Get more love by loving first
Every second of every day, there is some relationship being damaged or lost because of neediness. For every spouse I help to get more love, there is some aspect of overcoming neediness. Working to eliminate this neediness can significantly boost the amount of love you receive from your spouse. In many cases, it can prevent future affairs, separation, or divorce.
Give more love to get more love
To get love, we must first give love. This is the opposite of what needy people do. Needy people make receiving love a higher priority than giving love. When they don’t feel loved, they either seek reassurance from their spouse, or find fault with their spouse–attempting to to make their spouse love them. Many times, their spouses are doing the same. As a result, many relationships end up with both people competing to get their needs met and neither being really satisfied. There are many ways to show love to our spouse.
Controlling others vs. attracting others
The people that I work with as a relationship coach usually are stuck on the question of how to make their spouse love them. The mental change they need to make is to ask, “How can I change from being someone who tries to make others love me to someone that others really want to love?” The answer to this question is the answer to how to become secure. The essence of becoming secure is becoming a person who others desire instead of someone others want to avoid or run away from. You get more love by offering others what they want than you do by trying to get them to offer you what you want.
It’s not about what YOU want, it’s about what your spouse wants from you
People all over the world are looking for someone who will truly love them; not someone with insecurities they will forever need to take care of. A secure person is the former; a needy person is the latter. Are you spending all of your effort trying to find someone to love you, or trying to find someone to love? Trying to get more love from your partner, or trying to love your partner more? Which one do you think has the best chance of getting you the love you want?
Degrees of neediness, degrees of help
If you are only a little needy, it will not take so long for you to overcome your neediness. You can probably do it on your own. If, however, you are very needy, becoming someone who can love securely will take months of rewarding, but emotionally difficult work. It will help you a lot if, in the early stages, you can work with a therapist or relationship coach. This is not because it takes months to learn what to do—learning what to do is the easy part. You can learn what to do from a book, such as my text, Overcome Neediness and Get the Love You Want. It’s because in the first few months your fears will be most intense and your willpower at its lowest. You will benefit from encouragement and guidance as you make necessary changes.
“I know I should, but I can’t…”
Most needy people know that some of the things they are doing are extremely harmful for their relationships. Even so, they find it hard or impossible to stop doing them. Usually, they are just able to temporarily suppress their behaviors. Some people must actually lose their relationships before they will be able to have enough motivation to stop being needy. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I know, because I have been there. I lost some early relationships because of my own neediness. Because I was able to learn from that, I now have a wonderful marriage.
Do you need to lose your relationship before you will be ready to work on yourself?
Are you able to see what will happen to your current relationship if you don’t learn to love and attract your partner better? Will it become loveless? Will your spouse desire someone more loving? Will you be perpetually unhappy because you won’t be able to make your spouse love you? If you are already criticizing, complaining, or arguing with your spouse, you have lit the fuse on a bomb that will blow your relationship apart.
Loving and creating love are skills
I encourage you to stop thinking of relationships as magical or as something that happens because of luck. The reality is that there are very straightforward principles to relationships, just as there are to getting into shape, tuning up a car, or running a successful business. It only seems like luck to people who don’t know and practice these principles. Also, the skills needed to initially attract a partner are not enough to maintain attraction in a long term relationship. This is why some people can get partners, but not keep them. Relationships must be nurtured just as a garden must in order to grow and flourish.
Where I started
The question I started with many years ago–long before I became a relationship coach–is “how can I love other people better?” This fit perfectly with my beliefs as a Christian. We love God because He first loved us. It was like a brilliant insight at the time, which now seems quite ordinary because I’m so used to the idea. Growing and building on this, I was able to overcome my neediness. If I could do it, you can do it, too. If you were my client, I would help you with the question of how you can love your spouse better, so you can get more love from your spouse. Then, we would work on finding the answers together, so that you could get more of the love you want. We would create a win-win for you and your spouse–a relationship that neither of you will ever want to lose.