Pause for a minute right now to consider your genuine expectation with regards to love: What is more important to you? To get love? Or to give love to yourself and others? At any minute, you have one of these two expectations, and which you pick decides your experience of affection.
Most people move into relationships to be loved, rather than to be loving. Since most people were not loved as children and their parents did not role model loving themselves, they believe that it is getting love that will make them feel the best feelings – the best about themselves.
They go about looking for someone who they feel really sees and values them rather than learning how to see and value themselves. Not valuing themselves, they believe that the only way they will feel worthy and lovable is when someone they value loves them.
The problem is that, since we come together at our common level of woundedness, the partner they pick is also looking to get love. At the beginning, they each give the other what they believe the other wants in order to get the love they are seeking. Since both are in the relationship to get love, both want control over getting that love. Eventually, both feel very disappointed that their control tactics – giving gifts, giving themselves up, giving compliments, acting superior, getting judgmental, being demanding or angry, and so on – don’t work. They either decide they chose the wrong partner and move on, or they try harder to control – convincing, explaining, debating, arguing, talking things out, and so.
But as long as they are not first giving love to themselves, they will continue to be disappointed and feel unloved.
When you learn how to take responsibility for loving yourself – for defining your own worth, taking loving care of yourself, and filling yourself with love – then you seek a relationship in order to share your love with another. You see relationships as learning opportunities to further develop your ability to love yourself and others. Relationships become opportunities to grow, play, share and love, rather than to get love, security and validation.
When your intent is to be loving, you don’t see relationships as having to meet your needs. Love, real love, doesn’t need anything from the other person. Real love is giving caring, compassion, and understanding for the joy of loving rather than with an agenda to get love or approval back.
Until you choose to learn how to take full, 100% responsibility for your own feelings of pain, joy, worth and security, you will likely look for someone to take away your pain and make you feel safe, worthy and secure. The belief that someone other than yourself can do this for you, and that if they “love” you they will do this for you, is a major false belief that causes many relationship problems.
As long as you are making another responsible for your feelings, you are abandoning yourself, and it is the self-abandonment that is the cause of your pain and lack of self worth.
Everything changes when you decide that your primary intention is to be loving rather than to get love. Once you make this decision, then you will naturally go about learning what you need to learn to be loving to yourself and share your love with others. Until then, you will be trapped in trying to get someone else to give you the love you need, and this will never happen, because it can only come from you. Their love is wonderful when they offer it, but you are the only one with yourself 24/7, so you are the only one who can consistently bring yourself the love you need.
Why not begin today learning how to do that?