The true meaning of ‘love’ is somewhat of a mystery, and probably always will be. Perhaps it’s more productive at times to identify what ‘love’ is NOT, rather than what it IS.
‘Need’ is not ‘love’ in an adult relationship. If your spouse or lover or significant other says to you “I need you” or “I can’t live without you” or “you are my life”, this is NOT an act of love. It is dependency, an unloving act. If these statements occur regularly, this is blatant manipulation. These proclamations are used in order to threaten or control you (to hold you to ransom, so to speak). This constitutes ‘abuse’. ‘Need’ is taking, and ‘love’ is giving – opposites.
Dependency in this unhealthy form is not the same as casual feelings o f need, which we all have, and which are normal. For the psychologically healthy individual, emotional dependency on another person does not dominate his/her life or thoughts. A person who is dependent on the love of another individual, when this mutual love is the most important single requirement of his/her leading a happy satisfying life, this is unhealthy and damaging for both partners.
The dependent person generally has issues with addiction, be it substance addiction like drugs or alcohol, distraction addictions like gambling or sex, or self-serving emotional addiction to his/her pain or ‘stories’. Or, he/she has such a low opinion of him/herself, that he/she needs someone else to validate them and fill the hole that they created.
The dependent individual might not consciously be aware that they have adopted a mindset of victimhood and addiction, but it will be obvious to all those who spend regular time with them. This is not to say that the dependent person is not otherwise a kind and supportive person – a needy person can be loving in many other ways, generous with time and effort, and genuinely caring. But their dependence on their ‘loved-one’ will be destructive above all else.
However strongly a dependent person professes their love to their ‘love object’, dependency is NOT love, and is not an act of love.
Dependency aims to take rather than give. It aims to control another human being. Dependency destroys potentially rewarding and potentially lasting relationships very quickly. A couple might believe they’ve found a beautiful love, but if one of the partners is dependent, the beautiful love will be very brief.
A dependent person will forever be unhappy and disappointed because he/she will feel continually let down. The relationship will cease to flourish soon after it begins. Unless the dependent person opens his/her mind and accepts assistance from his/her more aware partner, or willingly undertakes long-term psychotherapy, there is little chance the relationship will survive in any form that is satisfactory to either partner.
Dependency or neediness, is NOT love. Watch for the signs, and attempt to establish a mutually equitable communication in order to resolve the situation and reap the benefits of lasting love.
Learn who you are. Awareness is gained through getting to know your self. When you are brave enough to know who you are, life delivers bountiful rewards.