The Art of Wanting and Needing Relationships

Have you ever wondered about the difference between wanting and needing a relationship? It’s a subtle distinction that can have a profound impact on our lives. After my divorce, I found myself pondering this question with my counselor. Little did I know that his insights would change my perspective forever.

The Power of Words

At first glance, “want” and “need” might seem interchangeable. After all, when we say we want something, we often mean that we need it. But my counselor shed light on the true meaning behind these words. Wanting a relationship is simply expressing a preference, like craving a delicious dessert. It’s different from needing a relationship, which implies that we cannot live without it, like the air we breathe.

Uncovering Our Beliefs

My counselor’s guidance went beyond semantic distinctions. He helped me realize that my belief system was deeply rooted in the idea that I needed a partner to feel complete. The thought of being single terrified me because I believed that I would be lost without someone to validate my existence. It was a subconscious belief that manifested in my tendency to quickly jump from one relationship to another.

The Light and Dark Sides

Understanding the difference between wanting and needing a relationship became a turning point for me. Wanting a relationship is natural and healthy. We are wired to connect with others and experience the joy and meaning that come with it. However, needing a relationship can have a darker side. When we view a certain relationship as essential, we become overly controlling, sometimes even resorting to violence or abuse in our desperate attempts to maintain it.

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The Attraction of Needy

Think about it. Needy people are rarely seen as attractive or healthy partners. At best, they’re annoying, and at worst, they drain the energy and joy out of those around them. Nobody wants to be needy. However, it took some soul-searching for me to admit that I showed up in my relationships as a needy person. I craved love and adoration, seeking external validation to fill a void within myself.

Breaking Free from Neediness

The path to breaking free from neediness lies in changing the source of our self-worth. Instead of relying on our partners for validation, we must believe in our own inherent goodness, worthiness, and lovability. True self-esteem comes from within, and when we possess it, we no longer need others to provide it.

Embracing Freedom and Choice

Cultivating self-esteem allows us to show up differently in relationships. We can enjoy the time and attention our partners give us, but we no longer depend on them for our sense of self-worth. This shift in perspective also changes how we view being single. We can choose to enter a partnership with someone who contributes positively to our lives, or we can opt to remain single, free from the fear of loneliness.

Discovering True Compatibility

When we let go of the need for a relationship, we gain the ability to discern true compatibility. We no longer feel compelled to attach ourselves to the first person who shows interest. We become selective in our choices, recognizing potential warning signs of a toxic relationship. Being single gives us the space and clarity to find a partner who aligns with our values and desires.

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The Role of Faith

Having a personal relationship with God can bring a whole new perspective to wanting and needing relationships. For those who trust in God, the feeling of loneliness is replaced with the knowledge that we are never truly alone. God’s unconditional love fills us with a sense of worthiness that nothing and no one else can provide. Moreover, God blesses us regardless of our relationship status, allowing us to focus on His purpose in our lives without distractions.

The journey from wanting to needing a relationship is a transformative one. By embracing our own self-worth, we free ourselves from the burden of neediness and open ourselves up to fulfilling, healthy partnerships. So let us remember, it’s not about needing someone to complete us, but rather about choosing to share our lives with someone who adds value and joy.

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