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I Just Want to Be Loved: 18 Reasons & How to Find that Missing Piece

In the end, we can all say, “I just want to be loved.” Not everyone is lucky enough to find The One, but it’s possible to find love in other ways too. 

I just want to be loved

We can’t all spend our days feeling loved by everyone and everything we come into contact with. In fact, it’s pretty normal to not feel loved every now and then. But if you’re frequently thinking or even saying, “I just want to be loved,” then there may be more to your situation than meets the eye.

Truth be told, many of us feel we’re unloved. This is usually with the hope of being loved, having just gone through a rough breakup, or after watching a particularly romantic movie.

But the problem starts when you feel hopeless about love all the time. [Read: Feeling unloved in a relationship? How to feel loved & happy again]

Why is feeling loved so desirable and addictive?

You may think there isn’t anything THAT great about being loved. After all, it’s just another emotion for you to live without, right? Wrong. Feeling appreciated in this way is so amazing because it’s such a powerful feeling. It drives us, as humans, to exist.

Our innate desire is to find others to want us and to be accepted. That’s why feeling loved is just so great.

It’s in our DNA, in order for our species to survive. The trouble is that when you don’t feel it, it affects you more than anything else. [Read: 15 ways you’ll experience what love really feels like]

The possible reasons behind “I just want to be loved,” and what to do about them

When someone feels this way, it often has much more to do with the person than those around them. The chances of you actually having zero love in your life is very slim. Everyone wants to be loved. But some people want it for different reasons.

If you frequently find yourself thinking and saying, “I just want to be loved,” then you may be doing so because of some specific reasons.

Let’s explore these reasons and work out whether you have already more deep affection in your life than you even realize. [Read: Being in love – 15 best things in life only love can give you]

1. You’re depressed

Depression is a very serious problem that many, many people suffer with daily. It’s not just sadness. It’s a feeling of hopelessness, despair, and loneliness you just can’t seem to shake.

You may feel unloved and like you don’t even want to step a foot out of bed that day. If you suddenly feel this way, coupled with your feelings of just wanting to be appreciated, you could be suffering from depression and not even realize it.

In that case, be sure to open up and talk about your feelings. You may also find help in speaking to your doctor, who may have other treatment options to offer you. [Read: How to stop overthinking and the secrets to go from overthinker to relaxer]

2. Your expectations are too high

Some people don’t realize they’re expecting far too much out of life and the feeling of being adored. You may be setting your expectations way too high. It leaves you feeling like you’re unloved even when you’re not.

Put yourself into a realistic mindset when it comes to feeling loved. You can’t expect that the feeling of someone else loving you is going to suddenly solve all your problems.

If you have a habit of saying, “I just want to be loved,” all the time, this may be your problem. In that case, why not work on the relationship you have with yourself? Being happy in your own skin and having self-love can be just as fulfilling. [Read: 19 unrealistic expectations in love you want to believe but shouldn’t]

3. You just went through a breakup

It’s normal to feel a little emotionally bruised when coming out of a relationship. You may even find you feel like you’ll never find love again, especially if it was a bad breakup.

If you’ve just been through a situation where one person stopped feeling the same way about you, you may feel as though everyone in your life stopped loving you. It makes you desperate enough to say something like, “I just want to be loved.” This isn’t the truth.

Give yourself time to heal and get over the heightened emotions that a breakup sends your way. After a little time has passed, you’ll start to see things more clearly and realize that you deserve romance and affection in your life, and that when you’re ready, you’ll find it. [Read: How to get over a breakup – 15 tips to move from pouty-land faster]

4. You’re lonely

If you’re single and have been for a while now, you may start thinking that you’re unlovable. Perhaps you haven’t felt romantic love in a long time, so it’s easier to start saying this over and over again.

Maybe you’re lonely or live alone and spend most of your time away from other people. When you don’t spend time with those that actually do love you, it’s easier to forget that they actually do. 

The realistic truth is that you have more affection around you than you realize. You simply need to make an effort to spend time with those close to you and perhaps push out of your comfort zone a little.

Get out there and meet new people. Who knows how you might meet. [Read: I feel lonely – 30 ways to overcome feelings of loneliness]

5. Your friends are busy with their lives

Everyone has a life and some of your friends may be busier with theirs than you are with yours. This leaves you feeling left out, and lonely, and you may even miss having them around.

