When we say we love someone, we may believe that we need them in order to be happy which is not necessarily true. We can go on to be fine when we lose someone we love because loving and needing are not the same animal.
In my view, love develops into mutual caring and allows two people to value each other for being their authentic selves. While need pressures people to be a certain way and not change.
Love flows outward toward others, while need pulls others toward us (whether they want to move toward us or not).
Love is other-oriented and generous while a need is restrictive and deprivation. When we confuse need and love, we’re usually seeking someone to complete us in a way we may or may not be conscious of.
Although we’re programmed through evolution to seek partners who are in many ways our opposite. It’s crucial that we each feel emotionally complete.
Admiring your partner’s extroversion, talents, and self-assuredness and trying to be more like them is healthy.
Needing someone because you are emotionally undeveloped is not. What happens when they give up or lose what you need most in them?
When they no longer want to be restricted by who they’ve been and wish to move in a different direction?
When you love someone, you value and support their growth.
When you need them, you fear it. For your own mental health, when you’re considering a partner, shoot for love, not need.
Originally posted: https://www.karenrkoenig.com/blog/loving-rather-than-needing
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