The Need for Love: Desiring love is wisdom, not weakness

The Need for Love: Desiring love is wisdom, not weakness

“Man's deepest need is the need to overcome his separation, to leave the prison of his solitude,” wrote Erich Fromm. Unfortunately, a society that nurtures values ​​such as individualism and competitiveness makes us feel inadequate if we recognize that we need to be loved. Emotionally numbing individuals and condemning them to loneliness as a symbol of success is one of the paths that leads to alienation and despair.

But the need for love is not a weakness, and recognizing it is a symbol of wisdom and emotional maturity. In fact, one of the most limiting and damaging beliefs we can harbor is thinking that the need to be loved is a weakness.

Love as a source of inner strength

It is no coincidence that love is "attacked" as it is a major source of power. Centuries ago the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tse said: “being loved deeply by someone gives you strength, loving someone deeply gives you courage”.

In reality, the desire for love is not a weakness. We are not meant to live as hermits in society and be fully self-sufficient. A life without love implies withering inside because intimacy, whether in terms of a couple, friends, family or any other type, becomes a kind of psychological oxygen. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke sums it up perfectly: “love consists in this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other”.

Therefore, we need to recognize our need for love and stop seeing it as a weakness or something to be ashamed of.

In fact, a study conducted at Northwestern University revealed that the level of satisfaction with relationship and intimacy we have established is the best predictor of our level of happiness.

An enriching relationship has a greater impact on our happiness than our professional careers, friendships, and even our health. It is no coincidence that another experiment conducted by John Hopkins University found that when a loved one holds our hand, it can relieve pain and help our physiological functions return to normal.

At this point it is important to distinguish between a need for healthy love and an addictive need. The addictive need depends on a lack of self-confidence and self-confidence. That need does not bring happiness but on the contrary it causes unhappiness and often pushes us to fall into the nets of manipulative people.

However, even a need for healthy love, when repressed because we don't want to accept it, can become an addictive, insane need.

Conversely, the need for healthy, accepted and channeled love facilitates connection and allows both people to nurture and grow. When we recognize the need to be loved and to establish a deep emotional connection, we can try to satisfy it in the healthiest way, preserving our identity and bringing authentic value to the relationship.

How to ennoble the need for love?

Ennobling our need to be loved can be a complicated process, especially if we have been raised to be ashamed of that need, if we think that success is synonymous with complete independence and self-reliance, and that the desire to love is a weakness. In that case, it will be necessary to arm ourselves with patience and dismantle the conceptions that prevent us from accepting this deep need.

  1. Accept and explore the need for love

The first step is to validate that feeling that you have probably been experiencing for a long time but have repressed. Find a sense of that need and, above all, navigate through it without making value judgments, assuming a mindfulness attitude.

  1. Use love as a way to connect

Imagine the same need in the people closest to you. This little exercise will help you develop a more empathetic attitude and generate more intimacy and connection. Understanding that others harbor the same fears and insecurities as you will bring you closer to them. When both are ashamed of their need for love in a relationship, this relationship is likely to end badly because that need will not be met and both will be stuck behind a mask of coldness and confidence. However, vulnerability is what brings us closer, not security or superiority.

  1. Love that is not expressed withers

Think about how you will put this discovery into practice. How can you express your love? Keep in mind that some people are not willing to receive so much love because they continue to raise emotional barriers, but you can dose it in small gestures that go to break down, brick by brick, that wall.

Remember the words of Eric Fromm: “there is only one act of love […] which includes caring for, knowing, responding, affirming and enjoying a person, a tree, a painting, an idea. It means giving life, increasing its vitality. It is a process that develops and intensifies itself ". That full and mature level of love is reached when we love and accept, when we let go of fear and are willing to connect from our essence.

Paying attention to your needs, instead of being ashamed and repressing them, will lead you to a fuller, happier life. Journalist Franklin P. Jones said, "Love doesn't make the world go round, but it makes the journey worthwhile."


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