I have been thinking this week about the need to feel loved and the need to love another.

It's a complex issue. There are various fields that deal with it and one is Attachment Theory which is mainly around being a child and missing out on that feeling of being loved and having people to love. However it never stops to be a thing for us. It compounds itself over a lifetime, and there may be times in your life where you feel especially loved and love another and vice a versa.

And that can be in all kinds of scenarios, including in a relationship. Kids tend to have unconditional love for parents, although sometimes they test us so much it's hard to believe. Perhaps that's why we are a nation that loves animals, because the response back is consistent and unconditional. I am biased towards dogs in this department, having little knowledge of others. Horses potentially, but cats, who knows? We can still love them all unconditionally.

So what about when you have love to give but no one to give it to? That leads into a big topic of loneliness. We have spoken about it before and how Covid potentially created even more loneliness than we had before, in Scotland. And even though we can call the solution connection and friends, the majority of people have a need to be loved and give love to another person: along with crime it dominates TV subjects and it dominates song writing and poetry.

Allowing yourself to be loved can be hard and nearly always comes down to trust. Who can I trust to love me and protect me and who can I trust to receive my love? Especially if you have been hurt before.

The first part of this journey is to find someone worthy of starting a journey with you, and staying on that journey.

What I do know is that in a healthy relationship, you and the other person are attracted by positive attributes such as strength, compassion, ambition etc. You can easily make up your own list of positives.

They are less attracted to people with negatives, and by that I mean anything that is at a toxic level. And yet when we feel threatened, this is where we can end up. Feeling that we aren't good enough and then the downward spiral can happen and it starts to dominate life.

Feeling strong and independent even in the times when life gets on top of us allows us to keep flourishing and the other person to become more attracted to us. It also brings initial attraction from potential companions.

It can be hard to do but worth the energy and time, to live the life you want, and let the attraction occur. You may also feel more open to finding others attractive and that can lead to the ability to give love again.

It can be an upward cycle however it starts with you making some good decisions and start the ball rolling.