Needs in Relationships

I can no longer be a friend to someone simply because they need me. I have to need them too.

I suppose some could consider this selfish. But let me give you a bit of context.

Growing up, I always thought about what I needed to do for other people. My parents needed me to take care of my siblings, One of my friends needed someone to talk to about boys, another one of my friends needed space. Up until quite recently, I denied the idea that I even had needs because people needed me so much I thought my needs would get in the way of helping them.

It wasn’t until Jacob told me that he needed me to be happy that I seriously considered what it meant to need something. Is having needs selfish?

For the longest time, I thought the answer to that question was “Yes.” But after meeting Jacob I realized that everyone has needs, even the most selfless people I know have needs, and they aren’t doing anything wrong.

After a lot of self examination, I established some basic needs for myself:

-Food, shelter and a loving home

-Time to recharge

-Meaningful, two-sided relationships with a handful of people

Some of the worst relationships I’ve ever been in have been when I feel like I’m doing everything to fulfill that person’s needs and they ask more of me. They tell me they need me and here’s what I’m doing wrong. But the minute I asked for something in return, They’d tell me I was being needy or that they couldn’t help me with that. Some of these relationships (only one of them was anything close to what you could consider “romance”) took me years to leave behind me.

I still have a problem with this. I still often put the needs (and even wants) of others before my own. But I’m getting better.

I’m writing this because I find myself again at a point where I realize I have some detrimental relationships. I am no longer capable of putting my needs completely aside to try to attend to someone else. It’s part of why I don’t think I can be a biological mother. I literally cannot be selfless at this point in my life. But I can still love and cherish people that are close to me. I can still write and share words of truth and power with all those who will read them. And that is the best place I can be in my life.

I am taking a pledge to leave the pain of the past behind me. Starting now. Starting with accepting that I can attend to my needs before the needs of others. Starting with a determination to find joy in life and live the way I know is right for me.

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