Many times we confuse the difference between what we require and what we desire in relationships. We make a list of all the important traits we want in a partner, with very little concept of what we really need in our relationships. Our lists often include items about physical appearance, the level of income or career, and may end with a general statement like “I just want someone that makes me happy.” It is up to you to understand what you need in a relationship versus what you want, and it is your responsibility to effectively communicate those things. First let’s take a look at what constitutes a need. According to Dictionary.com a need is “a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation.” Simply put a need is something that is essential and very important to person some people may refer to this as a “deal breaker”. For many people they have struggled trying to determine what their essential needs really are. Some of you might be familiar with this concept figuring out what is most important to you for a continental relationship. Now let’s examine “want” according to Webster “desire or a wish for something”. A want is something we might like to have rather than a requirement for healthy living. For example, someone might want a man who drives a BMW 7 Series. However, the car that your partner drives has very little impact on the emotional and psychological support they invest in the relationship. Most people probably agree with me thinking, “Obviously, you can’t choose someone based on the car they drive”. But often times the differences between our needs and are wants are not as pronounced as this example. They walk a fine line and I would like to say they even change from couple to couple. We all have our own beliefs and expectations about what we need. These needs are mostly shaped by the media and relationships we have observed, whether in real life or on television. Beyond that, there is a common belief that we are supposed to listen to our feelings, thoughts and impulses, which are often misleading. Impulses guide us in the moment, which may not always be helpful when trying to build a long-term committed relationship. If you have your own your non-negotiable needs or wants comment below and share them.
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