Social Question

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Can you live without love?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (36630points) May 7th, 2010

My friend that tried to end his life yesterday said he has no one to love him so he decided to try to take himself out of the game. He lost his parents and a sister in a car accident when he was a teenager. He was in a relationship with a woman that treated him like crap and then had several affairs while they were together. At this point, he’s kind of hanging out there all by himself. Could you stand a life with no one to love you? No one to cover your back, help when things go bad? What are your thoughts?

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48 Answers

BoBo1946's avatar

stay with him as much as possible, as i know you have..not many people now days really care for others…i salute you @Adirondackwannabe!

personally, i’ll be okay with or without it…rather have it, but you become much “tuffer” as you get older!

Sophief's avatar

I couldn’t stand a life without the person I am with. I love him a great deal. If I lost him in anyway I would end things like a shot. Why? Because I don’t want to be with out him, I don’t want the pain of ‘getting over’ him, I don’t want to be with someone second best. I don’t know if it will ever happen, it probably will and when it does I’m out of this life. Sorry about your friend, life is really tough, that’s why assisted suicide should be very very legal.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I’ve tried it, and it’s not nearly as horrific as many might suggest, then again I’m a strongly introverted which helps. With that said, I’d rather not do it again if I have the choice, sometimes it’s hard to fathom, though I try to remind myself to work on and practice the skills necessary to do so should the time come. Even if it never does, they make for a happier life all the way around.

For your friend, stay close, it’s just what friends do.

marinelife's avatar

You friend has gone through unimaginable losses. Suicide is not the answer. He needs to reach out for love and build it into his life.

Therapy to deal with the loss of his family would probably be helpful.

He needs to be reached out to by his extended family. Do you know them? Can you let them know what he is going through? Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents would all be helpful to him now.

Also, gather his friends and tell him that you love him. You care about him.

One bad woman is not the end of the pool. If he sticks around, he can find someone worthy to care for who will love him back.

Finally, he could reach out and help others. Volunteering can really change your attitude about how bad your life is.

BoBo1946's avatar

footnote: did mean to sound terse and mean-spirited with my comment, but i’ll be happy with life regardless of love or whatever…the skin gets thicker with youth..loll

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Without love I would not be living, only existing. I would not cope very well going back to how I was before love. However not having love does not mean you will never have it again. Your friend has been through some of the toughest things that can happen to a guy. He needs hope, and dependable friends to confide in and rely on. In time, I hope he comes to recognise that love will return, and he will be able to rebuild his life.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I would hate to think of my life without the ones I love in it, but I would find other reasons to “go on”. I feel like there is more that I’m meant to do and I intend to do it. It was the death of a close family member that made me feel this way.

In regards to your friend, having so much bad stuff happen is definitely taking its toll on him. Definitely be there for him and show him that there are people (or at least a person) that cares about him. Try to encourage him to get some help (counseling) if he is willing to. If he ever talks about having a plan or starts giving his stuff away, take it seriously and get him to the ER.

deni's avatar

it would be really really hard. sometimes i think that people who commit suicide are selfish for leaving behind loved ones and people who care about them so much, but his mom, dad, and sister all died at once? and a shitty relationship like that? i can almost understand why he’d find himself at that point in his life. i can’t really understand, but it’s more understandable is what i mean anyhow, that’s really sad. i feel i’d be in the same position as him if that series of events had happened to me. i’m not tough enough to live without love.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@deni Suicide is not selfish; victims are rarely thinking of the implications of their actions to anyone at all, including themselves. It is not a rational calculation of the amount of bad things that a person has experienced. It is a symptom of a disease, in the same way that tourettes sufferers cannot help lashing out at people.

deni's avatar

just because they don’t think of it does not mean they don’t cause a world of hurt and pain and wonder and endless questions as to why they did it, to all the people that loved them. i’m just saying. clearly its not rational.

Sophief's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Great answer, but people that haven’t experienced it, can never really understand it. What kind of a life is it though to live for others? Fucking hell is the answer to that. I only have my mum that would miss me and it would kill her world, but she has always told me to be happy, and that is what would make me happy.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Sophief I am a firm believer that when there is life there is hope. If a person is prepared to take their own life, they are either completely overwhelmed by their depression and not thinking clearly, or they are living without hope. The first group need to learn to control the direction their thoughts flow in, and the second need to be shown that hope is something to live for. How many survivors of suicide attempts bounce back to live fulfilling lives?

Sophief's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I don’t know, but I think I am both groups, sometimes anyway.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’ve been living that way for the last six months and expect to live the rest of my life that way. I was a total loner for the first 38 years of my life, I just have to get used to it again now.

