Dividers to the right, please.

Is it *really* better to have loved

and lost than never to have loved.

A friend of mine sent me an email last night.

She is getting divorced. After 5 years of marriage. She's only 28.

So all you out there who have done it before, is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved?
Permalink Send private email Tapiwa 
September 25th, 2007 4:50am
Is it better to not know what you are missing than to both know and miss it?
Ignorance is bliss, they say.

I think the statement is accurate but only for those who have loved and lost. After all, what would those know who haven't loved, or just loved but not yet lost?
Permalink Send private email Locutus of Borg 
September 25th, 2007 4:56am
What did she say?
Permalink Send private email Colm 
September 25th, 2007 5:35am
Well, here is one quote from the email.

"We do not regret the last five and a half years. Partnership has clearly been to our benefit – providing stability, structure and inspiration in what is typically an unstable period of people’s lives. We’ve grown incredibly as individuals. Both of us have blossoming careers and an almost unimaginable life for two under-thirty year olds."
Permalink Send private email Tapiwa 
September 25th, 2007 6:18am
Jeez. She sounds like an end of year review.

I guess that answers your question though.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
September 25th, 2007 6:26am
> "Partnership has clearly been to our benefit – providing stability, structure and inspiration"

Isn't that romantic?

It seems like she sees the relationship as just a step in a career. I hope she's just rationalizing in order to evade her feelings for the moment.
Permalink Send private email Locutus of Borg 
September 25th, 2007 6:35am
The thing is, it has been coming for a while.

Heck, they even tried relationship counselling.
Permalink Send private email Tapiwa 
September 25th, 2007 6:38am
A life lived without love is only half a life.  That said, I've had two long relationships, and if I could have completely avoided the second one, that would have been just fine.  Other than the sex, there's nothing I miss about it.  It was pretty much a waste of six years.
Permalink AmerrickanGirl 
September 25th, 2007 6:53am
People who have never loved aren't really qualified to make that statement.

The point is that people who have loved and lost, consider the positive experience to be more valuable than the following negative experience. So weighing the net positivity against the positivity of blissful ignorance, they choose the "loved and lost" option.

The flipside of it is that people who have loved and lost are prepared to love again, and are undeterred by the possibility/probability of losing. This, again, has two components: the benefit in case of success is great enough that even a high probability of failure makes the effort worthwhile, and the initial phase is itself intrinsically rewarding, more rewarding than rejection or failure is damaging.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 25th, 2007 7:29am
And they say romance is dead.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
September 25th, 2007 7:37am
Romance is near-inevitably accompanied by bitter disappointment. ;)
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 25th, 2007 8:01am
Well the answer to the original question is "yes" since at least in my experience even the unhappy times have been better than the "not in love" times.  Granted there's a whole religion founded on the opposite conclusion but that's their problem.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
September 25th, 2007 8:04am
Romance is a chemically induced state of delusion that allows us to procreate regardless the grim and desolate state of the world.
Permalink Send private email Locutus of Borg 
September 25th, 2007 8:05am
Oh for gawds sake Flasher, romance is just natures way of sending you bonkers long enough to give one another a go for 6 months. The heartache bit comes later when the relationship only works for one of you.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
September 25th, 2007 8:10am
Hey, if he wants to wallow in self pity that's his right.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
September 25th, 2007 8:12am
Admittedly I was being objectivist. Since romance/love by any definition is a state that exists purely in the mind of the lover, the larger social aspects are not relevant to the specific problem posited by the OP.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 25th, 2007 8:12am
"Hey, if he wants to wallow in self pity that's his right."

Hey - I'm the one saying you *should* make an attempt at finding love, even if it destroys you every time.

And you Colm, with your, um, matrimonial history, should know this better than anyone. :P
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 25th, 2007 8:14am
It always ends (sniff).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_First_Cut_Is_the_Deepest
http://www.songfacts.com/lyrics.php?findsong=3193

Light a candle. Drink a bottle. Play this ditty and hope you get lucky again. Just don't go emo and wallow in the induced melancholia.
Permalink trollop 
September 25th, 2007 9:17am
Yes, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved.

"The Man In The Arena" quote comes to mind.

http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds;

who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Shame on the man of cultivated taste who permits refinement to develop into fastidiousness that unfits him for doing the rough work of a workaday world. Among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows.

Still less room is there for those who deride of slight what is done by those who actually bear the brunt of the day; nor yet for those others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not exactly what they actually are.

The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be a cynic, or fop, or voluptuary. There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder.

Well for these men if they succeed; well also, though not so well, if they fail, given only that they have nobly ventured, and have put forth all their heart and strength.

It is war-worn Hotspur, spent with hard fighting, he of the many errors and valiant end, over whose memory we love to linger, not over the memory of the young lord who "but for the vile guns would have been a valiant soldier."
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
September 25th, 2007 9:43am
In my experience, there is nothing that will reveal yourself to you like a married relationship.  All your strengths, all your weaknesses, all your dreams, every part of who you are will be dragged out into the light.  It's the most important relationship of your life -- a family relationship entered into by choice.

