Needs V.S Wants?

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 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.

Copyright ©2016 Jay Colby All Rights Reserved.

About Jay Colby

Some would categorize me as an entrepreneur, life coach, son, friend and all of the above. I’m just another person trying to find my way in this world. Until recently, I was unsure what my path in this life would consist of. Like many others I was between I know what I want to do but not sure if that’s what I’m supposed to do. I am currently finishing my degree in something that has nothing to do with becoming a writer or entrepreneur so automatically it qualifies me to become one right! Follow me as I go through this journey called life to impact and encourage one person at a time.
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49 Responses to Needs V.S Wants?

  1. dabingar says:


    Liked by 2 people

  2. annwjwhite says:

    It’s a balancing act. I wanted a mate that would understand my quirky, aggressive and independent nature. That was a need. Funny, I never cared about money, or looks (although he is good looking), but understanding that I was who I was and wouldn’t regard being changed as anything other than a deal breaker, I found my guy. He likes that I’m independent, quirky, tough, and funny. He needed a mate that would accept him and offset his serious side. So we blended. Married 35 1/2 years now and looking for more. We are best friends, protectors, lovers, and so much more. You are right about what you need and what you want. Good article.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Good perspective on need vs.want….it’s quite difficult to draw that line though in the Real world. But yes, we all should be aware of that thin line..

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ivy Willow says:

    Oh man! Thank you so much for commenting on my post and dropping the link to this post. It’s well written and worded and makes an extremely important point about needs and wants. What you can’t sacrifice or negotiate, and what you could. You did a beautiful job expressing the two, I love it ^.^ Have a beautiful day sunshine, and take gentle care of yourself ^.^

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Soul Inspirations says:

    I like this post Jay I feel if people really get this balanced their relationships would thrive

    Liked by 2 people

  6. osarobohenry says:

    Thank you for your visit to my blog and for the like. God’s blessings to you in the name of jesus christ.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This is a great response to my post 🙂 Thank you for sharing the link. You’re right to point out that our needs and wants change through time and can even vary between relationships. If I think about it objectively, my needs have been fairly consistent; even through the personal changes and improvements I have made. In fact, now that I have said that, my self-improvement has certified my needs. What’s more is that as I grow, I am becoming less willing to compromise on these needs–but I am still learning and it does take time. We grow up hearing about our worth, but I think it’s more of a process applying and acknowledging our worth. –Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post, I have had to continuously remind myself what it is that I need, not very much in reality and therefore most of the things that I thought I had problems with I simply didn’t as they were only wants. I became a lot less accommodating as a result – in a good way of course.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. spudbudette says:

    I think you have assessed well. I have noticed that when I confuse the two I expect perfection which only makes me frustrated and the other person hurt.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. rothpoetry says:

    Perhaps a list of what we bring to the relationship as well. What is our offering?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I just had this discussion with my son, he needed his toy he dropped while I was driving. And I said do you “need it or want it” there’s a difference cause we don’t need everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. no face woman says:

    Thoughtful and provoking read ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  13. no face woman says:

    Also to answer your question, for me a non-negotiable is just a steadfast moral compass, (and lack of sexual predatory behaviour). Apart from that I’m pretty open.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This is a nice post again jay! A lot of people really don’t have the idea of the difference between a want and a need. If I am the one to be asked by the question I only need a source of income that me and my family can live through the days but I want is pretty more to live comfortably the rest of our days.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Lovely post as always and there is a great difference between Needs and Wants. We are not satisfied and therefore wants keep on piling up and what we really need is totally forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Need = he puts in a huge amount of effort (PS when it’s meant to be this is not that difficult). Want = making traditions together like randomly having s’mores for dinner. Those are a simplified version of what I need in a relationship :))

    Liked by 2 people

  17. jac forsyth says:

    I recently dated a smoker. What started out as impacting on my wants, ended up impacting on my needs. Weird how these things play out.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. leeksspeaks says:

    love the article Jay! I think you brought about an interesting perspective about combining the concept of wants and needs with love. Well written as well! Kudos to you

    Liked by 3 people

  19. vw37785 says:

    Believe it or not that kind of thinking is old school and new at the same time. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Habiba says:

    I think Needs and Want are acknowledged relatively from person to person depending on how they see things. For instance, a realistic and mature person would prioritize needs first whereas a person believing in fantasies would always jump for wants and wishes. Speaking of a partner in specific, I strongly believe that one should recognize the needs clearly rather than depending on the illusion of wants.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Alice says:

    Overall my type is taller than me, confident, and sociable. You could say those are wants rather than needs, but ultimately you have to be attracted to them to pursue a relationship, so in a way they’re needs?

    Liked by 3 people

  22. studentzy says:

    Need is the foundation, want is desire..

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Felix I says:

    Reblogged this on Social Media, Blogger, Friend and Business partner and commented:
    Interesting blog. Originally, I wanted to write about desires and wants. Thanks and have a good week ahead of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Niki says:

    I think a lot of times we also confuse how our needs should be meet. We can fool ourselves into thinking a partner can or should meet our every need. I think we need to learn to cultivate our happiness without expecting our partner to cultivate their own and tend to ours. I get it, as a society we buy into the “other half” scenario but how much more powerful is it to enter and build a relationship with two wholes. 💖


  25. I will say this, there a 5 love languages.
    Once a man and woman master these and know who their soul mate is to be, and they know the love language of their future wife/husband; all will flow by God’s will, his plan and purpose.


  26. Mecca_amirah says:

    Very thoughtful and cohesive! I enjoyed reading this and it has brought certain aspects to perspective


  27. Unrealistic expectations also know as imagines. There’s no such thing as a perfect man or a perfect woman. We have to decide what we’re willing to tolerate. People need to understand that what they see in a romantic movie or read in a romantic novel are not real life examples of any kind of relationship. It’s a fantasy. This will also help with knowing the difference between your wants vs your needs.


  28. Pingback: How to Live Beyond the Ordinary | From guestwriters

  29. mraine33 says:

    I have a really hard time coming up with “needs”. I have lots of “wants” but I’ve always had a hard time telling someone “I can’t be with you because…”. This can be both helpful and hurtful. The man I’ve been with for almost 6 years is the type of person that if I would have had a lot of “deal-breakers” back then, we probably never would have gotten together (he had no job, no car/license, lived with his sister, and had a criminal record), but for some reason I really liked him and believed in him and it’s worked out so far (needless to say, he now has a good job, has a license and a car that’s newer than mine, we live together, and he’s gotten his legal stuff as cleared up as possible). I can say in this case I’m really glad I didn’t see his situation as a deal-breaker as I once thought I might. At the same time, I’ve found myself in relationships from time to time where it’s all great in the beginning (the wants are met, affection, adventure, lots of time together, ect) but then I ask myself what I’m doing wasting my time with someone who clearly doesn’t have the same goals. I’m too much of a people pleaser sometimes! Luckily this current relationship has been working out nicely and hopefully it can be my last.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Pingback: Needs V.S Wants? — Jay Colby | Site Title

  31. Eirini says:



  32. Jay this is a great post! Clearly lots of people have difficulty distringushing​ actual needs. Thanks for sharing.


  33. It’s the basic questions we forget sometimes.


  34. Thanks for sharing. it is very helpful


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