We All Just Want To Be Loved – A Therapy Session


We All Just Want To Be Loved - A Therapy SessionShe sat in her chair notepad shut. We had gotten past the “I may need to take a few notes, if that is ok” part of the session and were moving deeper. “I want this to be a safe place where you can get support and explore these feelings. We can discover what it is that makes you happy; help you communicate what it is that you need; and help you live life instead of escaping into the computer or sleep.”

“I need to feel loved.” It is a simple statement; yet so very complicated. Feeling loved has, throughout the years, been something that has been severely lacking in my life.

As a child I must have been loved, though I have very few memories of that time. What I do remember is pain. I remember when positive attention came only through doing what was required of me. I am sure that my parents thought whatever it was they were doing to me was best for their daughter. Though I was not the person, they wished I was. I never felt accepted; sometimes I was barely tolerated. They did their best to break my spirit; to try to get me to conform; to give the appearance of having their values.

I remember one fight vividly where my mother blurted out in anger and disgust, “We tried for 6 years to have a child and look what we ended up with.” My father, later tried to excuse her; that she didn’t mean it; it was in the heat of the moment. But that was the day that the walls around my heart became a permanent structure.

Walls, or barriers, had already been there; defending against the school bullies who found an overly intelligent, uncoordinated, mousy female with glasses an easy target. Never let them see you cry, had become a mantra as early as 7 years old.

“We all want to feel loved,” she affirmed, “there is nothing wrong with that.”

My eyes began to tear. My walls have been crumbling; my emotions, both positive and negative have become overwhelming. I can no longer contain the sadness or the loneliness in my soul. That is what led me to face my fear of therapists in the first place.

“But why is this happening now??”

“I don’t know,” she said, “but we can figure that out together. Could it be that this relationship means more to you than previous ones?”

“I’m in love with him,” I admitted. Oh I have loved others (and still do), but other than at the birth of my children, I have never felt so deeply that my heart refuses to be caged.

But I am afraid; afraid that I am not good enough to be with him; afraid that if he knows the depth of my feelings, he will back off; afraid that he will never feel the same way about me that I do about him.

The phrase “I love you” terrifies me. Not so much in saying it. I do feel it. The walls cracked when my children were born. But in being able to truly believe it. I am afraid that his love will turn out to be the same lip service as those who came before. My parents: whose “I love you” was always conditional or my last long term relationship: who two days before he dumped me for another woman claimed that not only did he love me, but that I was his touchstone and that I gave him the motivation to turn his dreams into reality.

I need to be able to feel that his love is real. That he wants to spend time with me, not just as one of the group. I want him to tell me how important I am to him; that he doesn’t ever want to lose me; to look me in the eyes and tell me that he loves me; to hold me tight and never let me go.

It is actions more so than anything that show me love. Attention and affection; spending quality time together; being held. And even then, I am afraid to allow myself to be loved.

“You need to allow yourself to be open. You need to be able to give yourself what you so desperately want from others, “she said. “That is something we can work on together.”


Zoe first described herself as "bad at monogamy" until about five years ago when she and her husband discovered the term that actually described her: polyamorous. Since then they have opened their family to other partners. Zoe is currently juggling relationships with her husband, their two kids, her husband's girlfriend, and a slew of friends/loves that she calls her tribal poly family. She can be reached on facebook or on twitter @ZoeHanis


  1. This is such an amazing piece. I know, myself, how hard it is to say “I need to feel loved”. I felt like that sentence was such a failure, that it showed weakness, like it was just a sign that I wasn’t strong enough to be by myself. But, having said it, I now know the strength it takes to say it, and I know it is a sign of how strong both you and I are. That’s not to say you can say it once and you’re done, but I really want to say “well done” for saying it even once… because that’s so hard.

    I truly hope you find what you’re looking for. Everyone needs to be loved, and everyone deserves it. But fuck is it hard.

  2. YES! Thank you for putting words to what so many of us actually experience and feel and never say. Ive so been there, got much better at it, got devastated by the people who actually had cheerleaded through getting better at it, and now have scratched my way back yet again. So I now you’ll figure it out too.

    What Ive been using the past couple of years that is really helping is asking myself what does “I need to feel loved” look like in the moment I am feeling it? Because “I need to feel loved” today when I have had a horrible day at work, and am exhausted with a million things still to do might mean my hubby cleaning up the dinner dishes, and getting my kids to bed while I work on projects and then him bringing me a cup of my favorite tea when he feels like Im starting to wind down and could use it. However on Sat night when the melee has quieted, “feeling loved” might mean I need him to caress my whole body reminding me me what he enjoys or find beautiful about me.

    When you can define for yourself what the statement actually translates to in the moment, it gives the people around you who DO love you, a better chance at actually succeeding in helping you “feel loved”. Which goes for you too. Define for yourself what kinds of things you can do and say to yourself which reinforce to you “love”, that you are lovable, deserve love from not only the world but yourself too.

    • Thanks for your thoughts. I have been trying to figure out what actions make me feel loved. As you pointed out it can vary from one moment to the next. I think continuing to explore not only how to feel love, but being open to see it given in all its forms will help greatly.

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