“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick."
~ Brené Brown
1. Establish your needs
Do you find that you are desperate for love and just cannot figure out why? I would encourage you to establish what need you think a relationship will meet for you. Are you generally feeling unhappy in life and you think a relationship will fix that? Do you feel like you don’t have any worth without a relationship?
Once you have established the need that you think a relationship will meet, I would encourage you to see if you can meet that need on your own. Sometimes we become so anxious looking for love that we can often lose ourselves in the process.
Knowing your needs and feeling confident in them can bring about more inner happiness.
Whereas, a relationship may have seemed like it would be the quick fix to your sadness or emptiness, it may only end up being a Band-Aid to the true issue. A bonus to this step too is that when you find the right relationship, you will already be aware of and know exactly what you need in that relationship. But you will also be able to supply some of your own happiness, so that you are not just depending on the other person 100% to make you happy. The more you are okay with yourself, the more confident you will appear.
2. Know your identity as an individual
Do you find that you have lost yourself in the process of looking for love? Do you feel like you have changed everything about yourself just to be desirable to SOMEONE? Sometimes, we can internalize bad things that are happening to us. We think that it is our fault that everything isn’t going as planned and if we could just change what we need to change, then everything would work out perfectly. If only life were that easy, right?! But life isn’t about changing yourself to fit into the mold that everyone else has created, it is about creating YOUR mold that makes you happy. Determine who you are and what you love as an individual and create your identity for who you are, not for what you think others will like.
3. What you believe is the message that you give off.
If you feel desperate, you are probably going to come across as desperate. People are attracted to confidence. Learn to love yourself as a single person. Get familiar with what it feels like to be in a relationship with yourself. This may sound odd, but sometimes we avoid ourselves. We feel insecure being alone or don’t like spending time with ourselves and we often neglect who we are and what we need. Take some time to understand YOU. Make yourself a priority and the right person will come your way.
Love you for you. You don’t need someone else to be happy. You are good enough for you.
Brittany Wingfield, MS, LPCC – www.nurturedheartscounseling.com
On the journey to love, desperation makes a rotten traveling partner.
Because underneath that desperation is a ton of fear. And fear takes us to bad places. For example, when fear is in the driver’s seat:
· We’re more likely to pick a make-do lover. We “settle”. And when we settle, we sell ourselves short.
· We’re more likely to choose and stay with an abusive partner.
· We’re more likely to repel healthy partners. People with even a modicum of self-esteem can smell desperation (and its miserable companion, neediness) coming a mile away and they will give you the big swerve.
Well, I could go on, but you get the idea, yes?
So, the cogent question is what to do about it? The answer, as always, rests with you. In my view, it’s your mental machinery or mindset that requires attention.
While there is no magic fix, there are some things you can do to step out of desperation and fear and move into empowerment. Yes, empowerment. Because when you are in your power, you’ll be a heap more attractive to someone who’s worthy of you and you’ll be a heap more satisfied with the result.
So, here is a path to changing your mindset:
First. Recognize the fear that drives your quest for love when it’s operative. So, notice when you are in fear. Fear feels different in the body as opposed to e.g. feeling self-assured or feeling loved and protected. Notice the body-felt difference between those states. This is important because don’t want fear to be your driver / motivator in seeking love.
Second. Endeavor to understand the beliefs that underpin that fear. Yes, beliefs drive fear -- false beliefs. Name them, then write them down. Such beliefs could include, “I’m unworthy to be loved as I am.”
Third. Interrogate the validity of the fear-based beliefs. How true are they, really? Remember, not everything you think and feel is true – especially when they are fearful thoughts and feelings. Therefore, dig below the false beliefs to find the deeper truth e.g. about your worthiness to be loved in equal measure.
Fourth. Replace the false beliefs with the truth about e.g. your worthiness. State this clearly and succinctly. Say it to yourself, then write it down and commit it to heart. Then, whenever a false belief rears its ugly head, you remind yourself of your deeper truth e.g. “I am worthy of reciprocated love with a partner who loves and values me.”
Fifth. Keep that deeper truth front and center in your heart and mind throughout your day. Be creative in doing so, e.g. design a morning and evening ritual to anchor yourself into your truth.
Sixth. Make a commitment to yourself, to one important other (e.g. a trusted friend) and to the Universe that you will stand for your truth and you will not go backward into fear. When a fearful thought arises, don’t engage it, just note it and then send it on its merry way as quickly as possible.
