Love.  A four letter word that carries a great deal of weight whenever it is uttered from the human lips. Its mere mention can cause a smile. The pursuit of it can bring great joy. It can be the source of the highest highs and constant moments of happiness. But what happens when you think you’ve found love and it isn’t reciprocated? What happens when “love” doesn’t love you?

Tune your radio to any R&B station and you’re likely to hear at least three songs in a set that are centered on love. Songs you hear might include “Wait for Love”, “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”, “After The Love Is Gone”, “Living For The Love Of You”, “We Both Deserve Each Other’s Love”, “I Wanna Be Loved”, “Real Love”, “Love Should’ve Brought You Home”, “Can’t Hide Love”, “Yearning For Your Love”, “At Your Best, You Are Love”, “I Know What Loves All About”, “The Love Scene”, “Love Me Back”, Let’s Stay In Love”, “Money Can’t Buy Me Love”, “I’ll Wait To Fall In Love”, “Love And War”, “Love After War”, “Where Is The Love”, “Leave Your Lover”,  “Someone To Love”, “Honey Love”, “My First Love”, “Crazy Love”, “Ghetto Love”, “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, “Inside My Love”, “Future Love”, “Your Precious Love”, “Long Distance Love”, “All This Love” etc. And these are just the songs with love in the title. If you hear this constantly, it makes it no wonder why people are generally obsessed with the idea of love; more expressly, there is an obsession with the romanticism of being in love with someone.

It is supposed to be our natural to desire to love someone. We all were created for a purpose and having a love for mankind is a part of that purpose. But there is a fine line between having the capacity to love someone and going overboard to love someone. How often that line is crossed is not at issue. It only makes sense that when you get involved with someone that you give it your all. But the fact that the line continues to be crossed without the potential for reciprocation is the bigger issue.

When you are the kind of person who loves, your desire for love must be matched. It is like the desire to quench a thirst. When you are thirsty, you get something to drink to temporarily alleviate that thirst. No one in their right mind would want to try and quench their thirst by drinking from a cup with a hole in the bottom. Trying to do so would likely lead to frustration more than anything. Similarly, trying to love someone who doesn’t offer the opportunity for it to be returned will likely lead to someone ending up hurt and frustrated. Worse yet, the hurt and/or frustration can lead you down the path of becoming someone you don’t want to be.

There is a deeper issue at hand – why the insatiable need for love and why would someone sacrifice their dignity and self-respect to attain it? Unfortunately, the answer the question is far from simple and each person who exhibits the traits of being “love needy” has to address their individual issues to better get an understanding of why they have the traits. It is easy to dismiss the “love neediness” as purely a lack of self-esteem. That is an excuse that is all too convenient and often doesn’t force those who are “love needy” to focus on confronting the primary problem.

Please don’t be mistaken – we all need love. Anyone who walks around and acts like they don’t is sadly misguided. The difference between being “Love Needy” and needing love is that those who are love needy will basically do anything for someone else’s affections – even it means completely going against themselves to keep someone else happy. This behavior is eventually self-destructive and in some cases, is difficult to recover from in the long run.  It goes without saying that being love needy usually doesn’t end well – especially since a lot of folks don’t have the emotional temerity or mental capacity to deal with someone who is love needy.

When someone is invested in wanting to learn how to love you, they’ll show you. Since each person requires differing levels of love, the importance of understanding each other’s love language can’t be understated. Loving someone is more than just an occasional verbal affirmation. One must feel it in action and deed. When “love” doesn’t love you, it is not because you aren’t ready or because you’re not open to it. It is often because the “love” is not capable of being what you need – even if what you need is simple.

The sad part of it all is that most people want to be good with love but yet continue to be the reason why love doesn’t work for them. Take someone who chooses to pursue someone who is emotionally unattainable.  No matter what that person does to prove their value or worth, it will never be enough for the emotionally unattainable. It then becomes incumbent upon the pursuer to ask themselves a very vital question: Does this “love” have the ability to love me?

It is this question that leads to a great deal of internal soul searching and wondering if it is you and whether or not you are the problem. You ponder whether or not you are in the issue for why “love” doesn’t love you. You question whether or not it is something in your personality or physical appearance that can be the cause of why “love” doesn’t love you. This is not to say that we each don’t have things that we can work on to better ourselves; but on the whole, you are not a bad person at all.

“Love” doesn’t love you because it isn’t love. It is fake. It isn’t real. It doesn’t come from a well-meaning or well-intentioned place.  The “love” you’re getting is selfish, self-serving and strictly about the other person’s feelings. Love is many things – but one thing it cannot be when it is real is selfish. When “love” doesn’t love you it is because the source is tainted; this makes it highly improbable that you will effectively change the inevitable outcome since you don’t control the source. But you do control just how much access that source has to you.

The concept of love and relationships was meant to be simple in its premise. Find someone you like, get to know them, see if compatibility is a viable option and pursue a relationship. What has changed is people – our reticence, our pride, our fear of getting hurt, our circle of influence have an effect on us that resonates beyond the realm of simple understanding. Does it make sense to allow things you want to be the victim of things you don’t control? In other words, should the love you desire be passed by because you’re afraid of getting your heart broken? Or is it simply more convenient to make the assumption that love doesn’t love you?

So when you say “love” doesn’t love you, what are you really saying? Only you really know. But the fact remains that it is on you. Giving something the power to affect your heart that is incapable of the responsibility is like putting money in a bank that is set to go out of business. No matter how much money you put in – the outcome of the bank going out of business will not change. You’ll only feel the loss when all is said and done.

Food for thought….

A man's deepest fear shouldn't be that he's inadequate; it should be that he is not pushing himself to be what he is meant to be - Max