Our youth is consumed by it. No matter how much our parents loved us, it’s not the kind of love we crave. Nothing can substitute for romantic love. Dating feels like heaven, except when it feels like hell.
It’s never enough.
You fall in love, it’s amazing, and then it just flatlines. He acts like he loves you, but you’re never quite sure if he really loves you. You don’t feel completely loved from top to toe. You keep yourself braced for the day you’re sure will come, when he decides he’s bored with you and it’s all over.
Why is it so hard to feel loved, even when you’re in a committed relationship?
Two things could be happening.
- You’re better at giving love than receiving it.
Dr. Harville Hendrix and his wife, Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, made their living talking about what makes relationships last. They developed an influential theory about why we choose the partners we choose. Then they designed a style of couples therapy based on that theory.
And they were on the verge of divorce.
Not only was it humbling for them, but it was humiliating. They were internationally renowned relationship experts! And they couldn’t make their own marriage last?
They decided to give it one more year. Putting all their professional expertise to bear on their relationship, they finally figured it out:
They didn’t feel loved.
A surprising conclusion, to say the least. They’d been together for decades. They were kind, thoughtful, and loving to one another.
But knowing they were loved wasn’t the same thing as feeling loved.