (it sounds catchy and all) but is it true? Long ago I used to think it’s better to have loved and lost but lately I’ve been thinking that I wouldn’t be able to bear life without my SO and would just find my future, therefore, incomparable (and I know one flutherer in that kind of a situation right now). Would I rather not have experienced those years with him?

If you have never loved, do you want to be loved? Even at the risk of losing the someone you love?

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54 Answers

jo_with_no_space's avatar

Relationships that we go through change us permanently, irreparably… maybe for some those changes are too painful.. I’m thinking along the lines of “Eternal Sunshine” here. Maybe for some, many, it is better to have never loved at all.

squidcake's avatar

I’ve personally never loved, or been loved…sometimes it gets me down, but sometimes I get to thinking that love would just add confusion to my life.
I think it just depends on if you’re a person who requires attention, I suppose…

Chikipi's avatar

I think the feeling of being in love is a ultimate feeling that is hard to describe. I have been in love, but no longer with the person. I am scared of being hurt again, but that doesn’t deter my quest for finding love again. I still have faith that one day I’ll find it again.
On a side note love can be found in other ways such as our family members, friends, and our little furry animals. I think the love felt from them is also a great feeling.

daemonelson's avatar

Ask someone who’s just been broken up with.

Blackberry's avatar

We’re gonna lose the love anyways, one person usually dies first. I think it is better, even if it’s gone, you still have the experience.

SeventhSense's avatar

Love to me is torment. I’ve loved and lost my self. I loved and lost my way. I wonder if I’ll ever love again.
“Hell is other people”- Jean-Paul Sartre

Trillian's avatar

While the expression of the sentiment is, perhaps, a bit different, I have to say that @Blackberry has a point. I say this having invested two years of my life in a lost cause. I have, on the other hand, gained some experiences and memories that have a value for me. I’m the richer for having them.

susanc's avatar

@Blackberry: score. You THINK you might as well die too, but if your body keeps going,
and after awhile the raw pain of loss shifts into gratitude. If you hadn’t loved that person, you wouldn’t miss him – so maybe you were lucky.
Sigh.

janbb's avatar

I don’t know – the intensity of being powerfully in love is a great high, but the pain of loss is so devastating. Is it better to be “in like” with someone and retain more of a balance? I’m pretty old and I don’t have any answers to that question.

Sampson's avatar

Yes. Unless an experience leaves you paralyzed in some manor, you pull away stronger.

Sure it hurts, but pain is temporary. And if not, have a drink on me.

Bugabear's avatar

Whoever said that has obviously never loved before.

Holden_Caulfield's avatar

Very cliche’, indeed! Have been asked this question in person so many times, I cannot count. However; it definately warrants a response… It is better to have loved and lost! How can one learn and grow from an experience, if one has never experienced it?!? Too, there is no greater feeling than loving… It takes us to a completely different level. It completes a part of us that is empty and yearning… and gives us most importantly… hope for something better and more fulfilling than just being a part of ourselves… If only it were sustainable.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Of course.So,don’t be a wimp,go out there and get hurt! ;)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Yes. And I’m speaking from recent experience. It’s definitely better.

Sampson's avatar

You only live once. Why not do some living during that whole excursion?

babaji's avatar

Most assuredly so

Likeradar's avatar

I think the cliche is generally right. Heartbreak, love, and loss are part of the human experience. It can really, really really suck sometimes, but I wouldn’t want to miss out on it.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

For starters, barfus, and I feel the same way.

I guess in the standard sense, it’s better – like I’m glad I can build on relationships I’ve had in the past… but I couldn’t imagine it being better to have loved and lost my current SO – I really don’t know how I’d recover from that.

DrC's avatar

I vote “Yes” it is worth it. Yes life has pain, but no risk, no reward. And a life without experiencing love is dull. I’ve seen many people find love a second time around, even after years of marriage and then divorce, or being widowed.

