When one thinks about what it means to love someone or for someone else to love them, they are likely to have an idea in mind. This idea could also be backed up by a certain feeling or a combination of feelings.
What it means to one person is not necessarily going to be the same as what it means for someone else. Now this could be because one person has an outlook that is different, or it could be that one person’s outlook is healthy and the other person’s outlook isn’t.
Give And Take
If one has a healthy outlook of what love is they are going to realise that it is partly about sharing and receiving. This doesn’t mean that one will give and then they will receive straight away; as this not how it always works.
However, if one was to always give or to always receive and didn’t return the favour, it would be a clear sign that something isn’t right. In each moment, there may be differences when it comes to whether each person gives or takes, but these differences should balance out as time passes.
Yet, just because one has a healthy outlook of what love is, it doesn’t mean that this is what they experience. There is then what is taking place in their mind, and there is what is taking place externally.
When this takes happens, it is not uncommon for one to come to the conclusion that they are unlucky or even a victim of circumstances. This would mean that one is blaming the external world for what is occurring in their life.
Another approach would be for them to put themselves down and to act as if there is something inherently wrong with them. In this case, they are the ones with the problem and not others. One could also alternate between the two options.
The Hidden Influence
If the outlook that one has is mirrored back to them through the relationships that they have, they won’t be experiencing conflict. At the same time, this doesn’t mean their life has always been this way; as they might have experienced conflict in the past.
When one is unable to fulfil the outlook that they have in their mind, it could be because of what is taking place in their body. The words ‘could be’ are used as one’s outlook might not be realistic, and this is why they are unable to fulfil the outlook in their mind.
However, with that aside, what is taking place in their body will play a big role when it comes to whether they can fulfil what is taking place in their mind. If one’s body only feels safe when they are giving, it will make it hard for them to attract people who are willing to give to them.
Just as if one only feels safe when they are receiving it will make it hard for them to give to others. So whether one identifies with the former or the latter or alternatives between the two, it will still make it hard for them to experience love in a balanced.
One could be in a position where they are attracted to people who need them. This means that one will fulfil the other person’s needs and their needs will end up being ignored.
The other person might come across as needy and they might always need to be rescued from something or someone. Either way, one will end up feeling more like the other person’s parent than their partner and it will have a negative effect on their relationship.
The other option is for one to be attracted to someone because they need them. In this case, they will only care about getting their own needs met and not on meeting the other persons needs.
Due to how they come across, the other person may be only too happy to be there for them and to not expect anything in return. And as one is acting like a child that needs to be looked after, it will lead to a relationship that is out of balance.
A Deeper Look
Although each person is playing a role that is stopping them from having a fulfilling relationship, it is going to be what feels safe at a deeper level. If they were to change their behaviour, there is the chance that they would feel uncomfortable.
The role that each person is playing as an adult is likely to be the same role they played as a child. And as one still feels the same, they are going to continue to behave in the same way and to attract people who allow them to replay their childhood all over again.
One may have had to look after their caregivers and this would have meant that their needs were generally ignored. The connection that they had to their caregiver’s was not based on live; it was based on them fulfilling their caregiver’s needs.
This then sets one up to associate love with need and if they go against this, it is likely to trigger the feeling of being abandoned. To be abandoned at this age would have caused one to feel as though they were going to die.
The Other Experience
When one is unable to give and is only focused on receiving, they may have had caregivers who neglected them in another way. They were still fulfilling their caregiver’s needs, but instead of them having to act like mini adults, they were made to feel special.
Their true-self would have remained undeveloped and they wouldn’t have received the care that they needed in order grow up. The fear of being abandoned is likely to exist, but this is likely to be covered up by the fear of being smothered.
If one is out of balance and is unable to receive or to give, it will be a sign that they have work to do on themselves. When it comes to moving forward, one of the things that one will need to do is to grieve their unmet childhood needs.
This can take place through the assistance of a therapist, healer and/or a support group.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.