@Adirondackwannabe I’m sorry about your friend. The right drugs and some mental “toughening up” may be in order. It’s perfectly possible to live a useful, productive life without feeling loved. It’s much easier if you’ve never experienced love than to feel it and have it taken away.

netgrrl's avatar

What an awful situation your friend is in. It’s great that you want to be there for him, but I hope he’s seeking therapy too.

Life would indeed be hard. There have been times in my life I’ve considered suicide, and honestly, sometimes the only thing that kept me hanging on was the idea that my death would not be worth the pain it would cause.

I hope with time he can come to see that there are others who do care about him.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Sophief Depression can be beaten. Always hold on to the hope that you too will beat it. The human brain’s single greatest power is its plasticity – it is always capable of learning new ideas and habits, and will re-model itself to fit them.

Thoughts generally run along tracks of practised thought patterns, like wheel ruts on a bush path. For example, if you think about chess all the time, you will start to think about unrelated events in terms of chess stratagems. Train yourself to form new tracks, and develop more positive thinking habits, and in time you can beat depression into a passing nightmare that scarcely seems real in recollection.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I can live without love but I wouldn’t want to.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Agree with @FireMadeFlesh . People who suicide are not being selfish. They’re living in a world of pain and they just want it to stop.

Coloma's avatar


What you are descibing is not love, it is addiction.

Anytime ones sense of self, identity, meaning for life is contingent on having, being with another it is unhealthy.

To be enmeshed psychologically speaking to the extent that you would kill yourself upon the loss of another is very, very, dysfunctional!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Sophief I know where you’re at and I refuse to judge you. Depression is a nasty thing. I just go from one day to the next trying to find a reason not to blow my brains out.

thriftymaid's avatar

Don’t want to.

Sophief's avatar

@Coloma I better tell my doctor then that for the past 14 years I have not been depressed but addicted to someone I only met 3 years ago.

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Thank you. Unfortunately we know what depression feels like. I really feel your pain.

Coloma's avatar


Depression and love/relationship addiction are two separate issues.

Anytime someone says ’ I can’t LIVE without, whatever’ it’s a problem.

A problem based on an insecure identity, dependancy issues and low self esteem, which has nothing to do with real love.

It is a parasitic and unhealthy mental condition, not to mention a huge burden to place on another…if something happens to you or you die so will I!

Eeee….scary stuff girl!

DominicX's avatar

I’ve never tried it, but to be honest, it sounds horrible. However, I think that when people get like this, they overlook the fact that there are people who love them.

Sophief's avatar

@Coloma I saidthat to Fluther, not to my s/o. I don’t think you read my previous post. I have had depression since I was 17. I have attempted suicide 3 times now. I have only been with my partner for 3 years.

Coloma's avatar


It sounds as if you wear this 3x suicide attempt as some sort of a badge of honor or, at the very least something you seem rather proud of.

I am certainly no therapist but I am a very well learned and savvy gal that does know much about psychology & mental health issues.

It seems as if you have built an identity around your ‘story’ of depression and suicide attempts.

Who are you beneath this story, who would you be without the story of you & your depression?

I am sorry for your issues, I hope you continue to receive professional support.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I used to think I could but now, I’m not so sure.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Coloma “Anytime someone says ’ I can’t LIVE without, whatever’ it’s a problem.”

There are some things we are meant to be dependent on. Sustenance and shelter are the obvious ones, but we also have psychological needs that must be fulfilled if we are to avoid losing our sanity (eg. Castaway). We need interaction with other people, we need a sense of worth, and we need some of those relationships to be on the level of love. Just like I cannot live long without shelter from the elements, I cannot live long without sharing the bond of love with another person.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I don’t think I could though there are times I wish I could. The love of friends is so important to get through the rough patches of feeling jaded, beat up, hopeless and lonely. Responsibility has also been a good anchor, honoring comittments I’ve made to people I know love me. Hang in there with your friend and acknowledge bad things do happen to good people with good intent and good hearts but every now and then even the most tired out and scared people are loved by someone they can’t help but let close.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

For anyone who believes the loss of a loved one necessitates suicide as the only viable solution. You are operating under a false belief. There are still reasons to live and to care about yourself and others. Depression is a terrible experience but there is life after depression.
As devastated as I would be if I were to lose the love of my life (my wife), I would not dishonour her memory by killing myself because she died. I would live my life in a manner that shared the good qualities I learned to value in her with others around me. I would share that love with her children and my children and our grandchildren.

I feel great compassion for the young man who lost his whole family not long ago. They need their friends more than ever and they need professional help to learn to cope with their losses and still live their lives and see that the future holds many opportunities to experience and share love with others.

Such people should not be permitted to fall through the cracks of society.

