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Things I Need...

How do you know what you need? This has always been a hard ask for me. I am never sure whether what I think I need is real or just some construct that is based on old scripts and tapes that are really no longer relevant in my life.

My life has pretty much gone like this in relationships with other people:


Feel a connection

Be worried that I feel more than they do or they feel more than I do...

See that they feel the connection also


Give to them because it makes us both feel good

Wait to receive from them

Finally receive from them but it isn’t what I really need or want

Hang around for a indeterminate period of time waiting for them to get the memo

Realize that they don’t know what I need or want

Try to talk to them about what I need or want

Do a very awkward and circuitous job so that neither of us knows what I am talking about

Finally get some clarity and ask again

Have them tell me that they will give me what I need

Have them not give me what I need

Try to talk about it again but feel very defeated

Do this several hundred times

Have the other person promise they will show up and provide what I need

Realize that the other person either can’t or won’t give what I need

Stay and try to find a way to not need what I need

Leave the relationship after putting all of us through a lot

Experience a lot of sadness and frustration


Now this is not with every relationship. I am decidedly wary a great deal of the time so most of the time I do not get past the second step. I feel a connection, they feel a connection and it dies on the vine because I am not willing to move towards that connection or I decide that it isn’t the right connection. I have missed a lot of relationships this way. And I think on the whole, missing was the better option.

I have become better at knowing things about myself and others. I am not so willing to launch myself into relationships with people. I can stand back a bit and wait and see what happens.

I think for a long time I never even knew what I needed. I was just living for some fantasy miracle thing to happen where it all just happened and I risked nothing and was happy.

Getting your heart smashed to pieces will show you an entirely different path...

I have spent a lot of the last four years hanging out and learning to really enjoy my own company. Dating was something casual that I did but without a great deal of hope or interest in a future. I became content to be in my own company and spend time doing things I loved to do.

As much work as I have done, I still have needs and wants and desires. I still have expectations and things that I want from another person. And I still feel totally trapped by that. I am not sure how to express myself or ask for what I need or want. It would be so much fucking easier if other people just knew. But they don’t. We have to tell them.

And right there that is the vulnerability point. The place where you own your most intimate self who is tender, raw and not all that attractive perhaps. This place where you own those parts of yourself that clamor for attention and expression while the bigger you tells them to shut up and not fuck things up. But the heart wants what it wants and will never be satisfied with less.

So I meet myself in the place I have been a million times before - wrestling with myself for agency over myself. Inventorying the things that I need and then comparing them to what is realistic and possible. And feeling oh so very lost. Always and forever unsure of what or how to ever just be who I am and have that be ok. Wanting to escape from this place where I so fear entering into another relationship with only part of myself while holding the greater me hostage with duct tape and wire.

It takes a lot of courage to say what you want and need. To talk about it and share it with another. It feels as though each time it will be different, but it isn’t. It is the same always. Me fighting me for the ability to be who I am and let other people do the same. My job, my only job, is to ask. Trusting that the choices I have made which have allowed this other person to stand before me have improved over the years. And that me asking for what I need is more important than whether or not they can meet the need. It never feels like that is the case. It always feels like them being able to meet the need is way more important. But no. It is always me being willing to combat myself and summon up the courage to ask, no matter how awkwardly. And trusting that someday, there might just actually be a person who cares enough to provide an answer back that is real, caring and willing to meet me where I am.

And perhaps one day I will be able to view my own needs not as intrusions or inconveniences, they can just be things I need...nothing more.

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