Attention does not always mean love, and love is not just about attention.

Love and Attention - Love Card © Karin Pinter

Some people weren’t shown love as kids or had to fight for it, so they learned that, “getting attention = love.” Attention usually goes to whoever “screams” the loudest. This can show up as emotional manipulation, unruly behaviours, actual screaming, seeking attention from anyone, and getting the most “Likes” or comments on social media.

It’s a learned behaviour based on a need to feel loved.
It’s normal to want to feel loved and desired.
But getting attention doesn’t always mean you’re getting real love.
And real love doesn’t scream for attention.

Attention-seeking usually comes from a lack of self love, so a person seeks it from outside sources. This can be dangerous in relationships, because some people’s commitment to attention can be stronger than their faithfulness towards their partner. By seeing through the distorted filter of “getting attention = love,” they may overlook or undervalue the many qualities of real love they’re being given.

If your partner constantly needs attention, it’s not about you giving more love/passion/etc., because it can enable him or her to be lazy, and leave whenever they decide you’re not giving enough. No, the solution is for your partner (or you if you’re doing this) to fill up on self love, and understand that real love encompasses more than just attention.

Self love means you can accept praise and attention from others but you don’t live for it, because you already love and value yourself. Any external attention is simply a nice bonus.

And not all attention is based on love; some people will shower you with attention to get your focus and feed their ego or low self esteem, or use you somehow. Be careful not to get hurt or caught up in such games.

Contemplations on Love and Attention:

– What causes your need for attention? (think of your childhood)
– Has your need for attention ever compromised your relationship/s?
– Can you still have self confidence even if you don’t get attention?
– If you don’t get a certain kind of attention from your partner, do you look for it elsewhere, or do you seek to understand what’s really going on (within you first)?

If you’d like some help working through what comes up for you here, book your free coaching session.