The other day I was invited out to lunch by a dear friend of mine. We hadn’t seen each other in a while and we’ve always enjoyed each other’s company. I thought it was going to be a catch up and giggle kinda lunch date. Not quite. It was more like she needed someone to talk to because her husband wasn’t providing her with what she needed and she was ready to leave him.
I’m ok with those types of lunch dates too. She sure was needy though.
After a brief catching up period, it was time to get to the bottom of all the neediness. I listened for almost half an hour about how she needed:
- More attention
- More affection
- More talk times
- More romantic times
- More say “I love you” times
- More “can we act like husband and wife” times
- And more sex.
There were a few other things she needed too but these were the first few things she fired off. She NEEDED these things badly. Desperately. She was tired of feeling like a roommate. I think what she really needed was an outsider’s take on the whole situation. She wasn’t really ready to leave her husband. She just needed to validate her neediness. Unfortunately I couldn’t do that for her. My response to her was “those are all your needs, what about him, what are his needs?”
Her jaw dropped. She had no clue.
We all have basic needs
We need food, shelter, clothing and the basic necessities of life. Anything else we feel we need comes from something we lacked in our childhood and as young adults. I know, that touched a nerve or two but it’s true. We don’t necessarily need attention or affection. It’s nice to have but we don’t need it in order to survive. It’s also not necessary to get these from our partner. You can easily get affection and attention from family, friends, and coworkers even, anyone really. We can, however, function properly without them. Our basic needs supply us with everything we require to live a healthy normal life.
Independent of our basic needs, some of us really do need more of something in order to feel fulfilled or loved. Whether it be attention or affection or sex, fact remains, we need it. We want to have it. Does your partner share the same needs as you? If not, this is when the problems begin. Your needs are very important to you and, rightfully so, they should be. You know what you require to be happy and feel loved. You expect your partner to fulfill your needs and when they don’t, all Hell breaks loose. It’s not their fault they don’t fill your needs but you are pretty sure it is. Who else can you blame anyway? Why can’t they understand that they need to supply you with your needs in order for you to be happy?
Why are their needs so different from mine? Yes, they are. Very different. More often than not, they don’t supply you with what you need because they have their own needs and you aren’t respecting that or supplying them with their needs. Their needs are equally as important as yours but neither one of you are seeing, understanding or caring about each other’s needs. You are too wrapped up in your own needs.
Phew all this neediness. Are you following me ok?
Breaking the vicious needy cycle
How do we make all this neediness stop or, better yet, how do we understand it and maybe even compromise or be able to fill each other’s needs? Understanding each other is more important than you think but not only that, listening to each other is vital. If you aren’t listening to your partner and understanding what it is they need from you, sooner or later, bags will be packed and lawyers will be called. Not a happy ending by any means. If you are constantly complaining to your partner that you NEED them to pay more attention to you, they are eventually going to NEED you to shut up and go away. Complaining, screaming, whining and arguing about this isn’t going to resolve anything.
It’s time for a sit down talk. Listen to what your partner has to say and make sure they listen to you. Is a 3rd party required in order to make this relationship work? If so, find one and work it out. How much does this relationship mean to you? Think about that.