And if THAT'S not enough, then having that relationship cemented together by a child or two is an even more serious commitment.

Usually people who marry have LOTS of unknown expectations about their significant other.  It's the process of uncovering those expectations (usually by not having them met) and dealing with the dissapointments that reveals to ourselves and each other who we really are.

Sadly, most Americans tend to start out idealistic, and perfectionistic, and impatient of dissapointment.  This to me explains the high divorce rate -- because really, ANY human being is a deep resource.  That two people attracted to each other cannot learn to build a life-long relationship reflects an amazing inability to comprimise.  Yet it is so, for 50% of marriages.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
September 25th, 2007 9:52am
Okay, I haven't read anything but the OP yet.

I don't understand why we are confusing marriage with love.

They are not the same.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
September 25th, 2007 11:46am
Very true.  The reason I went there is that the OP was about somebody divorcing after 5 years.  Thus setting the tone.

Personally my "live in" relationship was with the understood goal of getting married eventually.  Before that I had some serious dating relationships.  I regret very little, and value the people and experiences I had a lot.

Still, for me there's two major parts to love.  The first is the wonderful shared attraction and romance.  The second is the commitment to share life together -- however you decide to do that.  The romance can grow and wane and grow again with time and familiarity.  The commitment is what makes it safe, for a time at least.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
September 25th, 2007 11:59am
You really have to base this on what you carry forward. If it's a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you, then it is awesome. If it is genital warts and a burning sensation when you pee, then not so much.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
September 25th, 2007 12:06pm
let's say you became blind.

would you regret all the things you saw before turning blind?  would you think that you'd be better off having always been blind?
Permalink Kenny 
September 25th, 2007 12:36pm
>> let's say you became blind.

If the price of vision involved having my eyes scraped with emery paper and rinsed with iodine every day, I might prefer to have stayed blind in the first place, yes.

Not that I'm saying my own divorce was anything like that ... it was far, far more painful.
Permalink Send private email Mongo 
September 25th, 2007 3:30pm
"Wuv, twu wuv...vat dweam wiffin a dweam..."
Permalink Aaron 
September 25th, 2007 3:39pm
love is worth the price of admission. it's even worth the bouncer telling you to take a hike or the biker dudes beating you up, stealing your 401(k), and kicking you out on your head with a concussion. of course, I'm *in* love, so this is all blissful bias.
Permalink strawdog soubriquet 
September 25th, 2007 3:45pm
"love is worth the price of admission."

For a second there I misread that as "love is worth the price of damnation."

It's worth that, too.
Permalink Aaron 
September 25th, 2007 3:46pm
Yeah, should you fall OUT of love, and REALLY lose that 401K, you might not think so highly of it any more.

Me, I'm a romantic, but I try to be a realist also.  This is where pre-nuptial agreements come in.  AND, we're back to marriage again.  Sorry Sharky.

It's STILL better to have loved, even though losing is a major pain in the butt.

As I see it, you have a choice.  90% of everything is crap.  But if you don't strive, you never reach the 10% that's worth anything.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
September 25th, 2007 4:09pm
A love doesn't mean much if it's not painful when lost. Same for anything.

Except an enlightened person can choose to remember more of the love and less of the loss. Then the equation tilts appreciably in favor of the labors of loving and losing over the safety of unconditional and riskless love (eg, mother's).
Permalink strawdog soubriquet 
September 25th, 2007 4:16pm
The answer is no.
Permalink  
September 25th, 2007 9:14pm
Christ, how can the answer be no?
What planet are you people on.

---------------------------------

As the mist leaves no scar
On the dark green hill
So my body leaves no scar
On you and never will

Through windows in the dark
The children come, the children go
Like arrows with no targets
Like shackles made of snow

True love leaves no traces
If you and I are one
It's lost in our embraces
Like stars against the sun

As a falling leaf may rest
A moment on the air
So your head upon my breast
So my hand upon your hair

And many nights endure
Without a moon or star
So we will endure
When one is gone and far

True love leaves no traces
If you and I are one
It's lost in our embraces
Like stars against the sun

(L. Cohen)
Permalink Abstract Typist 
September 26th, 2007 3:55pm
The answer can be "no" when the answerer is some anonymous person who merely says the word "no".

Geez, what are you, a newbie to pay attention to a blank poster using one word answers?
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
September 26th, 2007 4:25pm
LOL.

Wasn't really supposed to be a reply to the anonymous post, more like "how could anyone think the answer to this question could be no.."

ie. "it's better to..." seems axiomatic to me - so where the answer to the OP's question is no then well, duh, it wasn't love was it by definition.

Maybe it was the beer talking..
Permalink Abstract Typist 
September 27th, 2007 1:06pm
The answer is still "no."
Permalink Lurk Machine 
September 27th, 2007 6:55pm

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