Mary Rizk, Transformative Coach - www.maryrizk.com
Take a moment and reflect on where this feeling of desperation comes from.
It may help you understand what you need to work on. Ask yourself- why is it so important for me to have love? What does love look like to me? What does it mean if I don’t have love? Am I getting any love at all right now?
Are you afraid of being alone?
Some people feel more “whole” when they are in a relationship. When they are single or in a failing relationship, they feel panicked. They may try to desperately seek out another partner, or do whatever they can to hold onto their current one. If this is you, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to spend time being single and on your own.
Figure you out and learn how to love yourself. You need to love you and be okay with you before you can truly give yourself to someone else. When you love yourself, you don’t necessarily need someone else to validate you. You’re confident with your identity, and so a relationship will not make or break you.
Does it come from societal messages or pressures (i.e. your ticking biological clock)?
These messages may be hurting you more than helping you, because they create a sense of fear. When you panic over things like time, you’re likely to feel and act in ways that come across as desperate, which is more likely to push potential suitors away (people easily pick up on desperation). Or, you may force yourself to settle for someone who isn’t great- which isn’t good either. Take a moment to take note of the messages you hear on a daily basis around love. Spending some time unpacking and challenging these societal messages and pressures may help reduce some anxiety (or desperation) when it comes to love and relationships.
Is it related to something that has happened in the past?
If you have experienced abandonment or rejection in the past, it can impact you emotionally. Oftentimes at the root of these emotional experiences are negative and often inaccurate core beliefs you have about yourself. Unhelpful beliefs can lead us to act in certain ways or to feel desperate when it comes to relationships. To change it, you need to recognize your unhelpful core beliefs, and work to retrain your thoughts so that you see yourself as a lovable, desirable partner. Create a more positive framework.
If you struggle to understand what is underneath your feelings of desperation, try talking to someone about it that you trust- such as a friend or therapist.
Kasey Lafferty, MSc, RP, RMFT - www.kltherapy.com
Despair is a terrible feeling, especially if it’s about never finding love. I call despair helplessness on steroids. Not only do you feel like you can’t make things better now, but you believe that you’ll never be able to. However, by following these steps, you can emerge from desperation and become, if not empowered, better able to cope with your situation while sustaining hope that your future will improve.
#1 Identify why you feel despair and reflect on whether you see yourself as a victim
Notice that other women and men you know don’t have partners or even any promising dates and still don’t feel as low as you do. Observe their attitudes and behaviors and try to understand how your mindset differs from theirs. Are they basically optimistic while you’re basically pessimistic? Do they suffer from underlying anxiety or depression as perhaps you do or is their basic nature more glass-half-full than yours?
Neurotransmitters and upbringing can give us very different takes on life, especially when it becomes challenging.
If you have a “nothing ever goes right for me” attitude, you will have more difficulty when life doesn’t go your way than if you generally feel empowered. A victim mindset perpetuates the idea that life is conspiring against you. It feels as if there’s something permanently wrong with you—attractiveness or lovability—that you will never be able to fix. You may once have been a victim in life, but you are not now. You can fix your flaws and even rid yourself of that belief that you live under a dark cloud and will never find permanent love.
#2 Do you take advantage of every opportunity to meet potential dates?
I know single women (and I was one until I was 38!) who would do anything and everything to meet a man. Blind dates and parties were fine. Single events were great. Talking to attractive men they didn’t know was okay with them. I also know single women who have a million reasons why they won’t accept fix ups, join a dating service, go to singles events or on singles-only trips, or start up a conversation with a stranger. Some of these women expect a man to find them sitting behind the locked doors of their apartment.
I totally understand that not every women’s comfort level with the above activities is the same. Some people are shy and others are socially phobic. Others have low self-esteem and are terrified of being rebuffed even one more time by a man. My heart goes out to them, but my advice remains the same: they simply need to do more to meet the opposite sex.
#3 Do you engage in positive or negative self-talk?
What you tell yourself about your dating situation will generate what your feelings are. If you are always telling yourself or others, “Oh, I’ll never meet someone,” you are making your situation worse by ensuring that you feel badly about being alone. Do you have friends who try to cheer you up by telling you how fabulous you are and have difficulty taking in their praise? It’s hard enough to date when you feel good about yourself, and nearly impossible to put yourself out there when you don’t.
