Love and need

Love is not need, and the two should not be confused. The feeling that we need someone, along with the desire for that someone to need us, is harmful and must be replaced. A stable relationship is based on the mutual desire for the other to be happy. It is not based on the desire for the other to make us happy. This latter desire can never be fulfilled. The idea that someone else can make us happy, or that someone else can fill some void within us, is a red herring. We can only do this for ourselves.

Therefore, whenever we believe that we need someone, we must fight this belief. We must acknowledge that we do not in fact need them, and that if they were hit by a bus then we would still survive. Knowing that we can survive alone, and indeed that we can be happy alone, does not make our love any less. There is a big difference between knowing that we can be alone and actually wanting to be alone. If we drop need, it makes our love stronger. It means that we are with our partner because we love them and because we want to be with them, and not just because we need them. It also reduces the anxiety and fear that they will leave us, whether by choice or not.

Similarly, it is foolish to desire that our loved one need us. Such a desire arises out of fear. We may think that our sense of security is increased knowing that our partner cannot leave us because they need us. However, really, it is much more flattering to know that our partner is with us because he or she loves us. Although it might seem scary to think that our partner does not need us and could walk away at any time, we can also take immense reassurance in the fact that they choose not to.

Hence, we must always be careful to distinguish between love and need. Although they are often confused, they are very different. Love is an open and generous emotion based on genuine caring and compassion. It is unselfish and makes no demands. Need, on the other hand, is a constrictive and selfish feeling based predominantly on fear. True love cannot flourish alongside this feeling.

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1 Comment »

  1. Obsessive relationships said,

    July 25, 2008 @ 8:52 am

    […] the absence of need. Love is an unselfish and open state, which is quite the opposite of need (see Love and need). When a relationship is based on attachment, we have problems such as selfishness, possessiveness, […]

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