Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Why would anyone would want to “love” someone who didn’t love them back?

Asked by wundayatta (58586points) April 26th, 2010

So this is blatant plagiarism from this answer. But it seemed to me to be an interesting question.

Why do people stay in loveless marriages? Why do people allow themselves to be fooled by the words of love that are not matched by actions? Why do people love others who are not available for one reason or another?

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36 Answers

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I don’t think anyone WANTS to. Affairs of the heart can’t be controlled sometimes.

chyna's avatar

@jbfletcherfan Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Fly's avatar

I suppose that some people are so blinded by love that they can’t see the reality of the situation. I don’t think that people who do this can really grasp the fact that their love is not returned.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Because they’re nuckin’ futz,that’s why ;)

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Are you kucking fidding me! We are not nuckin’ futz we are cucking frazy! Big difference! ;)

ETpro's avatar

Strange as it may seem, loving because you love, not because you get something good in return, is the only way to truly love. Loving to get an equal amount of love in return is no more egalitarian than simple bartering and haggling in a marketplace.

I am an agnostic, but this Bible verse is a favorite of mine because it expresses so perfectly the tru nature of love. ”1st Corinthians 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.”

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser -You’re ruckin’ fight!

cockswain's avatar

My parents divorced after 30 years. Later, he characterized the marriage as “the 70s were hot, the 80s cooled off, and the 90s were miserable.” I asked him why they stayed together so long and he just said “inertia.”

ninjacolin's avatar

loving is a fun activity in itself.

ninjacolin's avatar

actually, your question is worded as if people have a choice.
if people could simply choose to love or not love by choice, no one would ever be in a relationship that wasn’t perfectly pleasant.

Rangie's avatar

It doesn’t matter, if they love you back. If it feels good to love someone, then love them. You don’t have to act on it, you just love. There are all kinds of love. And it is a feeling that you have, not something you turn off and on like a light switch. I have friends I have never met, but talk to often, and I love them. I don’t ask them if they love me, because that is not why I love them.
In my first marriage, I loved my husband so much, that I divorced him. You say silly, well not really. We were young, he grew apart from the family life in dedication for his research. I can’t dictate where he is to place his love or attention. So I released the bond of marriage so he could go about his life. I didn’t die because of it, and in fact he and I are what I would call loving friends. His children love him and visa versa. You can’t put stipulations on love. It is what it is.

Justnice's avatar

I love because I can’t help it. If I could choose who to love, my life would be a lot easier. Unfortunately, I am in love with a married man. I know the situation is bad but I just can’t stop myself from loving him.

deni's avatar

I don’t know. I’ve never loved somebody who didn’t love me back. BUT my guess is that if you love someone who does not love you back, maybe you stay with them because you feel like at least you love someone. Maybe people in that situation feel that to unrequited love is better than having nobody to love at all. I mean, I don’t think I could ever feel that way, but I’m sure someone does.

Rangie's avatar

@Justnice It is okay to love him, but it is not okay to act on it. Then it becomes selfish, self centered and destructive. Love should not be any of those things.

Trillian's avatar

I love a man who is incapable of truly loving me back. I chose not to stay with him. I had that option. Not everyone does.

Rangie's avatar

@Trillian good for you. Sometimes we have to make those decisions, and generally they all work out for the best. The fact is, we can and do love more than one person at a time. There are different degrees of love, and different kinds of love. I have heard people say things like, you better grab him/her, because love is hard to find. And there is really only one love for each of us. Not so, I think love is easy to find. It is all around us, we just have to get unstuck from the one that is going nowhere.

Draconess25's avatar

I have loved many that could never truly love me.

I met my first ever girlfriend in 6th grade. We started going out in 8th grade. In April of that year, we got into a fight over a guy we both loved. He had gone out with both of us, but was dating someone else. Throughout high school, we got in countless fistfights in the hallway, but we remained friends with this guy. I haven’t seen either of them in almost 2 years. I would still give my life for either of them, whether or not they would for me.

But if it was them or my current girlfriends, they’d be screwed!

Taciturnu's avatar

I’ll never understand… :)

I think people can choose to love someone or not. If you have seedling and you nurture it, you have a whole plant. If you just tuck it in a dark corner, it dies.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s that old ‘definition of love’ again. Some people use it to mean an obsessive attractiion to someone, that is not reciprocated. What is love, really? and how does anyone explain it? I’ve already seen that question asked, and the truth is, there is no way to pin down a single definition for the myriad feelings called love.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@cockswain, are they any happier divorced than they were married?