Coloma's avatar

Love’ can come in many forms not just romantic. You ARE love, and can be found in all things, not just the male/female polarities.

Dependency on fresh air to breathe, food for the bodies sustainence and shelter from the elements are true ‘needs’, romantic love is not.

There is no place for neurotic dependency in romantic love, and it is a want, not a ‘need.’ Depending on another in certain circumstances is healthy, such as depending on a loved one to bring you medicine if you are ill, but you do not ‘need’ romantic love to be whole and happy, sorry, just not true.

You may want it, it may be fun and wonderful but it is not a requirement for human survival.

As far as touch goes, yes, there is truth in being touch deprived, but again, one can hug a pet, go get a massage, many options aside from romantic touch.

I just really hate to see the dysfunctional ideas of what ‘love’ is, and what it is not, is dependant need.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Coloma Apologies if I was ambiguous, but in my last post I wasn’t only referring to romantic love. Before I found that, there were still periods where I felt happy and self-satisfied. I doubt I would have felt that way if it weren’t for family and close friendships though. Isolation has massive effects on the human psyche, whether it is real or perceived, and interpersonal relationships are the best way to dispel feelings of isolation. “No man is an island…..”

Coloma's avatar


Agreed! Friendship and support is very beneficial to the human spirit, no argument there! :-)

Forced isolation is just as unhealthy as forced ‘love.’

YARNLADY's avatar

What so many people fail to realize is that love goes two ways, you can give love even if you don’t receive it. There are many times when this can be used to lift your spirits.

faye's avatar

He’s lucky he has a friend @Adirondackwannabe. I’ve never been without love, not romantic love, family and friends. I hear and read about people with no family, no friends. I guess that’s where volunteering somewhere would help.

Sophief's avatar

@Coloma You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. People are always ignorant of what they don’t know or don’t understand/ I am the same with certain things, but I don’t try to bring people down for my ignorance. I am not proud that I have attempted it 3 times now, I wish it was just the once. You just seem to think that I am like this because I don’t want my boyfriend to leave me, I don’t want him to leave me but I have been like this most of my life.

Coloma's avatar


I understand that your depression and attachment to your boyfriend are two separate things, and both are problematic in the way they are playing out with your unhealthy and unhappy thoughts, feelings, and actions.

If you were serious about killing yourself you wouldn’t have 3 attempts under your belt, you would have made sure your methods were airtight. ( no pun intended )

Failed suicide ‘attempts’ are usually just that, attempts that fail because the person in question is really ‘attempting’ to gain attention and pity.

I do wish you well and hope you find your peace, best to you.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Coloma No one sits down to plan exactly how they are going to commit suicide to make sure there is no chance of survival, they just spontaneously decide to act on their dark thoughts, and do whatever they think will make it stop. You just cannot apply the logic of a healthy person to depression or suicide, because the victim is not thinking like a healthy person.

Sophief's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Thank you for trying to make @Coloma understand, but I think you will get no where. Let’s just hope he/she never has to feel that way.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Sophief Thanks, but I don’t like to give up. Misunderstanding depression can only lead to making depressed people feel more isolated. Since one in four people will experience some level of depression (I think that is the latest statistic I have heard), proper understanding is the first step towards providing the support they so badly need.

Sophief's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I like your enthusiasm, but when people don’t have any experience of it, they are ignorant to it and simply don’t understand, or ever will. Good luck with it though.

YARNLADY's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Some people do sit down and plan out every step in advance of committing suicide. They purchase items in advance to set up the scene they want, and work out the logistics in great detail. My cousin apparently planned for over two years, including buying a life insurance policy that excluded suicide for two years, and put all her affairs in order. She wrote a letter of apology in case she missed anything

ru5150's avatar

I think the answer is different for everyone. But people want what they need and if they want love then they probably need it. But more importantly is this friend getting help. A suicide attempt is a very serious call for help. Go to his house and drag him out and right into a therapists office. Do it before lunch. Otherwise they will be gone and proven themselves right.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@YARNLADY That is really sad. Was she depressed, or did she have other motivations such as terminal illness? I would bet that such cases are exceedingly rare though, and my statement holds true for the vast majority of suicide victims.

YARNLADY's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh—-She has radical breast removal surgery for cancer, and it didn’t work—

We recently had a news report of a man with Emphysema who made elaborate plans for his (successful) suicide.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@YARNLADY I tend to think of suicide and self-euthanasia as being separate things. I think if I were suffering from a painful terminal illness I might just join that list. These people would have gone in a much more dignified way if they could have been legally euthanased.

mattbrowne's avatar

A baby can’t. It would die.

Lorna's avatar

Sorry about your friend. I completely understand his reasoning. What is easy for one person to live without, is incredibly hard for the next person.

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