Cruiser's avatar

I am a glutton for punishment! Hurt me…Hurt Me!! ;)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Cruiser you must be looking for the spanking thread; that’s three down and two to the left.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Trillian -:))
@Cruiser -I’ll KYA if you want ;)

Cruiser's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Thanks for the directions…I am always getting turned around it seems…
@lucillelucillelucille Is that the “I am dreaming” thread there you are referring to? If so I can duct tape both my hands to my a$$ to make it a fair fight!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille -That thread only applies if your hands are duct taped to my…oh never mind

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille do you always reply to yourself? A narcissistic dreamer…kinda sexy!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ Myself-reminder to not write personal notes to mysself on a public forum.LOL!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Cruiser I think you got her flustered. I may just stick around and watch, if that’s okay with you two.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser -That’s what he said
@SeventhSense -On your dress shirts?
@CyanoticWasp -Stick around if you want to see a grown man cry!lol!

Cruiser's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Pop some pop-corn it will only get better…just you watch! ;)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-What’d you say?-you’ll only get butter?

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille so let’s get it clear here…I got the duct tape where did you say I should tape these mitts??

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-To Janet Reno’s arse ;)

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Butter?? you mean as in Last Tango in Paris??

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille she’s busy damnit…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-That’s what she said(and Marlon Brando)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Sampson lol, took you a bit.

Sampson's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Haven’t been on Fluther consecutively. I hope my lateness doesn’t bring down the corny level in the room

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Sampson no no, not at all, :)

Sophief's avatar

I would rather loved and lost. There is no better feeling than loving someone, devoting your life to someone. I have been in a relationship where I never loved and I was so jealous of seeing happy people together, I longed for it. Now I have it and I realise how lucky I am, I suppose it has taught me not to take it for granted and to cherish every day, and I really do.

TheJoker's avatar

Personally, I think that saying is little more than a platitude designed to comfort people. Love genuinely is the greatest feeling in the world. & losing it leaves you an empty shell, a dull reflection of who you once were… & it doesn’t stop hurting.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@TheJoker true. But that’s when you find out (if you don’t do something stupid) that “heartbreak ain’t fatal”, and you dust yourself off, dry your tears, and try again. How does the saying go? “Try 8 times; fail 7.”

TheJoker's avatar

@CyanoticWasp… True, it’s certainly not fatal. However, if a persons able to dust off, then perhaps it was never love in the first place.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@TheJoker I didn’t say it was easy!

OpryLeigh's avatar

Speaking from a very painful experience. No it is not better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.

TheJoker's avatar

@CyanoticWasp… I cant disagree, & as you seem to be talking from experience, how long before things get back to normal again?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@TheJoker now that I have learned the lessons of a lifetime (as the Swedes say, “too soon old, too late smart”) I don’t think it will take more than a month or so.

partyparty's avatar

Yes, of course it is better to have loved. That feeling you get when someone loves you, and you in turn love someone back, is one you will never forget.

The pain if you do lose that love is indescribable. You think you will never get over it. You always remember it, but the dreadful feelings diminish. You also learn by this.

BUT if you have never loved you will never have experienced those intense feelings. So I think it is better to have loved.

ChaosCross's avatar

I would say that it would be better to have loved and then lost the object of your love.

Having not loved I don’t think you could really appreciate the value of life and love in the first place. It will stay as an intellectual concept in your mind and you can never really understand why people smile the way they do or act so strange.

Of course, one cannot rule out the guarantee that you will be departed either forever or temporarily (considering if you believe in an afterlife or not) and that there will be a time when you will not be with them. It is true it hurts more than words can describe losing someone actually special to you, it feels like something has been surgically removed from your heart.

But I think that appreciating love, just for a moment like a delicate flower is far better than looking at the flowers from your bedroom window; you could not appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the plant properly.

Just my opinion.

Aster's avatar

”....than never to have loved at all.” Terrible thought. A long life sans romance and love. Don’t want to imagine such sadness. Love makes all the hassle of living worthwhile no matter what the pain.

Pandora's avatar

Oh, heck yes. Its an adventure like no other. You only live life once. A broken heart isn’t like a being crippled in a bungie jump. Sure you might hurt for a while but eventually you’ll remember the good times you had. A bungie jump, not so much and yet people do that knowing the risks involved.

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