Unmet Childhood Needs Masquerading as Love

Portrait of an adorable toddler - unmet childhood needs

Farmers know when a crop has problems, the environment it grew from is to blame — not enough sunshine, water, or nutrients. The crop’s needs were not adequately met.

The same is true for humans.

If you have relationship problems — codependency, narcissism, love addiction, love avoidance, etc. — the environment you grew from is the source of the problem. For sure.

However, unlike the farmer, we blame ourselves for our shortcomings, don’t we? We think WE are the problem. We blame the lettuce for being yellow… which makes no goddamn sense.


People do this because shame is actually a coping mechanism, albeit a really shitty one. Shame is a story created in the undeveloped mind of a child — the myth of our fundamental inadequacy that takes the stead of an unpalatable truth about parental incompetence.

Any child faced with the prospects that either 1) I’m ok, but my parents are inept, or 2) My parents are fantastic, and I’m the one who’s broken, will always choose the latter. It’s a psychologically safer choice to assume your parents know what the hell they’re doing. Children literally need to feel safe in order to grow.


Children also need to feel loved — a biological necessity for healthy human development.

If a woman desperately craved her father’s love when she was a little girl, but he was either physically or emotionally unavailable, this unmet need is stored in her physiology as trauma (a chronic or intermittent disconnection with the safety and nurturance of a caregiver). It follows that her deepest human desire, imprinted on her soul during her most formative years of life, was to get the love of an unavailable man.


You ain’t gotta call Dr. Phil to find out that this is why she only falls in love with emotionally unavailable men. It’s pretty easy to connect those dots.

A person’s incessant, self-destructive relationship patterns are often little more than a physiological trauma-response, a subconscious tape playing on constant loop, a scared lizard-brain let loosed upon the world.

Flying high on a hi-jacked amygdala earns frequent flyer miles that we inevitably want to keep spending.

But do we really?

Published by Adam

Mentor, coach, speaker and educator for over 12 years. I have recovered from and triumphed over many obstacles and afflictions. It brings me tremendous joy to help others overcome similar circumstances so they can live their best lives.

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