The Break Up Diaries: The difference between what you want & what you need

”The BreakUp Diaries: A Series of Ridiculously Honest Break Up Tales and Tips from a Normal Gal Going Through the Same Shit“

I feel I can start every article in this series with the same statement, “We’ve all been here”. This time around, we’re talking about the battle between what you want and what you need. The constant tear between two very important qualities in a partner: one which meets your needs and the other that rustles the butterflies in your stomach every time you look at them.

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I’ve had a roller coaster of relationships in the last year, ending with me seriously seeing two men at the same time. One of them was everything I needed: kind, attentive, thoughtful, a good listener, took care of me, etc. The other was everything I ever wanted: sexy, successful, fiercely intelligent, and devastatingly funny. When it came time, can you guess which one I picked?

I was absolutely mad for him; the “I’ve never felt this way before” kind but the thing is, throughout the whole relationship there was always something missing. I tried to ignore it and when that didn’t work, I tried to fill it with anything I could. But no matter how much I wanted to be with him, I couldn’t force the relationship to be what I needed.

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You see, we all have these levels of emotional needs that have to be met and, in my experience, what you want can change but what you need rarely does. It’s a pyramid really, a relationship hierarchy in which your needs are at the bottom, most basic level and you cannot progress to the next level of “wants” until the needs have been met.

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The issue here though is modern dating tends to ignore this pyramid and skips to the top level of the hierarchy: what we want. Nowadays, we judge a partner on their level of attraction, career success, and charm while inadvertently skipping over the basic qualities needed in a partner such as dependability, kindness, and support. Modern dating is all about surface level chemistry, not true compatibility, but it is so easily disguised as so.

This is where it gets dangerous. We can jump into a relationship with someone who we’re crazy about but then years down the line realize it’s not going to work, that it never was going to work. If I’ve learned anything ladies, it’s that you cannot deny what you need.

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With this being said, does this mean we have to run from the fellas that excite us and settle down with the dependable lad our parents like but secretly even they find boring? My Rebel Femmes, the truth is I don’t know. I don’t have it all figured out but part of me wants to scream absolutely not.

* Warning: I’m about to get super passionate here *

I’ve spent my whole life fighting the societal pressures of settling. I’ve risked everything to pursue a career and a life that sets my soul on fire. To be fair, I’m young and can afford to do so, but it hasn’t been easy. It has been far worth it though. I don’t believe in settling, I believe in fighting for what you want in life, for a life that you love every morning you get out of bed.

So, I believe a relationship is no different. I want a partner that excites me, challenges me, and meets my needs. I want a partner that I’m obsessed with, but also one that would do anything for me.

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Is this realistic? I’m not sure. But I’m not ready to settle yet and I think you all shouldn’t be either.

Love is a really special thing and I truly think a rare few find the kind that lasts, but I want to fight for it and I think we all should. I guess it’s about finding someone who is what you want and what you need. When you do find him though, let me know as I’d love to meet his brother.

Keep fighting gals –
Love you much,
Courtney

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