“A million men giving you attention doesn’t come close or compare to that one man giving you all of his.” ~ Unknown
Are we in search of love, or merely attention?
Often we say we are looking for love—for that one person we can build with, dream with and share forever with—but to have our actions reflect this is a different matter.
These days it’s easy to get external superficial gratification through social media and texting, but so much of this is just shallow attention to plump our own idea of self-worth.
Attention and love are not the same thing.
Being alone and not being lonely is an art form that few have mastered, and if our hearts become broken or even hopeless, it’s easy to fall into seeking attention from others to remind us that we are desirable, worthy even—but these actions are also the very reason we are not with our forever love.
To act and live as if love is the goal, and not merely the result of mistaken coincidences and accidents, is no easy feat. It requires that we stop looking for others to give us the attention that we want, realizing that what we need is actually so much more than just a few flirty text messages or invites to extravagant dinners.
Sometimes it seems easier to accept what is being offered rather than make the decision to hold out and wait for what it is we really want—but if we accept only pieces, we will never find something that is truly whole.
It’s easy to look to others to build us up and remind us of what we may have forgotten about ourselves, but it’s also more worthwhile to instead just sit with ourselves knowing that what we want can’t be found around every corner.
Sometimes, the only thing we can do is take the time to work for what we want.
Forever won’t find us if we are making ourselves so readily available to others that it’s clear we are after anything, rather than just the one thing we desire. This is a battle that begins and ends within. It has to do with us knowing who we are, what we want and deserve, and then actually having the gusto and confidence to stay with that process knowing that this time we won’t be settling for less.
There is attention-seeking behavior—and then there are love-seeking actions.
It’s not pleasant to open our eyes to our own history and see if we were or are using others as a band-aid for a wound that only we can heal ourselves. But we have to begin asking these hard questions:
Are we just interacting with people because it makes us feel better about ourselves?
Are they what we really want, or are they just there to make time pass as mindlessly as an hour of zoning out in front of our favorite television show?
There is a difference between quality and quantity.
No one really wants to be alone, but when we are exhibiting attention-seeking behaviors, we also have to realize that if that’s all we’re after, it will never be enough. As long as we are seeking external validation from individuals instead of providing it to ourselves, we won’t ever be in the place to welcome, or even notice, that forever kind of love.
If we live as if our heart is a revolving door, we shouldn’t be surprised that it’s so easy for those invited in to leave.
When we are seeking quality, substantial love and a connection that nourishes our soul, then we become more discriminate about the people we let into our inner circle and spend time with. We don’t accept just any offer, nor do we need to engage in meaningless communication in order to feel as if we are wanted.
It becomes easier to sit back, and just focus on our own individual work and journey knowing that when we aren’t sidetracked with the noise of many, we will actually be in the place to notice the silence of one.
The truth is that the attention of a million men (or women) can’t make up for the attention of just one person who is of true value to you and your life. If we stop being so concerned with band-aiding ourselves with the false attention of those who don’t really understand the depths of our soul, then we also inch one step closer to inviting that one person into our lives who will be able to love us in all the ways we crave.
We are impatient, precious creatures who no matter how many times love has let us down, still secretly believe in its reality. We see those couples on the street holding hands and window shopping in the holiday bustle, we see them stop under the twinkling lights of a park at midnight and kiss like it’s the first time and we wonder—when will it be our turn?
The reality is that if we are truly after that once-in-a-lifetime kind of love, we have to stop expecting that just anyone will be able to satisfy all of our needs and wants.
This has to begin with us first digging deep and accepting our own truths about love and relationships. If we still think that superficial encounters will quench our thirst for love then we aren’t in the place to even notice what that love would even look like.
It’s difficult to not only act as if we want love, but to behave in a way that shows us, and everyone around us, that we also won’t accept less.
It’s easier to piecemeal happiness with encounters from various people to help satisfy that longing within, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we know it’s still not enough.
Because when love is what you truly want—you just can’t settle for less.
“Just because someone desires you, does not mean that they value you.” ~ Kushandwizdom
Author: Kate Rose
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Nicole Cameron