what does it take to feel loved?

a friend posted in her livejournal recently, and mentioned that she “just wants to feel loved”.

this got me thinking about what it is that makes us feel loved.

are there some things common to all people that make us feel loved? and i mean loved in a “take it with you sense”, not in the moment “it” is happening.

i feel loved by my parents even though i’ve not seen them in several days.

what is it they have done? what actions have they undertaken? what attitudes have they expressed towards me that i feel loved by them?

are these actions and attitudes common to most people?

are these things the people in my friends’ life have not done, causing her to feel unloved?

(and, is feeling unloved exactly the same as not feeling loved ?)

even if we could quantify what those actions are that cause us to feel loved, will any of them “work” on their own, or are the ones that don’t overlap — aren’t common to everyone — also required by each of us as individuals in some combination that there’s a “secret key” to making me feel loved that’s different than the one that makes my friend feel loved?

my friend, for instance, mentions me by name in her post as someone who she thinks wants what’s best for her, but does not necessarily love her.

i happen to know that i do love her. i’ve invested months and months in her in phone calls and emails with and about her. she has amazing qualities and i love who she is, let alone who she is in my life.

i haven’t always been the world’s best friend to her, of course, cause who is?

but i know i love her — and yet she’s not sure of that.

so it has me wondering what it is in us that makes us feel loved or not loved, and it’s amazing how powerful a draw being loved is.

how much of drug and alcohol problems are really just escapes from that very thing — feeling unloved?

anyway, i was just curious.

Listening to: The Purple Bottle – The Animal Collective from the album “Feels” by Animal Collective

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