You feel as though your friends are so invested in their own lives that they don’t have time for you. Understand that just because someone is busy doesn’t mean they don’t love and care about you anymore. Have regular catch ups, perhaps once every couple of weeks, and make sure that neither of you cancels. That way, you can stay in touch and continue to build your bond. [Read: Losing a friend? 30 truths to face the pain of two very good friends drifting away with time]

6. You’ve watched far too many romantic movies and TV shows

This is one of the main reasons you may be feeling so desperate to be loved. If you’re lonely, bored, and have been watching a LOT of romantic movies that grip your chest in desperation, then that’s why you feel unloved.

These movies are made for you to wish for the same romance in your life, but it’s not realistic. If you keep focusing on wanting the love that’s in a movie, you’ll never be satisfied with the love you do have in your life.

Life isn’t a fairytale, no matter what Hollywood may want you to believe! Check your expectations and start to appreciate what you have in your life right now. [Read: The most famous movies that teach really bad lessons about love]

7. You don’t have anyone that’s really close to you

If you don’t have strong friendships in your life, you could be feeling unloved. There’s a certain feeling of being really connected with someone in a close manner, even if it’s just friendship, that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

If you don’t feel this, it could be because you haven’t found that friend you can open up to. You may not have anyone to be intimate with in an emotional way. That could make you feel like you’re missing something in your life.

Try opening up to those in your life a little more and see if it’s just the case that you need to work on the bond you have. Also, start saying ‘yes’ to invitations and get out there a little more – there are countless potential friends waiting to be met. [Read: How to open up to people – 15 reasons and ways to open up to others]

8. You’re spending too much time with unloving people

Are you surrounding yourself with people that care about you and are actually vocal about that, or do you spend your time with those that aren’t very kind and loving toward you? [Read: How to recognize and stop selfish people from hurting you]

The people you spend the majority of your time with have the ability to shape the way you feel about yourself. If you’re spending time with the wrong people you feel less than loved. It keeps you craving that love.

Perhaps it’s time to do a life inventory. Which friends and associates serve you well versus the ones who don’t? Spend more time with the positive ones and less with the negative. Then, see how you feel after a while.

9. You’re jealous of someone else’s love

If all you do is pay attention to the way someone else is receiving love, it’s going to make you think you don’t have “proper” love.

You may be obsessed with a certain couple on social media, and it blinds you to the love you actually receive. This makes you feel like you just want to be loved, even though you are.

Recognize the fact that you never truly know what is going on behind closed doors. Social media is very good at making you believe one thing, when the truth is usually quite different. Nobody’s relationship is perfect and everyone feels unloved sometimes.

Turn your attention to yourself and stop comparing yourself to other people. That’s not where you’ll find happiness or love. [Read: Self-concept – What is it and why it’s crucial to your happiness]

10. You don’t love yourself

This is the most common reason of all. If you don’t have love for yourself, you’re going to feel like you’re missing something huge in your life. This has you trying to fill that void with love from other people. Leaving you always saying, “I just want to be loved.” First, love yourself. 

It’s not easy to develop self-love and it won’t happen overnight, but with every small step, you’ll notice an improvement. Let’s explore that in a lot more detail next. [Read: How to stop loving someone else… and love yourself more]

You can’t be loved if you don’t know how to love yourself

Many people who feel unloved in their lives have a lack of self-love in general. That doesn’t mean you love every single aspect of who you are and what you’re about. It means that you appreciate who you are, what you’re trying to do, and who you’ve become.

You’re kind to yourself and you recognize that you have many positive traits to offer. You don’t need a partner in your life when you feel this way, but you may want one. That’s a very big difference – need and want.

When you have self-love, you become a more positive and happier person. That also means you have a lot more to offer to the right person, when they eventually come along.

So, if you’re regularly thinking “I just want to be loved” perhaps it’s time to work on self-love first of all. Here’s how. [Read: 34 life-changing steps to fall in love with yourself all over again]

1. Keep a journal

No, you’re not going back to your teenage years and writing down every single aspect of your day. If you want to, go for it, but we’re talking about keeping a journal of important points. Note down how you felt that day, any particular things that made you feel good or bad, who you spent time with, and anything else of note.