Kismet's avatar

They love the chase more than the person?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Low self esteem.
Human predators prey on people with low self esteem.
These are people that willingly submit.

Ponderer983's avatar

You can’t control who you love…it’s not my fault if someone doesn’t love me back

mollypop51797's avatar

Because they’re desperate. Just kidding! Love is a natural emotion. It comes from your heart, and once you’ve got an eye on something, you can’t help it!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No one wants this. What happens is one person looks at the other and thinks “oh what a wonderful world it would be if this person I think is so great got to really know, appreciate and then… omg love me!” It just doesn’t happen often otherwise those movies and faerytales wouldn’t be so popular.

skfinkel's avatar

My guess is that the pattern is set (like so many things) when you are young and with your parents—who model for you the kind of love you can/will receive when you are older. Those of you who love but aren’t loved back, think back to your family—is this at all true?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Some of us who loved but didn’t feel loved back were taught there are several kinds of love so I think we accept this and grow up open to the idea which makes for a lot of wasted effort towards go-nowhere relationships. What we were willing to accept from parents or guardians because we or they have no other choice should be different than the love of a partner who’s supposed to choose, cherish, honor and protect our love.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Why do people stay in loveless marriages? They do this I believe for several reason.

Money: either to gain it or keep it. If you had nothing and married into money once the sparkle leaves the union you can’t walk away from the glamour or even the level they were at even if it were not opulent.

Children: they don’t want to uproot the kids or give them instability, they want them to have the normal childhood even when their loveless state can’t provide it.

Sex: if the erosion of communication do not totally sour the sex people stay for that because it is reliable, free and safe. You know you will get some and no hit and miss at the bar or club.

Why do people allow themselves to be fooled by the words of love that are not matched by actions? This happens to people because they want someone, or feel they need to be connected to someone. Usually sex has a lot to do with it. The one you love you expect to have sex with and you believe it will be great because of that. With many they want to believe the words as said by the person because in many ways we are trained to listen and believe what is spoken. If the person speaking it is also one you are investing your heart in you don’t want to be wrong; to do that would be to lose out on a person you really want in your life. Many people have to hear it to validate what they see or don’t see.

Why do people love others who are not available for one reason or another? People go after others who do not love them back because that person fills a void. And the person giving the love have hope that they can say or do something that will create the same feelings in the other. Part of it is the longing to have something you can’t. Like food, while it is abundant you will squawk over it if it isn’t cooked, seasoned or presented right. Be near death of starving you don’t care how it is seasoned or looks on the plate. Also you try to take a meal away from someone even it if was not their favorite they will resist.

skfinkel's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I think you are right, but it is hard to break molds—not impossible, just challenging. But a huge part of making a different kind of life for oneself is understanding (and all that that means) what went on earlier. And then, freedom to love and be loved fully.

Sophief's avatar

You can’t who you fall in love with. Just because love may not be both ways, doesn’t mean you ca’t have a great relationship and be happy.

thriftymaid's avatar

You love who you love; not a matter of “want to.”

OpryLeigh's avatar

Many people who love someone who doesn’t love them back hang around because they are waiting for that person to realise that, actually, they do love them. I have known a few occassions where this has been successful and eventually the one who didn’t love originally grew to love. However, more often than not, it hasn’t worked out and one has just been left heartbroken.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Breaking the mold is HARD! I believing in making the most of whatever situation you’ve got but as far as a romantic relationship goes, I don’t believe that’s healthiest because the one thing you’re supposed to have and choose based on love instead other factors. I think of being in love like a dessert, I don’t need it per se but if I’m going to have it then I want it to be delicious. My other three meals I can compromise on.

yankeetooter's avatar

I’ll answer the last one you posed…

You can’t always help who you are attracted to, or who you feel deeply for. That doesn’t mean that you act on such feelings if you know they are unavailable, but you still can’t help how you feel…and I at least am not always willing to give up on those feelings…a form of self-torment, no doubt, but how can you deny how you feel about someone?

angermanagement's avatar

It’s true that the matters of the heart cannot be controlled. Still, there must be a turn off switch somewhere. I hope that never happens to me, however there are times when I fear that.

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