How To Live Without Love In Your Life (updated)
I have decided to rewrite this post a couple of times because of what I’ve learned about this topic from the commentary and reactions sent to me over the many months since I’ve posted it. This post is a lot different from the others I have written on this blog.
One important difference is the emotional experience people interested in this topic are dealing with. Living without love in your life is painful to say the least. It involves living with feelings of loss and disappointment. This is never easy and must be respected.
The objective here at the Love Life Learning Center has always been to help our readers strengthen their psychological ability to find and form a healthy love relationship. If there is little “hope” in being able to do so, for whatever reason, then we are left with the task of trying to strengthen an individual’s ability to “cope” with the resignation they are living with.
One understanding that may be helpful is that there are several types of “love” possible in a lifetime. Romantic love is one, but not the only one. Most of us want to realize the romantic ideal of falling in love with someone we would call a “soulmate.” Realistically however, there are many things that can complicate that outcome. Not the least of which are the ways people “learn to relate when they fall in love,” a topic that is considered vital to this blog. Another obvious complication, is the bad luck of simply never finding one’s soulmate.
Another form of “love” that is possible involves the love that is felt for one’s family members. There are many people in this world that cherish the healthy relationships they maintain with extended family members. These relationships can be loving and supportive. For some people, loving family relationships provide the involvements in life that help cope with the absence of romantic love.
A third form of love can occur in the context of true friendships. True friendship is a relationship where two people can be themselves with each other. A relationship where honesty and genuineness prevail. True friendships can last a lifetime and help a person cope with the absence of romantic love.
Lastly, there is the love of humanity that some people feel in the form of wanting to help others. Committing oneself to helping others who are suffering or in need is a meaningful involvement that can take a myriad of forms. People who give of themselves in this way often talk about the gratification they experience. This kind of loving involvement is yet another way of coping with the absence of romantic love.
As a psychologist and psychoanalyst, I have treated many people over the years who struggled with finding a healthy way of coping with the absence of romantic love in their lives. Those patients who were able to openly grieve the loss or absence of romantic love in their lives, healed the hurt, and often came to an understanding that giving love was the best way of getting love in return. These patients understood, figuring out how to give of themselves had a better outcome than simply waiting to receive love that never comes, accompanied by continuous feelings of loss, hurt and resentment.
Of course, if coping with feelings of loss involved in the absence of romantic love is overwhelmingly painful, seeking supportive counseling or psychotherapy is still the best way of reducing your suffering.
Dr. Thomas Jordan, author, Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life