Giving Love as the Cure For Not Being Loved
We come into this world needing love. If we don’t get the love we need at the beginning of life there are dire consequences, all the way from threats to our physical survival to life long emotional scars. Nevertheless, we human beings are extremely resilient and can learn to survive the hardship of being brought up by people with psychological limitations in their ability to give and receive love.
Learning from unhealthy relationship experiences earlier in life is usually unconscious and it is common to bring what was learned into adulthood in the form of limitations in how to give and receive love. Love life disappointments are the consequence of this unconscious learning about love relationships that too often lead to a feeling of resignation about ever finding love in one’s life. I originally became aware of the large number of people living in this state of resignation when I received a wave of commentary in response to the first article I wrote on the topic: “Living Without Love In Your Life.” I even re-wrote the article several times in response to what I learned from the commentary I received.
One idea, however, has stayed in the back of my mind ever since: possibility of curing the frustrated need for love by practicing the giving of love. People who are resigned to never having love in their lives again or for the very first time complain of being unloved, lonely, and forgotten by others. I find that people in this state of resignation have buried the disappointments they have experienced in relationships from the start of life as the true cause of their resignation. Their past love life disappointments have taught them to avoid the possibility of getting hurt again.
Their avoidance commonly takes the form of rigidly believing that all love relationships end badly. So they avoid any situation that might bring love again into their experience of living. Giving to others is lumped into this defensive avoidance because they intuitively know that giving love naturally stimulates a return of love. In other words, it is common to get love because you’ve given love without expecting to get it back. A wonderful secret little formula in human emotional experience.
Of course, giving love can take many different forms, all the way from taking care of someone in need to involving oneself in causes that help people. My critics might say, how can someone give love when they have not received the love they’ve needed in their lives? The simple assumption here is that not getting love means you don’t have it to give. My counter is, the ability to fall in love comes with us when we are born. It is a human capacity that is an original part of being human that is beyond experience.
I believe it is possible to bring the capacity to love to consciousness in a person’s life regardless of how disappointed they may have been in love relationships. Not easily unfortunately, because disappointed people fight hard to avoid further disappointment by sticking to the unhealthy things they’ve unconsciously learned about love relationships. Nevertheless, if one is willing to work on getting the barriers out of the way, becoming aware of one’s capacity to love when resigned to disappointment, and experimenting with giving it, is a wonderful thing to witness.
Comments are welcome. tell me about your love life experience.
Dr. Thomas Jordan, clinical psychologist, author of Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life. Need help fixing your disappointing love life? Confidential Love Life Consultations available by phone, inquire at email@example.com.