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C06P36 – Need and Love

C06P36 – Need and Love published on 22 Comments on C06P36 – Need and Love

The confusion people make between need and love has been a pet peeve of mine since I was a teenager. I hated all the mushy romance plots where the girl and boy both declared “I NEED you! I’d DIE without you! You’re my EVERYTHING!” I always felt that was awful. It always implied dependance rather than desire. I’ve always thought that “I want you in my life” was far more romantic than “I need you in my life.” Want indicates that there is choice and thought. That, in all the world, with its billions of people, this other being is someone you would like to share things with.

Of course, romantic comedies typically send me into a frothing rage, so maybe I Just Don’t Get romance…

Calling all artists…AND WRITERS!

I was thinking about the upcoming break I’ll be taking from the 17th to the 28th of December, and while I’ve already received some AMAZING guest art, I know that I have several very talented writers in the LeyLian ranks as well. So I decided to open the call up to short fiction too — I’ll even do a quick sketch to illustrate any fan-fiction received. Canon, Alternate Universe, Cross-overs — all are welcome, as long as it’s LeyLines related in some fashion and not too long (aim for 1,000 – 5,000 words)!

22 Comments

Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

There’s a song that goes something like “I love you but I leave you, I don’t want you but I need you.” Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band. That’s kind of like what you’re saying, except opposite!

I need to write more (or maybe I want to write more. Or maybe it’s a need based on a want. I *want* to write novels, so I *need* to write more. Lol.) So you may be getting a short story from me!

I don’t know – it sounds pretty in line. I love is equated to need, sure, but the singer is leaving because they realize want (desire) is not part of the relationship. It might be called love, but it doesn’t sound like it to me.

I’d love a short story from you! If you want (or need 😉 ) to write one!

Go, Mizha.

I don’t really get romance either. I only tend to like reading it if there’s something unusual and therefore more interesting about it. It always really disappoints me in movies when The Male Lead and The Female Lead inevitably hook up just for the sake of there being a romantic subplot.

With writing, it’s the characters (not me) who decide whether they fall in love or not, and with whom… sometimes they’ve genuinely taken me by surprise, which is always awesome.

On a (possibly) interesting note, in Tarot, the Lovers card doesn’t necessarily mean “Love.” It can, but it’s more about the concept of choice: you’ve met this person (or idea, or passion) and they turn your world upside down in all the right ways… so you have to choose between the path that includes them as part of your life and the path you had planned to follow before, but now that you’ve met them that earlier path may never be the same. Sort of like your concept of love as want vs need and trying to tell the difference. Dunno if that brief explanation makes much sense, but that sort of thing is why I think Tarot is so interesting to think about.

Yay fellow student of Tarot!

Many of my interpretations are following a mixture of the talks recorded by Jason Lotterhand in “Thursday Night Tarot” and Thirteen’s breakdown of the Tarot on http://www.aeclectic.net. I always found it interesting that the Lovers are more about dividing than unifying. Or rather, they are about separating elements (male, female) so that they can be combined in an ideal way (unified under the angel, god, sun, or Inner Self). As you said, it’s taking things apart, figuring out what they’re really about, and then making a choice between what paths to follow. The burning tree, or the fruitful one?

AAaah sorry I could ramble on about Tarot stuff forever!

Agh, Naiome’s pained face in that blue panel is excellent.

Also I should be able to get you something. It’ll probably squeak close to the deadline because I’m in Hell Week right now, but I’m sure I can do it. 🙂

I think the can’t live without you trope exists as a measurement for an inherently intangible thing. We love to tell stories about love, but we can’t quantify it easily. So we often show the contrast of misery versus ecstasy, to throw out either verbal or literal hyperboles of dying and sacrifice and pain to show how profound love is as a driving force through our darkest moments, how much we’re willing to endure. Even in this story, Zhiro shows love by making a sacrifice (of unknown magnitude at the present moment, but probably pretty dang big)! And that can work, in fiction.

The problem is when this hyperbole creeps into normal romance, which hopefully involves few dramatic life-or-death situations and definitely does NOT involve bargaining with gods with your mortal soul. Yes, it’s nice to be able to cheer someone up or inspire them, but if your only role is just a crutch in someone’s life, you’re no better than a tool. There’s no respect, no mutual understanding, no goal-planning with a tool. And so people don’t expect to bring these things into a relationship, they seek out the dramatics of dying and pain to validate their choice in a mate, and use each other like tools. Wonder why it doesn’t resolve in Happily Ever After?

I think you’ve made a great point about hyperbole and its influence on culture. Stories are, as you rightly point out, cases of extremes. In part because that’s what consumers find the most interesting. The issue is that people internalize those depictions as “normal” and often seek to recreate them in life, at huge cost to themselves.

Mmm, I haven’t hammered out my thoughts on the matter entirely. I /love/ (adore, cherish, etc) my wonderful, amazing, husband. There is no question of that. And yet…there were many nights when he would go to work (as a cop) where I would worry (usually with good reason). And now more so since he has rejoined the Army. I couldn’t imagine life without him. I wouldn’t /want/ to. But does that qualify as need? And, with a child nearly here and on a more practical level, I DO /need/ him to help financially, though that has less to do with love and more to do with practicality. *shrugs* Like I said, I haven’t hammered out my thoughts on the matter.

I definitely think it’s fair to say you need support, particularly with a child on the way. And I’m sure that you’d prefer that help to come from someone that you love.

It’s hard to say when desire and need become connected. I dearly love Cory, and his presence in my life has changed it for the better in so many ways. I do need support, and challenge, and respect, and all of those things he provides. If I were to lose him, it would be devastating. At the same time, I know my life would go on. I know I would try to do my best to have a good life, even though it would not be the same life I have with him. I just hope that day doesn’t come until we’re old and gray!

*nods* putting the question of my son aside…
Have you heard of times when two people, who are so deeply in love and connected on another level cannot live without each other? And, I mean literally. When one dies, whether it be from old age, or disease, or even an accident, the other simply fades away? I watched it happen with my grandfather–his wife died, and just a couple months later he died, too. And yet, having been around him, it was as if his spirit died right along side hers. At that stage, is it need? Certainly its love, but on that case, don’t need and love overlap?

I was thinking about that too. Having never witnessed or experienced a spouse dying shortly after their partner (all of my grandparents lived long after) I’m not sure I can fully speak to what that would be like. I think in some cases need and love do overlap. A person can die of grief.

On the other hand, what do people always say when a loved one dies? “They’d want you to be happy.” In the case of a young person, that is somewhat easier to do. There are many options for them, so much time left to try or do something new. This may not be the case for an older person, who is limited in health, wealth, and relationships. Who, often, has already lost all their friends.

In the case of my grandfather, he still found things to live for, and he kept very active up until his death at 96. He was still driving, did his own shopping, had a girl-friend, doted on his grandchildren. Was his love for his wife not strong enough to translate into a need that killed him, or was his love for life strong enough to sustain him?

I don’t know. I think it depends on every person. People can survive almost everything. It’s whether they have the desire to do so, in my opinion, that matters more.

In the case of my grandfather, he was 93, had a fully functional mind and still had a fair amount of hobbies. (I swear that man was the ultimate recycling machine…he’d hammer out bent nails!) But the companionship was the biggest issue. The idea of going through the rest of his life without her was simply impossible for him to imagine. And I can honestly say this with certainty because he kept a daily journal that said as much. I think you have the ultimate question nailed, though. Thanks for the response 🙂

I really hate it when my parents turn into demonic skeletons like that.
You’ve tapped into the really deep, primal fear we’re all born with, the fear of a powerful parent turning on us.

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