It could be said that it is part of the human experience to want to not only be loved but to also love. But, although this is the case, it doesn’t mean that someone will be in touch with both of these needs.

If they aren’t, these needs will be repressed and will, therefore, be outside of their conscious awareness. Even so, these needs are unlikely to lie dormant and not have an impact on their life.

The First Need

When it comes to the first need, their need to be loved, they can be very driven and they might be extremely successful. As far as they are concerned, they could just be someone who is highly motivated.

Yet, behind their drive and desire to do well, will be their unacknowledged need to be loved. And, by being driven and successful they are likely to receive a fair amount of attention and approval, which will be interpreted as love by a big part of them.

The Second Need

When it comes to their second need, their need to love, they could have an animal or a number of animals that they care for. If so, looking after at least one animal will be a way for them to express love.

But, as they are expressing their love to an animal and not another human being, this won’t stand out. If they have more or less always had a pet, for instance, there will be no reason for this to stand out.

Another Area

There is a chance that they have never been in a relationship or they might have had a least one and this might have been a time when they were not treated very well. Assuming that this was a time when they were not treated very well, they wouldn’t have had the need to be loving.

They are unlikely to have felt comfortable enough to freely express themselves around this person. Furthermore, when they met this person, they might have still been guarded.

One More

Now, they could have a number of friends or they might not have any friends. Yet, if they do have a few friends, they might not be very close to them and they could be more like associates.

Still, if they are close to a number of people, they could still be fairly guarded around them and they could be the same around their family. Therefore, in all of their relationships, when it comes to their relationships with humans at least, they won’t express a great deal of warmth.

Stepping Back

However, at one point or another, they could start to wonder why they don’t have a strong need to express love when it comes to their relationships. If they are very loving around animals, this could make them wonder why they are not or are generally not this way around people.

What might enter their mind is that there is something inherently wrong with them and this is why they are this way. If they do come to this conclusion, they could end up feeling ashamed and even defective.

Looking Deeper

Yet, while they could see themselves in this way, there is likely to be a reason why they are this way. The trouble is that as their brain will have blocked this reason out, it will cause them to be hard on themselves.

If they were to become aware of why they are this way, it would allow them to see that how they are is a natural consequence of what they have been through and is not a sign that there is something inherently wrong with them. What this would then do is allow them to be more compassionate to themselves.

A Closer Look

If they were to think about their early years, what they might gradually remember is that this was a time when they didn’t feel safe, secure or protected. One or both of their parents might have been emotionally unstable and harmed them in a variety of different ways.

Thus, they wouldn’t have been able to just be and freely express themselves; they would have needed to be on guard and watched how they behaved. To handle what was going on, they would have had to lose touch with their true self, so their feelings and a number of their needs, and to create a disconnected false self.

The Outcome

What this would have also done is caused them to lose touch with both their need to be loved and their need to love. Ultimately, they adapted to a cold and loveless environment in order to survive.

Now that they are no longer a powerless and dependent child and don’t need to be out of touch with these needs, being this way is not going to serve them. What it will do is undermine their ability to live a fulfilling life.

The Next Step

Yet, this doesn’t mean they can just embrace who they truly are and freely express themselves. No, reconnecting to these needs and feeling safe enough to express themselves is likely to take time.

This is because their whole system will have adapted to what took place; they won’t have just developed a ‘negative’ mindset, for instance. For them to change their life, there will be the pain that they need to face and work through and the unmet developmental needs that they need to experience, among other things.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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