Over a few weeks, you’ll start to see patterns emerging. You’ll notice who makes you feel good. It will be easier to pinpoint situations that trigger you. This information is key in tackling triggers, either by avoiding them, facing them, or minimizing them.

2. Learn to say “no”

Those who regularly feel unloved often try to please people. This can lead to saying “yes” to everything, even if you don’t have the time. In the end, you’ll feel burned out and stressed.

If you truly don’t want to do something, have the bravery to just say “no.” Sure, there are some situations when you can’t refuse, perhaps if your boss has told you to do a specific task, but other things are easily refused.

Learning to say “no” to things that don’t serve you helps you to focus on yourself. You’re valuing your time and your health. Just make sure that you’re not saying “no” to things that could turn out to be great for meeting new people!

3. Start putting yourself first

Alongside learning how to say “no,” if you want to feel loved and be loved, you need to start putting yourself first occasionally. When you feel unloved and you’re lacking in self-love, it’s easy to put everyone else before yourself.

The problem is, if you’re tired and stressed about sorting everyone else out, what time do you have left for you? None! You end up tired, ratty, and not the greatest person to be around. You’re your own worst enemy!

Don’t feel guilty if you make a choice that benefits you over another person occasionally. Sure, don’t do it all the time, but if it feels right to you, have the courage to put yourself first.

4. Do things that make you feel good

When you turn your attention inwards, you start to recognize your own worth. The more you do it, the more you see just how much you can achieve and how good it feels. Start doing more of the things that you enjoy.

If you adore cycling, head out on a weekly bike ride. Perhaps you used to paint but for some reason stopped. Well, grab that paintbrush! Maybe you really love long, hot baths with candles – make it a regular treat! [Read: How to take care of yourself emotionally and avoid falling apart]

The more you nourish your own soul, the more you’ll see that you don’t need another person to complete you or make you happy. You’re more than capable of doing that yourself.

Ironically, when you realize this, you become super-attractive to those around you because you radiate a certain self-assuredness and happiness.

5. Write a list of your good points and achievements

Sit down and write a list of your achievements in life, your good points, and any other positive elements you can think of. It will be difficult at first, because most of us don’t find it easy to big ourselves up!

However, stick with it and make sure you have a long list. If you’re struggling, ask someone close to you to help you out. Then, add a new point to the list every couple of days.

After a couple of weeks, sit down and read the list over. Any time you need a confidence boost, read the list and remember how much you rock!

6. Try positive affirmations

Having a positive attitude to life helps you to feel better about yourself and your love-life situation. You’ll be more laid-back and less worried about whether you’re loved or not *don’t panic, you are*. Positive affirmations are a great way to do that.

How about “I am strong and loved”, or “I love myself, just the way I am”? [Read: Words of affirmation – How to use them & 20 examples to say it right]

Once you’ve chosen your affirmation, say it three times when you wake up with true meaning and depth. Say it again at lunchtime and again before bed.

Whenever you feel your resolve wobble, repeat it three times. The more you repeat your affirmation, the more you’ll train your brain to believe it. Of course, you need to give it a helping hand by choosing an affirmation you actually like and want to believe in the first place. [Read: How to manifest love – The best steps to draw in more love than you could ever imagine]

7. Spend time around those who make you feel good

When you’re happy and upbeat, you can handle most situations in life. You’re less likely to feel unloved when you’re surrounded by people who make you laugh and smile.

We mentioned doing a life inventory a little earlier on and this is very important. Identify those who lift your spirits when you’re down and then suggest regular meets up and fun events.

The more time you spend around people who make you feel good, the better you’ll feel about yourself. [Read: Best lesson to live by – Surround yourself with positive people]

8. Dedicate time to self-care

Self-care should be a daily thing, but it’s not a bad idea to dedicate one day per week to everything that makes you happy. Never cancel or move that day, and focus on doing all the things you love.

Go to a spa, head out into nature, or bake your favorite cake. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you enjoy it and you find pleasure in it.

Never feel guilty for looking after yourself. At the very root of feeling unloved is a lack of love for the most important person in your life – you.

[Read: 17 happy things you need for a blissfully happy life]

Everyone feels like they’re not loved at times, but if you have a habit of saying, I just want to be loved, all the time, you may have a few problems. These are the likely reasons you may be feeling that way.

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