It could say they were underfeeding it.
Not that I am saying he hasn't changed but alot of behaviours are taken as something else. A sick snake will appear to newbies as "tame and friendly" when in reality it is just weak....sometimes...or a snake kept too cold will also be super "friendly" because everytime people handle him its his only chance to get warm....etc etc...My male snow loki always WANTS to come out but that doesn't mean he can express or even feel love. Enjoyment of stimui? Maybe. Hoping the person who ALWAYS brings him food is going to have more food? Most likely.
I honestly do not believe they strive for human interaction. Why? Because snakes in the wild would display some behavior suggesting they need companionship. Sure garters do but they are not the majority of snakes, and have specilized brumation habits. Birds do require human interaction, and crave it. But this is because they display a need for companionship in the wild as well, if not more so.
My personal thoughts are this, its all well and good to feel like they love us, but I almost promise that the most friendly, human craving snake in the world could easily go on living alone if heating and food opportunities presented themselves, never seeking out another human. In the end these animals evolved to be hunters and killers, not pack animals and not companion animals.
Not to say they can't be, but I think this says alot about what we expect from them now. We would all love to think they love us back but in reality they are living off insticnt IMHO and the same one that's our best friend could just as easily live in the wild assuming other factors don't count (i.e. knowing how to hunt etc) So in some aspects they do depend and need us, but I think in general they could care less.