If you spend time with people, something that you will hear again and again is: “I want someone to love me for me.” Another variation of this is: “I want to be loved for who I am.” When we hear this or when we say it, we act like it makes perfect sense. But we lack an understanding of what we really mean when we say this. And as a result, we are passive to experiencing what it is exactly that we want to experience.
There are three questions you must consider if you want to be loved for who you are/if you want to be loved for “you”.
- What do you mean when you say “loved” in this context?
- Who and/or what are you?
- What exactly is it that you are asking for other people to love about you?
When most people say they want to be loved, they aren’t actually talking about love. They are using love as a term to represent the experience of being valued, appreciated and wanted.
Thus, if you want to be loved for who you are, the next natural question is: What is it about you that you want to be valued, appreciated and wanted for? What is it exactly that you are asking other people to value, appreciate and want about you?
When a person says “I want to be loved for who I am” or “I want someone to love me for me”, what this usually means is that the person has certain specific aspects about them that were never valued, appreciated or wanted. Potentially they have been rejected for those things in the past. Or potentially, those things have never been adequately recognized. On top of this, they may have been valued, appreciated and wanted for something that they don’t want to be valued, appreciated and wanted for.
Because this is the case, if you are someone who wants to be loved for who you are, it is imperative to identify what specific things about you, you want someone to value, appreciate and want you for.
So that you can understand this better, here is are two examples: Braden grew up in a household where he learned that the only way to be close with people and get a positive response from them was to help them out. Relationships were all about what he did for a person. Now, in his adulthood, Braden is obsessed with finding a person who “loves him for him”. He has fallen into an interesting pattern. Whenever he meets someone that he likes, he goes to town doing things for them. But quickly he falls into the fear that they only like him for what he does for them. So, suddenly, he stops doing things for them to test if they like him for him, or whether they like him for what he does for them. Most of his relationships end badly because of this. Why? Because he advertises himself as a person who is all about service and who loves to do things for you. This appeals to people who do value him for the fact that he is all about service. Most especially people whose primary love language is service. So, when he stops doing this completely, they feel unloved and one of the very biggest things they value and appreciate and want from him goes away. He has fallen into the duping pattern. By the way, if you want to learn more about this pattern you can watch my video titled: The Great Dupe of Dating. Of course, Braden falls even deeper into a depression feeling like he has been proven right. No one will love him for him and everyone just wants to use him.
When Braden attends a seminar on relationships and he says “I want to be loved for who I am!” He is asked the question: “Well… who are you?” We could say a great many things about who Braden is. He is a human. Does he want to be loved for that? He is a man. Does he want to be loved for that? He has a soul. Does he want to be valued, appreciated and wanted just because he has a soul? He exists, does he want to be loved just for the fact that he exists? He loves baseball. Does he want to be loved for that? Braden’s answers to all this is: “No”. This means there are very specific things about him that he wants to be loved for. So, the next natural question is: “What specifically do you want to have people appreciate, value and want you for? Braden thinks about this. After some time, he realizes the answer is that he wants to be appreciated, valued and wanted for his insights, sense of humor and loyalty. This is what he really means when he says “I want to be loved for me.”
If Braden wants these things to be appreciated, valued and wanted, he’s going to have to showcase his insights, sense of humor and loyalty to others and also, put himself near people who are likely to value him for those things. He needs to stop trying to get people who value service to value him for his sense of humor for example.
To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: The Value Realization. A Realization that can Completely Change your Self Worth.
One more example: Crissy is a very beautiful woman. She is a model by profession. Crissy is down in the dumps because it seems like every man she meets is only with her because of how she looks. Sometimes she feels like men just want her to be their own personal accessory. She feels like they want her to be there just to increase their status. And to dress how they want and hold whatever opinion they want her to hold and to have needs only when it is convenient for them for her to have a need. She doesn’t feel like she gets to be a person around them. Crissy says she wants men to “love her for who she is, not what she looks like.” The thing is, what she looks like IS part of who she is. Unless she decides to turn against her own beauty in some way, she cannot erase this reality. What’s important is that her physical beauty is not what she is desperate to be appreciated, valued and wanted for.
Crissy wants to be appreciated, valued and wanted for her “character”. This would be a man who wants a real person by his side and thus would want her to communicate about what she thinks and feels and who would want to know her likes, dislikes, thoughts, feelings, quirks and character traits. Preferably, this would be a man who would appreciate, value and want her character enough that if she aged or got less pretty in some way, he would still want to be with her because he valued her character more than her physical beauty.
Knowing this, Crissy decides that she is done meeting men in night clubs. Instead, she decides that she wants to meet men who share similar interests. One of her interests is cooking. Another is art. So, she decides she is going to take a cooking class and go on food tours and she starts going to art shows to meet men who share these passions. She also decides that she needs to dress according to what is true for her character and mood on any given day, rather than falling into her pattern of always making sure to dress in a way that is sexually attractive to men. She decides that when she meets men, she will demonstrate her character and have open, real conversations straight off the bat rather than making sure to act and speak in a way that she knows will make most men feel attracted to her. In this way, she has not turned against her physical beauty, nor has she made an enemy of being sexually attractive. She is simply going to lead with a different foot and instead, showcase her beauty and sexual attractiveness when she authentically feels like it.
If you are someone who says that you “want to be loved for who you are” or who wants people to “love you for you”, it’s time to stop saying that. The reason being that it is nebulous and confusing and not specific enough and not even what you mean.
You need to figure out exactly what it is about you that you want to have be appreciated, valued and wanted. From there you need to advertise whatever it is about you that you want someone to value, appreciate and want. Part of this implies communicating with others about specifically what you want them to appreciate, value and want about you. And then, never forget that you are more likely to be appreciated, valued and wanted for something when you advertise that thing specifically to the people who are most likely to value, appreciate and want that thing. This is where yet again; compatibility comes into play!