Sometimes, relationships end naturally as we grow out of them. But sometimes, we never have the opportunity to grow into our relationships. Oftentimes, this happens when we blur the line between what we want and what we need from a partner. What’s worse is when our romantic needs and wants conflict. My husband has a friend who was single for several years before meeting the woman to whom he is now engaged. She moved into his house a few weeks after their first date. She lives in his home rent-free, sold his couch on Craigslist and yells at him in public. She even has a list on their refrigerator of everything she hopes to change about his house, his life- even his body! The obvious question of course is “What is he getting out of it?” Well, he gets sex, he has companionship and the loneliness he has felt for years coming home to an empty house has disappeared. To him, at this moment in his life, satisfying his wants is more important than satisfying his long-term needs. Never mind that his identity, values and future plans are no longer important- he has what he wants right now!
How can you know if your wants conflict with your needs? Is it wrong to look for specific traits in a mate? Is it OK to say you want someone with money? Is it OK to want someone who enjoys BDSM? The key is to understand what you need so you can better understand what you really want. Ask yourself the following 4 questions to open yourself up to new possibilities and discover what you really want in a future mate.
Once you have answered these questions, you will have a better understanding of what you want and what you need from future relationships. Most importantly, give yourself an opportunity to enjoy new experiences in your romantic life. You never know what you might like!