You know what you want, but you have no idea about what you need. Let's talk about it for today's #CenteredThursday
Story of my life, at least it used to be.
Wants are what you would like from someone else, things you can wish for that require minimal effort on your end. Height requirements, body type preference, tax bracket: all of these wishlist items have ZERO to do with you personally. You have absolutely no skin in the game when you're "searching" for relationships based on wants. These preferences appeal to you, sure. But when you take these wants into a relationship, its like going to Build-A-Bear. You cannot custom-build a mate. And the sooner we accept this, the sooner we can find our relationship complement.
I'm not saying that it's wrong to have preferences. People come in all shapes and sizes and colors and flavors, and its human to be attracted to some types over others. That's fine, that's how we're wired. But when it comes to relationships, we have to zoom out a little bit and start from square one: Why do you want a relationship, and what kind of relationship do you want to have?
When I speak on relationships, I am covering the spectrum of these unions and not simply focused on romantic relationships. So keep that in mind.
When I see people talk about relationships, the conversation is often centered on the physical aspect and what that Build-A-Boo needs to be able to do for the relationship seeker. This is ass backwards. I compare this to folks who are focused on planning their wedding day to the nth degree, but have never given a thought to how they want to plan and execute their marriage. Relationships are so much more than professional pictures and sappy social media statuses. Many people are stuck on the superficiality of relationships. and who can blame them?! that's the society we live in: materialistic and superficial and all about the optic. We have to grow up and out of these depthless #RelationshipGoals because there are so many miserable people out there who are doing it for the gram and trying to save face. I was one of them.
I like to make lists. I've made lists all my life and I always will. even in this technologically driven world, there's nothing like a good pen and nice paper and the freedom to jot down streams of consciousness. I was so good at making lists and sticking to them that my Daddy nicknamed me Debo (his name is Tiny Lister; see the play on words? lol). Anyway, I found myself making personal lists, including what I wanted in a mate. My dopey ass titled it, "My Ideal Partner". I wanted my mate to take their health seriously and go to the doctor; I wanted them to outwardly incorporate faith in all things they did; I wanted them to not get violent or destructive when they got upset; I wanted them to communicate with me. I went on and on about what I wanted and realized that not only did my partner at the time not meet these requirements, but I had absolved all personal responsibility in my relationship by making this list. I thought that these wants were actually needs, but needs require self reflection. Needs require that you sacrifice, compromise, and put some skin in the game. Needs require you to get up off yo ass and work on how you are in a relationship in order to make it work to the advantage of all parties involved. Needs require you to be brutally honest about who you are, what you bring to the table, and how you're willing to grow to make the relationship effective. so with that conviction, I made another list called "Relationship Needs" and with this list, I decided to also include my own contribution in how these needs could be met by me and my partner:
- Communication: I would need to be willing to communicate my thoughts, feelings and ideas, even if that leads to arguments or disagreements. My partner is not me, and I don't want or need a 'yes man'. Communicating through good and bad times harvests a safe place in the relationship. Communication also means learning when to shut up and listen to your partner and their concerns, instead of waiting for your chance to rebut. Closing myself off to communication leads to assumptions and expectations, and those are common avoidable pitfalls in a relationship.
- Respect: I would need to be willing to learn what respect means to my partner and not engage in disparaging name-calling when upset. I need to remember that no matter the disagreement, I decided to include this adult person in this chapter of my life, they have their own opinions and experiences, and their feelings are valid, even if I don't agree with them. I would need to be willing to respect their space and their time, and not try to monopolize either space or time.
- Consideration: I would need to be willing to consider my partner's feelings, time, and other obligations before making any decisions. I would need to be willing to think about how my partner would be affected in every action I take.
- Love: I would need to be willing to love my partner for who they are, and not for who I want them to be. I would need to be willing to learn and understand my partner's love language and love them how they want to be loved, not how I would want to be loved. I would need to be aware of any changes in how their love language develops, and not allow miscommunication or resentment keep me from showing my partner the love that they deserve.
- Affection: I would need to be willing to show affection and receive affection, and not allow my own personal goals, ambitions, or unspoken unmet expectations to block me from loving on and showing affection to my mate.
- Understanding: I would need to be willing to understand that my partner is an individual with their own thoughts, and I cannot expect them to think or react like me because they are not me. I would also need to be willing to remember that my experiences are not their experiences, and to not assume malice. If I assume malice from my partner, then I don't need to be with them.
- Empathy: I would need to be willing to put my own emotions to the side and put myself in my partners' shoes. Just because I think I have matured in a certain way or think I have learned a certain lesson, that doesn't mean that they have endured the same trials. I would need to be willing to put my needs on hold for a bit to be there for my partner in the ways they need.
- Initiative: I would need to be willing to take the initiative and not expect my partner to take care of everything. If I want my partner to know what I am working on, I would need to tell them and not assume that we're thinking about the same thing. I would need to make time for us to spend together and be an active participant in the relationship.
- Cooperation: I would need to be willing to let go of the reins sometimes and take turns leading with my partner. A relationship is not "my way or the highway"; its compromise, its shared responsibility and its being able to trust your partner's decision making.
- Ambition: I would need to be willing to create a relationship with purpose and goals. I would need to be able to plan a future with my partner that included tangible, measurable goals and accountability. I would need to be willing to match my words with my actions and participate in making my #RelationshipGoals a reality.
- Nuture: I would need to be willing to give my partner and my relationship the time and patience to grow and succeed, and not expect either of us to be relationship experts overnight.
- Support: I would need to be willing to go hard for my partner and support their work and goals just as much as I would need the support. I would need to be willing to listen to their problems and their concerns and not tune them out. I would need to be willing to invest in my partner, even if their goals do not directly include me.
- Protection: I would need to be willing to protect my partner physically, emotionally and spiritually, just as I would want that same protection. I would need to be willing to recognize and avoid temptations that would lead me to act against my relationship and hold myself accountable.
As you can see, a relationship takes work, honey. You can't sit a relationship out. You gotta have skin in the game. Now don't get me wrong; I am the furthest thing from perfect like everyone I know. But I had to recognize that I can only get out of a relationship what I put into it, and I needed to check my wants versus needs. Know that whatever you need, you gotta be willing to give.
Look at yourself. Be honest.
What do you need, and what are you willing to do to receive it?
Needs and Wants is an original post and appeared first on BYNKradio by Jazzmyn Blu.