Say positive things to yourself. Research on the subject of “fake it til you make it” tells us that it doesn’t matter if you actually believe positive self-talk. The point is to keep saying it because it lifts your mood and negative self-talk will only bring you down. Focus more on what is great about you than what isn’t. Focus on how lovable you are as is, with all your flaws. The more you love yourself, the more attractive you will be to others.
#4 Understand what you think you’re missing
Identify the reasons that having a partner is so important to you. After all, there are many women (and men) who have no interest in partnering up and enjoy life as a single person. Do you fear that if you don’t find someone, you won’t be seen as “okay” because marriage is what’s acceptable and singlehood isn’t? Do you want a spouse or significant other in order to have children? Are you afraid that all your friends will find beaus and you’ll have no one to socialize with? Is your main fear that you won’t have enough money on your own to live the lifestyle you enjoy.
What I’m saying is to know what you think you’re missing out on—acceptance, children, connections, financial security—and put effort into getting some of those things now. Look for a better job that will raise your esteem in your own eyes, think about adopting a child on your own, brainstorm other ways to gain more financial security, and make sure you know how to make friends as you go through life.
Be sure to listen to everyone who tells you that you’re lovable and will find someone. Keep your hopes up as best you can and take advantage of opportunities to have fun with and without looking for a mate. Make sure you’re enjoying life now and aren’t waiting for your life to begin when “he” come along. And, if you really can’t shake the desperation, find yourself a therapist to guide you along and give you support.
Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed. – www.karenrkoenig.com
If you feel like you are desperate for love, there is something deeper at stake going on here than just having a relationship to fill a void.
What could that possibly be for you? Guys smell desperation and neediness miles away. And if you allow yourself to be swept up by such a guy, watch out! You’re better off trying to understand where the void and emptiness is coming from.
This would be a great time to get to know yourself better, while you’re feeling like this. No one knows and understands who you are and what you need better than you. After all, you are the one who explains yourself to others.
It sounds like you are wanting someone else to do what you’re not doing. A question to stop and seriously think about is this: Do you love yourself? Don’t be in such a hurry to answer this. Think about it. Do you love yourself?
I can hear you saying, of course I love myself! What do you mean by such a question? I am suggesting that if you feel like you are “desperate for love”, it’s probably because you aren’t taking good care of yourself, or loving yourself. You must be the model and demonstrator to others of what you expect from them when it comes to how they treat you.
We teach people how to treat us, and if you’re not being loved, the lack is more internal than external.
Having said that, ways you can begin loving yourself includes:
- Knowing and understanding your own personal needs
- Clarity on what you do NOT want for yourself or your relationship
- Being assertive
- Asking for what you want
- Saying NO to what you don’t want
- Learning how to show, share, and give love to others
These are just a few things to consider when feeling like you’re desperate for love. I’m sure you don’t like feeling this way, and if you look closely at the items listed above, I’m also sure you’ll find something that will help you relieve yourself of feeling this way.
Remember, feeling unloved speaks more volumes about you than it does about others. Take on the responsibility of being the first to love you, and watch how others respond. I promise, you’ll attract something totally different.
Barbara Ann Williams, LPC, MS – www.barbaraannwilliams.com
“In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
Love, it fills the movies, TV shows, magazines, talk shows, and songs on the radio. It’s used to sell products, fills your social media, and is found in books across the world. No wonder we often find ourselves searching for our better half. We are bombarded on a daily basis with images of couples happily engaged, married, and beginning families. The fairy tales and happy endings we are all searching for. But what if I told you that the only way to attract love is to first love yourself?
What causes us to search for our better half is often the hope that this mysterious person will fill this void within our hearts and souls.
They will come in, sweep us off our feet, and we will live happily ever after. So what if we worked to fill the void on our own first? What if we stopped painting the picture in our head of our so-called, perfect life partner? What if we could meet others with a completely open mind and open heart? This is where we find true love!
So many of us are desperate to find love, not because we don’t already have it in our lives, but because we think we need someone who can make us whole.
We want to be validated, appreciated, and accepted for who we are. We truly believe that when the “right person” comes along we will never again feel doubt in ourselves. So we search, endlessly, looking for love. We may begin with very high standards for a life partner and as the years go by we begin to lower those standards just to fill a void that we are feeling. We subconsciously place all of our fears and insecurities in a box and hand it over to our partner hoping they will fix them for us.
