Home > Random Musings > Needing and Loving: A Question

Needing and Loving: A Question

 

The other day, I was having a conversation with my BFF, discussing wants, needs, and love. Sometimes people confuse these things with each other, and it’s often hard to parse them apart. Now, you can want something/someone without needing them. (But, Daddy! I WANT an Oompa Loompa! Veruca, may WANT an Oompa Loompa, but she doesn’t NEED one.) You can want someone and not love them. (I’m pretty sure Veruca wasn’t looking to elope with one of Willy Wonka’s orange-faced minions.) But can you ever NEED someone you don’t love?

To me, if I don’t love you, I don’t need you. Any kind of love, mind you – friendly or romantic. However, since the conversation, I’ve been thinking about needing someone, and I’m kind of stumped. You can need a lot of things: comfort, company, someone to talk to etc. But to NEED a person? There’s much more to it than just filling some sort of niche.

Needing someone is a funny thing. The people that we need are the ones who matter most to us. The ones who, perhaps, in some way complete us or make us better. I stumbled across a quote yesterday that I really loved, “Love is needing someone. Love is putting up with someone’s bad qualities because they somehow complete you” (Sarah Dessen, This Lullaby). To me, that sums up love and need perfectly. They are not the same thing, but they do go hand-in-hand.

Back to my original question: can you ever need someone without loving them? I don’t think so, but I want to know what you think. Can you need without loving? And, the reverse: can you love without needing?

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Categories: Random Musings
  1. Lucy
    September 24, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I suppose it depends on what you mean by Need. I can think of people I don’t love that I need. We all need each other in general, as human beings, whether we love them in family, romance or friendship or not.

  2. Jessica
    September 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    The love-without-needing thing is something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, because people I’ve discussed it with seem to be rather split on the issue. Is it really love if you need the person, or rather, if it is love, shouldn’t you be with the person because you LOVE them, rather than because you NEED them. Does the need somehow cheapen the love? Or is it an inextricable part of it? The jury is still out for me…

  3. September 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Interesting discussion… I suppose you can need what someone can give you; perhaps a person can validate you by their relationship to you? Someone who tells you they respect a skill you have can make you feel a much needed sense of self accomplishment? Or perhaps someone you don’t even like, but is equal or even better than you at a particular skill you take a lot of pride in, and they push you to a much needed success. I know I have had several people who by sheer refusal to allow them to be better than me have made me a better person. But perhaps there is a certain level of begrudging respect for the skill that person has, which can be considered a sort of love?
    In most other circumstances, needing someone you don’t love is usually a case of refusing to admit that you love them. But again, I’m the one who can love someone dearly, and as long as they are willing to make it worth my while I will work to maintain a close relationship, but as soon as it becomes one sided, I’m out. So I’m not entirely sure I /need/ anyone in particular. I need people, but specific people? I’m not sure I would be willing to admit to that. The world’s a big place, there are always other friends/lovers to be had.
    Wow, epic long comment. Like I said, interesting discussion. 🙂

  4. September 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I LOVE Sarah Dessen! haha, and follow her on Twitter too. 😉

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