Need to Love and be Loved

In the 1947 song "Nature Boy," songwriter Eden Abhez posits, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return" [source: Sing365]. Four years earlier, the psychologist Abraham Maslow published his book, "A Theory of Human Motivation," which included his famous hierarchy of needs. In the middle of this hierarchy, above physical needs like safety but below esoteric needs like self-esteem, lies our need for love and belonging -- the need to love and be loved in return.

While Abhez and Maslow may have disagreed exactly on how important love is to the human experience, both knew that love is one of the most crucial aspects of being human. Where Abhez was content to simply note its importance, Maslow included love as something humans are motivated to have or achieve. Love is a motivating goal for humans, and our behavior can be explained by our attempts to achieve this goal.- howstuffworks.com