There’s a difference between being ‘in love’ and being ‘in need.’
We verbally claim our love for our partner and believe to feel this emotion deeply. However, when it comes down to discerning actions, we might be shocked to realize that we only need them.
I needed someone in the past, and truth be told, there was something missing in both me and in my life.
This person came along and was the perfect man to fill the holes in my life that I thought I so desperately needed to fill. Sadly, I confused my neediness for love. In fact, it wasn’t him I needed — it was what I needed from him. I now know what it feels like to feel need instead of love.
I freak out when I hear someone say “I need you.”
On the surface, it’s a harmless statement. But if we truly behold the deeper meaning behind it and contemplate the damage it does, we’d find it has nothing to do with genuine love. I choose to replace it with “I want you,” “I appreciate you,” or simply, “I love you.”
It’s of utmost importance to tell the difference between neediness and love, or else we will pursue a relationship for the wrong reasons, which can end up hurting ourselves and the other person.
Love is not a business contract — it’s a state of being.
Love means enjoying the person and their presence. We let them be, and take into account their own personal needs.
This is how we ‘want’ another person. Their presence should be an additional joy or blessing in our lives. Nevertheless, when their presence becomes a must or an addiction, our love transforms to neediness. When we are in need, we don’t enjoy the person. Rather, we enjoy what we take from them.
Some people are in need, but oblivious to it. If we cast the light on this issue, we can work on eradicating it and consequently, can help our love flourish in a valuable way. Love is never black and white, but being aware of these signs may help you create a healthier and happier partnership in the long run.
1. Focusing on What You’re Receiving
When we constantly take instead of share, we are only focusing on what’s being brought to the table. We might have an unconscious physical, emotional, materialistic, or mental need we expect a partner to honor. Fights ensue when these expectations aren’t met.
What to do: Wanting something means not minding if it’s not there. However, needing something means not being able to perpetuate love without it. We can alter our perspective and focus instead on what we’re sharing — and not on what we’re taking. There will always be an imbalance of give and take in love. So, the best way to stop needing that balance is by actually creating it. We create it by lowering our expectations and removing the focus off of our partner.
2. Blaming Them for Your Misery
In a needy relationship, our misery is blamed on our partner. We link it to not getting what we want. To put it differently, we constantly associate our negative emotions with our partner and claim they inflicted them on us.
What to do: True love doesn’t know blame. We must understand that our emotions and thoughts are in constant flux — and they’re not necessarily our partner’s fault. Even if it is the case, it is advisable to talk it through calmly and consciously, instead of furiously holding our partner accountable.
3. Being Attached to Their Presence
Getting used to someone is one thing and getting attached to them is another. Habit is normal and common. Nonetheless, attachment is the inability to live without our partner. When we are in need, we don’t tolerate their absence. This is why many couples abundantly suffer after breaking up — because of attachment.
What to do: Separation or distance is undoubtedly heart-wrenching, but it shouldn’t be poisonous. It’s advisable to learn how to be on our own even if our partner is absent. We can do so by focusing on ourselves and filling our free time with things we like to do.
4. Sense of Control