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Love, Pleasure or Affirmation?

By Robert Elias Najemy, Copyright 2004

Needing Others for Pleasure

Let us examine how our needs for pleasure and affirmation can limit and distort our experience of love.

We create relationships that give us pleasure and affirmation as well as security. We may be dependent upon the other for money, shelter, sex, travel, clothing, encouragement, compliments, humor, tasty food, a clean house, comforts, or even his or her beauty.

Yet, if he or she stops providing these for us, or decides to provide them for someone else, do we continue loving that person or do we feel hurt, disillusioned, and overcome with feelings of injustice, anger and perhaps revenge?

The condition here is that "I love as long as you provide me pleasure, happiness or excitement. If you stop, my feelings change." It is conditional love.

Needing Others for Affirmation

We may also depend on someone for affirmation. This may take various forms.

  1. We are affirmed when others obey us. "You listen to me and do what I say. I can control you. That makes me feel powerful and worthy. If, however, you stop doing whatever I say, I will stop feeling love and unity with you."

    This becomes a problem for parents when their children move into adolescence. This can also occur between spouses. In many countries a wife might be suppressed at first, and thus, the husband feels powerful and affirmed. If, however, she begins to think and act for herself, he begins to panic and can become angry and sometimes aggressive. The roles may also be reversed where the woman controls and feels affirmed.
  2. We also feel affirmation when someone needs us or is dependent on us. This could occur between parent and child, teacher and student, friends, or between the "savior" and the "needy."

    In these cases, the "needed" feels affirmed by and perhaps superior to the "needy". This is one aspect of codependency. Some of us find meaning in life because someone needs us or depends on us. If however, the other doesn't want to be the child, the student or the needy one anymore, do we feel the same attraction and love? If not, our love is mixed with our need to be "needed".

    In such a case, we need to give, offer, and sacrifice in order to feel useful, worthy or boost our self-image. If this is the case, then all that we offer in these situations, all our sacrifices, are actually for ourselves and not for the others.

    That does not negate the fact that others may actually need us, or that we also simultaneously have feelings of altruistic love. We are often motivated by two or three motives simultaneously.
  3. A third aspect of this attraction for affirmation is the situation in which we "love" those "who affirm our rightness", either verbally by telling us we are right, or simply by belonging to the same social, political, religious or spiritual group and thus embrace a similar belief system.

    "I love you because you agree with me, you are like me, you affirm me". If they change beliefs and convert to another political party, religion, or spiritual group, will we feel the same closeness and "love?" Perhaps yes, perhaps no.
  4. A fourth aspect of this affirmation principle is infatuation - called "Eros" (in Greek "erotas") or "falling in love". In this case there is a mutual (occasionally only one-sided) infatuation on the physical, sexual, emotional and sometimes mental level. This is a special attraction between two persons who excite, bring joy to and stimulate each other positively. This positive stimulation often has to do with the needs for security, pleasure and affirmation.

    This intensity of these feelings seldom lasts more than a few years. The couple then has the possibility of transforming their "Eros" into a steady form of unconditional love, or facing the sadness of conflict and/or separation. Sooner or later, we will come face to face with the other's various negative aspects, and if we cannot love them as they are, the relationship suffers.

Until we are able to love unconditionally, we will be unhappy, insecure and frequently in conflict with those around us. We will be able to do this only when we have matured sufficiently so as to experience inner security, inner satisfaction, inner freedom and a steady feeling of self-worth.

In other words, we can love purely only those who we do not need.

When we need others, we cannot love them unconditionally. This might be difficult to comprehend at first, but deep thought and observation will prove it to be true. Being able to love without conditions is a basic prerequisite for both a happy life and spiritual evolution.

Be sure to look for the remaining the parts of this series:

  1. What is Love?
  2. Love or Need for Security?
  3. Love, Pleasure or Affirmation?
  4. Selfless Love
  5. Spiritual Universal Love
  6. Loving the Wave or the Ocean


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Elias Najemy, a life coach with 30 years of experience, has trained over 300 Life coaches and now does so over the Internet. Info at: He is the author of over 20 books, 600 articles and 400 lecture cassettes on Human Harmony. Download FREE 100's of articles, find wonderful ebooks, guidance and teleclasses at His books The Psychology of Happiness and Remove Pain with Energy Psychology are available at

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The order of Wedding Speeches at the Wedding Reception
Master of ceremony is one of the busiest person in the Wedding Planning process. It will be much easier with these tips for MC to plan the wedding speeches at the wedding reception.

Why Aren't We Happy In Our Marriage Relationships?
Find out why you are not happy with your relationship. Is it yours or her fault? Is she the one soul mate for your life or is she not? Perfect your relationship with the tips from this article. You will find your perfect soul mate.

Ten Hot Tips to Light Your Woman's Fire
Tips to drive your woman crazy and she will never forget it. Satisfy your woman with our ten hot tips which include how to kiss, touch, connect emotionally, foreplay, after play, etc.

Be Prepared With A Bride's Emergency Kit
Are you ready for the wedding? Remember: things get wrong when they are least expected! Get ready with the bride's emergency kit - make sure your most important event will not be ruined!

Happiness - the Ultimate Egoism?
Is happiness made by romance, egoism, success, wealth or flexibility? Happiness is a moving target: as things and circumstances change in our lives, happiness becomes defined differently. If one goal turns out to be unachievable, most of us have the suppleness to redefine our desire and go for the newly formulated goal.

Family Matters!
Having relationships is all about making emotional commitments to people we care about. One of the ways to find your happiness involves having a healthy family, friends, partners, etc. Appreciate the people who have touched our lives in positive ways. Studies have shown that those who are truly happiest are those with strong connections to the people they love.


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