Neediness, clinginess, emotional dependence, inter-dependence, separation anxiety… The muscles that allow me to tolerate these traits in a partner were overstretched during my childhood. The problem is not that they can no longer contract and perform, latch on and hold. It is the overwhelming pain and confusion that results from their use.
Those traits may motivate romantic behavior, but they are not love.
Love is not feeling that a special person completes you. It is not going crazy in their absence. It is not constantly thinking of them. It is not the uncontrollable desire to have eternal reciprocity demonstrated… time and time again. Love is not thinking that someone is the right fit for you, or taking pride in their company.
Love is feeling that your fate is naturally connected to another’s. Love is hoping and acting towards their happiness and well-being. Love is cherishing, respecting, admiring, and at least trying to understand them. Love is not something you can doubt. Love is not in your head, it is in your heart. That is right, love is something you cannot, nor need explain. Love IS.
To stay clear of touchy examples, let us use that of an apple tree. If you plant an apple tree with the hope that it will bear fruit, and you give it a nice place in your yard. If you water it regularly, give it the healthiest plant food that you know of and even surround it with chicken wire when it seems that animals are sneaking bites at it’s juvenile leaves. If you wait patiently for it to grow, you might one day eat delicious apples and sit in it’s shade on a hot summer day.
If however you plant it because you NEED apples, and honestly, not really a tree: you might find yourself feeling impatient as it grows, sluggish, one inch at a time. You might research methods to speed up it’s growth and fruiting. When it fails to meet your expectations, you might decide to remove it and make room for a better fruit tree. Worse even, you might pick it’s unripe gifts and curse it, for their being small, hard and sour.
If you need someone to love you, please, learn to love yourself.
I want someone who does not need me.