Love for another person can certainly stop when survival is at stake or if two people grow in different directions. Humans are social creatures. Part of the emotion that we call love came about partially as a survival mechanism. There is safety in numbers. So, if we have to stay with other people for our own safety, it might as promote an emotion that makes us feel good and thus help encourage us to stay with others.
Also, we are creatures that have to work with other members of our own species in order to get what we want and avoid getting the snot pounded out of us on a daily basis. Part of what we call love involves respect, politeness and empathy. These aspects can certainly help us get along with co-workers, neighbors or complete strangers. We take some of the love emotion and use it to help us tolerate other people.
When Love Ends Suddenly
Love can end very suddenly or declines over a long period of time. Most often it ends when one person does something that harms the other person. This harm could be from stealing, cheating, lying or physically assaulting the victim, the victim’s children or the victim’s animals. Not surprisingly, the victim finds that he or she is no longer in love with the aggressor.
There is no fault to be ascribed to the victim in such situations. The aggressor has proven to be harmful – whether in a physical way, or by playing emotional blackmail games or by stealing all of the money and goods the victim has. It’s only natural that the victim’s survival instinct kicks in and therefore breaks all attachments to the aggressor – including any feelings of love.
When Love Ends Gradually
Although there are situations where love ends due to one cataclysmic event in the relationship, people have a tendency to forgive and try to work things out. It then takes a series of even more cataclysmic events to finally have the victim lose all feelings of love for the aggressor.
Sometimes, events that cause love to end might not seem so bad to onlookers. Many friends have turned to bitter enemies simply over money issues. However, money is a means of survival. A series of failing to pay back small loans (for example) can lead the victim to conclude that if the friend thinks so little of paying back a small loan, then perhaps he or she won’t help out in even more serious matters.
Love also ends gradually when it takes a while for a victim to realize that they love someone who does not exist. They loved someone who they thought the aggressor was – but when they really find out what the aggressor is like, then love flies out of the window.
When Love Just Fades Away
But how about if there isn’t any theft, cheating or aggression on the part of either person in a relationship? Does the love inevitably end? Many times, the answer is yes. This is not the fault of either person. It’s just that as people get older, often their values and ideas change. You are a much different person at 16 than when you are 46. If your lover fell for you when you were 16 and you’ve changed by the tie you are 46, then you are no longer the person that he, she or it fell for. The sense of disappointment in the other person can turn almost anyone bitter.
In conclusion, never depend on the love another person. If you are happy in your own company, then finding anyone else to spend some time with is a bonus, not a vital necessity. According to John Cleese and Robyn Skinner, co-authors of “Life and How to Survive It” (Methuen; 1993), the marraiges that go the distnce are those where the partners really didn’t rely on each other for their own happiness and sense of well-being.
“Annie Hall.” Woody Allen; 1977.
“Life and How to Survive It.” John Cleese & Robyn Skinner. Methuen; 1993.
The Ancient World in London Presented By Heritage Key. “A History of Love.” http://heritage-key.com/blogs/nick-gilbert/history-love-romance-and-relationships-ancient-societies
Vincent’s Romanceopedia.com. “Women Who Love Bad Boys.” http://www.romanceopedia.com/O-WomenBadBoys.html
Personal experience (sigh)