Oftentimes, people confuse deep feelings of need with feelings of love. They believe that because they have this deep longing, craving, and need for another person that it must be love … why else would they feel so strongly? However, a lot of times the intensity of our need for someone does not come from love, even though we may genuinely have feelings of love for that person. It actually comes from old feelings that are being triggered and Spirit is using the relationship as a way of getting us to look at ourselves through the experience of painful emotions when our needs go unmet.
When we are little, we are truly needy. We need our parents to feed us, clothe us, shelter us, love us and provide for us just about everything a human needs in order to survive. Some of us are lucky and our needs get met in a way that creates a sense of safety, balance, and comfort within our mind, heart, and body. When we have this sense of wellbeing, we are free to grow and learn how to meet our own emotional and physical needs and we end up living as integrated and whole adults who attract other integrated and whole adults into our relationship experiences.
Unfortunately, with a less-than-perfect world and less-than-perfect families, many of us did not get all of our needs met and did not have the luxury of growing up feeling safe and supported to grow into a fully integrated and whole adult. Many of us actually learned to suppress our needs in order to survive. If a child has a naturally deep need for love and affection, but grows up in a home that is cold and lacking in that department, he or she has two choices. This little person can seek out love and affection and get rejected over and over again or can suppress the need, minimize it and focus on getting whatever is being provided.
This is a way of coping that can get us through the tough years, but a suppressed need does not go away. It is just dormant until a situation comes along to revive the feeling of the unmet need, which is often what love relationships do. When we have vital needs go unmet in childhood, we end up having parts and pieces missing within our psyches and emotional body and so we search for them in a romantic partner. We seek someone who we unconsciously believe possesses and will give us what we are lacking inside. All the natural longings and needs that went unmet as a child get transferred onto our lovers and potential lovers.
This is not a very sexy or romantic way of looking at love, but it can be incredibly helpful if you find yourself feeling way more needy of another than you would like. Our unconscious neediness often does the opposite of what we want and pushes away love or attracts to us the people who will go out of their way to not meet our needs. The more we understand what is happening, the more we can show up for ourselves and meet our own needs … and ultimately attract someone who is capable and willing to give and receive in a balanced way.
Nurturing and healing within ourselves what went unmet in childhood allows us to grow into our full potential as individuals. It is much easier to attract and sustain a healthy loving partnership when we are actively working on becoming a complete human being on our own. If we don’t, then we will only attract people who will reflect back to us what is still missing through the pain and drama of our needs going unmet in the relationship.
Take note of the next time you feel a wave of neediness sweep over you when a new love or a long-time partner isn’t available to be with you or give you what you want emotionally or physically. Ask yourself where this need went unmet when you were a kid. Nine times out of ten, that unmet need is at the core of the intensity you are feeling and experiencing today. Once you are conscious of it, you can begin giving yourself the love, safety, comfort, encouragement, or attention that you missed out on as a child. Soon your relationships will begin reflecting back the fullness you will feel inside.