Today, I’m writing to explore my need to be loved.
Recently, I’ve had to let go of someone from my life (or at least, begin the process) which, as I’m sure you may well know, is neither easy or painless. I’m impressed with myself and for how well I seem to be doing, though. I was expecting to be far more self-depreciating and low, generally. While I have been down there already, it’s as if I’ve ‘grieved’ enough.
But I am aware of my intentions to fall back in to a familiar of trait of looking for someone else to ‘love me’ – it sometimes seems like playing a game of Guess Who in my mind; flipping down the faces of each person who leaves your life and then, looking at the ones still standing upright…
It doesn’t seem to matter who the person is or whether or not I actually know them but that ‘love at first sight’ feeling has occurred on a couple of occasions recently… I don’t believe it can truly be love because while there may be a physical attraction, there’s no recognised substance between our personalities to create that bond. It’s actually more like…
‘Mild obsession at first sight’
I visited an historic local attraction a couple of weeks ago and the first member of staff on the way in greeted me. She was female, significantly shorter than my ‘preferred’ height, dark hair, warm, enthusiastic, smiley and welcoming. It’s hard not to like someone like that and, a few moments later, I can realise that she is merely doing her job. But, in the depths of the moment, as words continue to spring from her mouth, I’m lost in a sea of questions and hypothetical possibility. Our encounter is over in moments and I’m on my way.
Yet for the rest of my stay at this site, it’s a hot topic at the front of my mind. Regardless of what piece of art or history may be stationed in front of my eyes, this ‘wonderful woman’ is starving my subconscious of attention.
Let me rephrase that, because she is doing nothing more than her job…
I am allowing my mind to focus far too much attention on a largely insignificant social contact with someone of a similar age and the opposite sex.
On top of all that, I’ve also entertained regular thoughts of returning to that place in hope of seeing her again – a sensation that’s far, far too familiar to me.
Earlier this week, I visited another site of art and historic interest, all decked out for Christmas and with a Victorian theme. Up on the first floor and, before I even entered one room, I locked on to eye-contact with an attractive dark-haired woman who was midway through conversation with two other visitors. Feeling awkward and lacking in social confidence, I was looking to move swiftly through to the next room, even though she was, again, attractive to me, about the same age and, this time, of a more ‘convenient’ height…
Before I could trail the other two visitors in to the next room, this woman stopped me, to ask whether I was an ‘elligible bachelor’ (the two women before me began to laugh). I paused for a moment and replied with a bit more than a ‘yes’, to which she immediately insisted I should join her for the ball that same evening, as I could fill her spare ticket. Feeling very flattered yet still uncomfortable and very aware of the ‘audience of two’ to my left, I laughed and almost pushed them out of the way as I squirmed in to the next room. Both women commented on how I ‘didn’t stay in the room for very long’.
For a while, I maintained a cheeky grin and it emerged again later one, once I’d left the property, still thinking about this interaction. But no sooner had I left that bedroom, my mind began to question the woman’s sincerity, constantly…
“Was she serious?” “Maybe she’s attracted to you!” “Is there actually a ball taking place tonight?” “They say that love will find you when you least expect it…”
That’s how my thoughts began and then, later, the anxiety kicked in.
“What if she’s expecting you to be there tonight…” “Maybe I should go back and ask” “If you were more confident, you could’ve played along to find out or at least expanded on your side of the conversation…”
Stuff like that.
Again, thoughts of returning there on the off chance of seeing her are constant in my mind, like an obsession. I have no intention of barricading the doors to rape her, or anything as extreme! Neither do I intend to sneak upon the windows at night, leering through the glass with a camera! But my mind doesn’t let these thoughts go easily.
It’s as if I ‘need‘ to have some kind of love interest to focus on.
I went without that for several years, until meeting a couple of people in 2012. That kept me from deviating towards the next face and name on the board. In 2013, I met someone else and, once again, I was occupied. I somehow managed to go a long time without such a severe ‘need’ and then, this summer, I arrived at the unexpected dependency of someone I have recently had to part ways with… That final action has allowed me to ‘want’ and ‘need‘ again.
Typically, this would suggest to me that I am lacking something within myself. Perhaps a true form of self-love.
This is an topic I’ve never previously bought up in counselling and, although I’ve probably mentioned it once before on this blog, it is something I feel ashamed and almost guilty of. I mean, is it natural to almost become ‘obsessive’ over brief encounters [of the non-sexual kind] like this? Do other people generally experience this?
I don’t know how to dampen my mind. At the same time, I neither hate or resent myself like I have done in years previously. I’m aware of these thoughts and feelings but I never believe that acting upon them impulsively would be ethical or even a means towards a positive resolution. I think recognising and admitting to them is enough for now.
Being single, a distinct loner and sometimes even lonely, doesn’t often stop me from doing things for myself and even with others, that I find enjoyable. I’m aware I have a small hope of finding someone to share my life’s greatest experiences with. I’m also aware that the hope is small because I lack a certain amount of belief that it will happen, as if I’m almost destined to live a solitary life, as I have done for the past three-decades.
Perhaps a need to delve in to that belief on another occasion?
Thanks for reading.