What You Want vs. What You Need In A Relationship

“You can’t always get what you want 
You can’t always get what you want 
You can’t always get what you want 
But if you try sometimes well you might find 
You get what you need”

The Rolling Stones sang about it, now it’s time to talk about what we want vs. what we need in relationships. My observation is that most people, spend far more time pursuing that which they want without much consideration of what they need. Some have conflated their needs with their wants and are unable to differentiate between the two.

When I started writing this I was headed toward differentiating between wants and needs and suggesting we prioritize the latter vs. the former. The more I thought about it, is it even possible to override a lifetime of indoctrination and suddenly change priorities? If you want something bad enough it pretty much is a need, whether anyone else including your partner thinks so or not.

We are all shaped by our experiences. Maybe you experienced abandonment, destitution, infidelity or abuse. Your needs will be shaped far more by what you’ve been through than anything I might offer up. What I will suggest is, take the extra time and energy to choose someone whose needs and wants are compatible with your own. It’s very possible to fall deeply in love with someone, totally unable to be what you need them to be. Worse yet is someone who pretends to be what you need in order to accommodate wants/needs of their own. Not only will they ultimately let you down. They will also have lost a bit of themselves in conforming to the needs of another.

The point is… and maybe what I wanted to say all along. Is that you have to have serious and honest communication or extremely good luck if you hope to have a successful, ‘till death do you part kind of relationship. You have to discuss each others fears, weaknesses, and expectations in order to even begin to know what you might be getting into. I have a theory that you don’t really know a person until you know their deepest pain. That hurt will inform their choices the rest of their life as they have no desire to repeat it. That could be a good place to begin the conversation.