From the outside looking in, your life looks like an Instagram feed. Your passport has stamps from exotic places like Dubai and The Maldives. Your closet is stacked with designer labels from Gucci to Louis Vuitton. And you have the admiration (and envy) of your family and friends. But if they were able to read your mind, they’d discover your dirty little secret: You are desperate for love!
If you’re at a church conference, you wonder if you’re going to meet your Boaz there. And when you’re texting a man you met online, your mind can’t stop thinking about who else he’s talking too. You are always available when he calls because you’re scared he might not ask you out again if you say no. The pressure to find your man before he’s scooped up feels so overwhelming. Are you desperate or determined?
First, let me clarify something for you. Wanting love and making it a priority does not make you desperate, contrary to popular opinion. In fact, the dictionary definition of the word will put your search for love in perspective:
The first reason why you act thirsty in a relationship is that your sense of hopelessness causes you to feel like nothing good can ever happen to you, so you make dangerous decisions like:
- Staying in struggle relationships that don’t meet your needs because they’re comfortable and easy
- Settling for mistreatment because you believe having a half a man is better than not having any man.
- Suppressing what you really think so you come across as agreeable and likable by men, even if it means becoming a doormat and letting him walk all over you in the relationship.
- Searching for reassurance that you’re a couple (and it’s only been 3 dates!)
These are just a few symptoms of the problem, but the damage to your dignity and sense of self is costly.
The second reason why you’re desperate in dating is that you have unmet emotional, physical or spiritual needs and you’re misusing relationships to meet those needs (or you don’t know HOW to get those needs met in a healthy way within your relationships).
Dr. John Gray said it this way: “Your biggest problem is your inability to satisfy your need for love and because of it, you end up creating all sorts of other problems.”
In other words, no matter how much you achieve in your life, it doesn’t outweigh your need for love! When we don’t have love, there’s an emptiness that we seek to fill. The problem isn’t the need. The problem is not knowing how to acknowledge what those needs are. For example, we all need to drink water in order to survive. But if you spent the day drinking caramel lattes, energy drinks, and sodas, you may wake up in the middle of the night feeling dry and reach for a glass of water, it’s because you didn’t meet your hydration needs during the day. I want you to consider that you have some unmet needs that are driving your thirst for love and affection.
The third reason why you feel thirsty for love and affection is your fears are driving your decisions. One of our deepest fears is that we’re unlovable and that fear can drive you to do some pretty wild things. You can overcome this panic that love won’t happen for you by affirming the belief that you don’t find love from another person. You share love with another person. Focusing on the fact that you don’t need validation from anyone else will calm you down and help you make better choices in dating.
Remember, we all long to be seen, heard and loved. Those needs are valid. But when those needs aren’t met in healthy ways, they grow larger and lead you to hurtful and harmful behavior.
BMWK, how can you tell if someone is motivated by love, lust or thirst? Share your thoughts below!