You might find this hard to believe, but one of the reasons why more people have a difficulty finding true, healthy love and building meaningful, happy, and long-lasting relationships is the damaging myths which we have been taught – about how we can find love and about what love and relationships are.
And one of the most harmful myths about love is the belief that needing to be loved is a weakness, that we should be happy, fulfilled, and confident on our own, and that if we fall in love with and start a relationship with someone, well, that’s wonderful.
Although some people support this belief, the truth is that this is just a myth and nothing else. Longing for love is not a sign of weakness, codependency, or emotional instability – it is wisdom. It’s a gift. It’s a strength. Why?
Well, the reason is pretty simple – we are human, which means that it is in our nature to crave connection, affection, and romantic relationships. It is in our nature to long to be with someone who pays us attention, understand us, and makes us feel good. It is in our nature to long to be loved and appreciated.
Therefore, we should put an end to the belief that a deep longing for love is a weakness. We should stop thinking that expressing our deep and intense emotions makes us needy, fragile, or clingy.
Living a life without love is meaningless. That’s why we need to stop suppressing our need to be loved and start honoring it instead.
Even science proves that this is true. Eli Finkel, a social psychology professor and a respected researcher in the field of relationships and romantic attraction, says that the quality of your intimate relationship influences your happiness twice as much as your friendships, your career, or even your health.
Why this myth is harmful
This myth teaches us that it is a sign of weakness to long for love. It teaches us that this makes us needy. It teaches us to be ashamed of it. But what is crucial to remember is that when we try to transcend or suppress our need for love, this turns into neediness, not when we honor it. And then we become manipulative or passive-aggressive.
A deep longing for love is not a weakness or neediness. In fact, it’s the people that most long for connection and intimacy that are the ones most likely to find true love.
If you’ve felt ashamed of your longing for love, not to say ‘neediness,’ in the past, it can be difficult for you to start cherishing, respecting, and dignifying this longing. Yet, it’s not impossible. What you need to do to achieve this is develop open communication in your relationships.
Here’s how you can do that:
First of all, start by accepting and honoring your feelings of need. Try completing this sentence for yourself: “It’s reasonable that I’m longing for love and validation because …”
For instance, “It’s reasonable that I’m longing for love and validation because I’m really interested in this person. We went for a walk in the park, and for the first time, we were walking next to each other without holding hands. When I tried to take his/her hand, he/she pulled away after a couple of seconds. So, it’s completely normal that I’m longing for validation.”
Second, try to picture the perspective of your partner. For example, “He/she has always been really kind to and affectionate with me, so there’s no reason why I should worry about our relationship. Now that I mentioned this, he/she also appeared worried during lunch. I wonder what might be bothering them.
When you honor your sense of need and then also reflect on the feelings and experience of the person you’re in a relationship with, this forms an environment which is very likely to lead to closer and deeper intimacy between you.
Finally, think carefully about the way you’d like to act. You can decide how you’re going to act on your own or you can ask someone that you fully trust for advice. For example, you might decide not to say anything and just wait to see how things develop. Then you might ask your partner if everything is fine with them, suggesting that they seemed worried during lunch.
Regardless of the way you decide to act and the outcome, the important thing is that in this way, you honor instead of suppressing or denigrating your partner’s needs and speak in a mature, kind manner.
Learning to accept and dignify your needs for love, intimacy, and validation leads to a richer and more fulfilling life – make sure you always keep this in mind.