Unfortunately, as time goes on we realize they aren’t holding up there end of the bargain. We begin asking ourselves why we still feel afraid or insecure. We decide that this must not be the right person for us so we leave. Or we don’t even realize what we are doing so we end up coming across as insecure or needy and push our partner away even though that is the opposite of what we want to do. Then the cycle begins again. Tearing away at our self-esteem and confidence. Causing us to wonder what is wrong with us that we can’t find our true love.
When we strip away the expectations that another is responsible for making us feel whole, we suddenly realize that we never really needed a relationship in the first place.
We no longer need someone to come in and fill this void we have been carrying around. We understand that we hold the power to make ourselves whole. We are surrounded by people who love us and care for us already. Just look around at your family, friends, and co-workers. How do they show you that you are loved?
Love is a verb.
It is actions that we do to show others that we love and appreciate them. Too often we look at love as a feeling that others invoke in us. We say if he really loved me he would (fill in the blank). We neglect to take responsibility for making ourselves feel whole. While it feels good to receive love, giving love is really where it is at. No expectations, no strings attached!
So if you are feeling desperate to find love, take a step back.
Ask yourself what you think you will gain by being in a relationship and start looking for ways to gain that now. What picture do you have in your head of what a relationship will bring you and why do you want that picture so much? What feelings are coming up for you as you paint this picture? Finally, where else in your life can some of these needs be met?
I still believe in fairy tales and happily ever after’s, I just believe they come to us by becoming whole, self-confidant, and secure in who we are. That’s when our hearts can truly accept the love another has to give, and when we can truly give love to another.
Kimberly Speer, CLC, ELIMP - www.destinybydesignlifecoaching.com
We all need and want to feel loved. To feel loved is hardwired into our brains. The importance of touch in human development has been stated numerous times in research and how this supports the emotional and physical growth of babies and children.
Lack of affection and intimacy in your life can, therefore, be a huge driving factor to seek love from others to fill that void, however, coming from a place of 'desperation,' is NOT the ideal place to come from when you want to attract your ideal partner.
"Like Attracts Like"
When you are in a place of 'desperation,' you are either going to 'settle' for a person who is not your ideal mate because you believe there isn't anyone out there for you or, you will attract another person who is also 'desperate;' "Like attracts Like." I'm sure you do not want to fall into either of these traps because these relationships are doomed!
Put an end to attracting crappy relationships. Singledom is an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Take this time to reflect, discover, and know what makes you tick.
Why don't you start a hobby? Join a group? Start reading? Google what interests you and find out how you can develop your interest? Start a Meetup group in your local community? Take up Meditation; I can’t support this one enough for self-awareness and growth? Start journaling and get into the ‘zone,' you may be surprised what you put onto the page about yourself that you didn’t know.
Learn to love and accept yourself for who you are. Take this time to understand what makes you happy. Listen to your body. Your body is your barometer - it tells you what is right and good for you. The issue is, most people are stuck in their heads and have switched off listening to their bodies.
When you are making a decision, observe your body.
Is it tense? Are there any sensations of excitement?
Look, feel, and be aware of your feelings. Use your feelings to guide you on your journey. When you are on a date, notice your body's response.
Does it feel closed off? Do you feel guarded? Do you feel relaxed and natural?
You are learning the art of genuinely honoring and loving yourself by listening to your body rather that 'opting' for a relationship based on your head saying "it's better than being single."
I want to challenge you. I am asking you to check in with your body when you are on your next date and to use these feelings as your guidance regarding whether or not you see this person again. You will know if this a potentially ideal relationship or a potential relationship based on desperation.
Continue to learn, develop, and nurture yourself. When you love yourself; you attract others into your life who will love you for you, rather than people who are also 'desperate for love.'
You deserve love. Love yourself first and foremost. Love from another will be the icing on the cake rather than you trying to feel complete by having a partner in your life.
"No relationship will make you feel whole - only you can do that! A great relationship will put the icing on the cake."
Sharon Craig, Relationship Coach – www.coach2connect.co
We humans are social creatures; we need to be connected to each other in order to be happy, healthy and fulfilled in life.
The need to love and be loved is so deeply ingrained in our psyches that when we don't have someone to share life with it can feel like there's no air to breathe. But there is. There is air to breathe and there is love to experience, in so many forms, always, every day, with every breath.
