“You have to learn to be independent.”
This, my friends, is the phrase that everyone tells everyone else when someone feels lonely, depressed, inadequate…you name it. I’ve felt all of those feelings, and hearing this phrase every time has done nothing to alleviate my troubles. Sure, I’ve tried working on myself and even enjoy my alone time every once in a while now. However, I still get a pang of loneliness most of the time when I’m by myself. My heart tells me to reach out to someone, but my head reminds myself that I have to be okay with being alone before I can be with someone else. In reality, there’s nothing more frustrating than telling myself to toughen up and stand on my own feet when I’m clearly not okay just because society expects it of me to do so. If society can accept that you cannot help your sexual orientation or that you prioritize your career before settling down, why can’t society accept that it’s okay to need someone to rely on? Actually, screw what society says. If you’re damned for needing someone, you might as well be damned for ignoring your needs too.
We as humans are biologically wired to give and receive love. There are few things in life that are as wonderful as having a companion that sticks by you through thick and thin. In order to gain such a companion, we must be open to being vulnerable and finding that person whom we can always count on. If all we’re ever told to do is accept being alone, how will we ever know true connection? Of course, I’m not saying to use loneliness as an excuse to completely mooch off another person’s support, because love goes both ways. What I am saying, though, is that it’s completely fine to expect love from someone even when you’re not fully self-actualized or independent yet, as long as you’re willing to love them in return. Some people achieve peace of mind faster than others, and some people might not achieve that at all. The point is, both types of people deserve to feel like they belong to someone and that they are not alone in the world.
So, society, please stop criticizing people who require a little more emotional support and write them off as “desperate,” “needy,” and “weak.” As a Christian, I believe that God made us all fearfully and wonderfully in His image, so “needy” people are not any less complete than people who can fully enjoy their independence. “Needy” people like myself just need to look a little harder to find the ones (and God) who can accept our neediness as part of who we are and still love us to the fullest extent.
It’s okay to need someone, because someone out there needs you too.