The Difference Between Needing and Wanting a Relationship

I think one of the most exciting thing about being single is that anything can happen. I made some new friends (Hi Katie, hi Karen!) this week and they are both married and have been with their husbands for a while. Both love their husbands dearly, but it’s the same guy all the time. They said they both like to live vicariously through their single friends.

Well, I ought to hold up my end of the bargain and give you some of the ins of what I’ve got going on!

In my experience there is a distinction between needing a relationship and wanting one. Needing implies that you are not whole without a relationship, that you need that other person to “complete” you. I’m sorry Jerry Maguire, but nobody completes anyone. You have to be whole as yourself in order for there to be a healthy relationship.

The only exception. If you are a donut and a donut hole, you may say you complete me.

The only exception. If you are a donut and a donut hole, you may say you complete me.

So what is the difference of wanting a relationship? Why is that ok? I think that it is perfectly natural for a person to want to be in a relationship. Having a companion can be fun and fulfilling.

A whole person (or donut) can recognize his or herself as whole and still want to be coupled up. There is nothing weak about that. A person standing fully on their own two feet and being with someone that is also standing on their own two feet.

I am a long time sufferer of codependency. It takes a lot of work for me to develop a strong sense of self so that I do not lose that in a relationship. And I mentally know the difference between expecting a person to complete me and standing on my own two feet, but practicing that is much different.

It’s so easy to talk the talk, and I can spout all the different ways to be an independent woman. Walking that talk is a harder task.

What about you? What do you do to keep yourself standing on your two feet, and not lean on someone else?

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4 thoughts on “The Difference Between Needing and Wanting a Relationship

  1. I’m finding it gets easier with time, mind you,my ex dididn’t do much to assist or support me really, so I was kinda independently married. It’ll take someone pretty special for me to give up my independence fully, mostly because I got so badly burnt for such a long time on the first one

  2. This is a cool post. I, too, struggle with codependency and I notice it when I’m in a relationship because I lose much of my sense of self. I literally change and adapt who I am for the relationship to work.. when in reality… I need to be me. Thank you for writing this… I’m going to have to do some thinking now.

  3. I like this post because I feel better about my decision to stop dating. It is really important to me to continue growing into who I am meant to be and accomplishing certain goals I have of the personal growth variety. I feel like if I am in a relationship right now, my personal growth will be stunted. I don’t feel sad about it at all. So, I guess I do not need or want a relationship right now. I like how you distinguished the difference between the two. Great post. 🙂

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