Desperation comes from a place of scarcity -- we want this "thing" -- love from another, we're not experiencing it and it feels like we can't breathe. The secret - to learn from the breath. We can't exhale until we've taken a breath in, right? With love, whenever we're stuck, the solution is in the giving of this juicy stuff to others in the world.
When you're feeling starved for love, even desperate for it, go give some of yours away.
It's in there. Get moving -- any way you can -- walking, swimming, yoga - whatever you can do, to loosen up what's clogged. And then get busy sharing your own love. Who needs it? Scroll through your contacts list and every day, especially the days when you are feeling sorry for yourself, make it your mission to brighten the life of someone else.
Pick up the phone, send a heartfelt thank you card to someone who helped you along in your life. Visit a nursing home, volunteer to read to someone who can't, show up at the homeless shelter and see whose life you can touch. The more love you give, the more it will come back to you.
The last words the Beatles shared with us were, "The love you take is equal to the love you make."
Julie Ferman, Matchmaker and Dating Coach – www.julieferman.com
When you feel desperate, you may do unhealthy, compromising things, just to be in a relationship.
You may feel a need to sacrifice yourself on behalf of your new love or feel guilty if you put too much attention on yourself, your needs and your wants. You may be so desperate that you forget about yourself and try to make him happy above all else, sabotaging your integrity, values and principles.
So, if you think your happiness depends on a relationship, and you are so desperate to find “someone,” you may be waiting a long time to be happy. Happiness is not a destination. You can experience happiness each and every moment of your day because only you decide how you feel. There is no way to actually "find" happiness.
Happiness is a choice you make along the winding road of life.
If you keep postponing your happiness until you are in love, you will lose the ability to appreciate what's right before you. In so many ways, happiness is the acceptance and enjoyment of what you have, right here, right now.
With awareness, good insights and a strong strength from within, you will realize what you are giving up - and stop it – before you find yourself in an abusive or unhappy situation.
Ask yourself this question: how would your life be if you made other choices?
Complete these sentences with that thought in mind.
· Today, I would choose to be with someone who is…..
· I would never want to be with…….and I would not accept…..
· The biggest lesson that I learned about relationships is……
· It is important for me to have…..
· I know I am moving in a positive direction because…..
· I can clearly see that the future is looking…..
· It is no longer impossible to want (have)…..
· I am feeling so good about myself that I am comfortable asking for…..
Realize that with or without a relationship, you are important and worthy of a happy life.
Desperation is not attractive, nor is it something to strive towards. Instead, remind yourself that no relationship is worth disrupting your life and your well-being and that with compromise, flexibility, and loving understanding, your relationships can be all you hope them to be – because you deserve that and more!
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
Women are inundated with messages that tell them that they are not complete without being in a relationship.
Women tend to buy into these messages that they need a partner to be whole, fulfilled, and happy.
Society sells women these messages for financial gain and to perpetuate a feeling of scarcity and less than.
If women experience their pain point that they need to be in a relationship to be a valuable person, they will scramble to look a certain way, behave a certain way, and live a certain way.
The beauty marketplace for example would suffer if women believed already that they were whole, complete, and worthy of love – then wouldn’t be running to buy the latest lipstick.
Men tend to take up space in the world because they were taught to own their confidence and step firmly into their masculinity. Get the job. Get the woman. Obtain. Succeed. Achieve.
Women are taught to be silent, be seen, not heard, and certainly not to take up space in the world.
Women may feel desperate when they buy into these messages of not being complete, whole, or enough as is.
To shift this around, women would benefit from integrating masculine energy into their mindset and being.
Women would benefit from developing a mantra of: “I am enough. I am valuable. My time is valuable. My life is valuable. My thoughts and feelings are valuable. I take up space in the world because my presence and confidence fill a room.”
Women would greatly benefit from developing the mindset of what author Mark Manson calls “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*@ck.”
Women care too much and too deeply.
We can lose sight of ourselves and what’s in our best interest. Women need to develop deep critical thinking skills to not believe the messages around them telling them they need to be in a relationship to be happy.
Developing healthy boundaries, building a strong foundation of self-compassion, and integrating masculine energy will result in big shifts toward gaining inner confidence and fulfillment.
Looking within always provides us with the answers and guidance we are needing and seeking.
Brooke Campbell, MA, LCAT - www.creativekinections.com
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