We can’t love others and be loved ourselves until we discover God’s love for us.
"We are fascinated with finding and experiencing love. We prize it and chase after it and wish our lives could be filled with it. We want to be cherished, to be someone’s joy. It is exactly this vulnerability of our characters, this yearning for love, which evil exploits, perverting what God has intended to be the noblest of our desires. (My emphasis)
What is it about our human nature that predisposes us for love? God Himself. God is love (1 John 4:8) and we are made in His image. Placing in each being, born and unborn, an innate desire to love and be loved, God provides the answer to the very longing He creates. What we do with this desire, how we seek to fulfill it through the course of our lives, dictates whether or not we will ever find "true love."
God would not create us, place a desire for love in us, and then leave us orphans to discover how to satisfy such a complex and deep-rooted need. It makes sense to turn to Him, the Source of Love, if we are to understand how to find it and experience it. St. Paul (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) gives us a "check list" of sorts, putting it as plainly as he can:
Love is patient; love is kind
Love is not jealous; it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish.
Love is never rude, nor self-seeking, nor prone to anger;
Nor does it brood over injuries.
Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth.
There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.
Love never fails.
If you were tempted to skip over those lines, please go back and re-read them. This time try replacing every reference to the word "love" with your own name. Go ahead. It’s a sobering exercise in confronting what love really is."
Excerpt from Finding True Love
Reading the complete article is well worth the time!