I think this question needs some qualifiers first about love and what is love as well as about relationship and what is a relationship.
In this context I will use love to mean any deep and meaningful caring of one person toward another.
So I can truly love my partner but I can also equally love my children, my brothers and sisters, my friends and acquaintances. This definition excludes love that is sexual or lustful as it goes far beyond that.
Relationship then I will use to presume some understanding that two or more people have with each other that is based on the special qualities of the care they give such as in a partnership, a family or with friends.
In this context I’m excluding those in the general population for whom you may care deeply about but with whom you don’t have a special connection as in a relationship.
So from this perspective for a relationship to exist it must be based on love; a relationship cannot stay alive if you do not have love for that person.
Yet, I have seen some people who say they are in a relationship and at the same time, they tell me that they do not love the person they are with. Maybe what they’re talking about is love in the context of a sexual connection or an otherwise intimate connection.
These can then become relationships of convenience or companionship or one in which the couple have lost the passion and/or the will to nurture that and consequently exist only as friends or room mates. I believe long-term these kind of relationships will become unsustainable
Is it possible to be happy in relationship without love?
And as the question asks – is it possible to be happy in these relationships? The short answer is ‘yes’ in a manner of speaking. The longer answer though is ‘maybe not’. Let me explain what I mean here.
Firstly we’ve all heard of the notion that before we can love others we must love ourselves. This is often stated but I wonder how many people really understand what it means. I rather live by the notion that ‘to love ourselves is to love another’ and inversely ‘to love another is to love ourselves’. The indicator then that we love ourselves is in our capacity to truly love another and the indicator that we love another is in our capacity to truly love ourselves. It has to work both ways and is based on our capacity to love ourselves or another unconditionally, without any expectation. Now there’s a mind blower!!
Relationships are there to make us happy; obligate yourself to them. And if you are not getting happiness from a relationship, then maybe you need to look within yourself before looking at the other. And they need to do the same if it is they who are struggling with the capacity to love.
So until next time – Relate with Love