Love and Need

Personal relationships problems are often about the conflicts that arise from the combination or conflict of love and need, and differences in needs. I am currently supporting several friends through divorces. Meanwhile one of the young people I advise, is, she tells me, falling madly in love and asked me for some insights into “love and need”, as if I knew anything about them? 🙂 Anyway I wrote some thoughts for her and then, here make them a bit more general, less personal.

My wife says my riffs sometimes/always make people’s heads hurt. So Caution: Riff Warning

  1. Love is excellent and necessary, and yes we have profound needs for it, and we are social creatures deeply connected to each other.
  2. And I do think Monogamy is the only game in town. Polyamory (my Dogs think that means love of Parrots, but I told them that is Pollyamory, which is different and more viable) doesn’t in my experience work.
  3. But I do think that our needs cannot be met by one person, once we leave the womb, appealing though that is. And we cannot merge with one person post womb either.
  4. So some of our needs to be loved can indeed be met by our best beloved.
  5. But other needs only we can meet: like only we can eat for ourselves and only we can learn stuff. No one can eat for us or learn for us for example, and there are other needs we need to meet ourselves, including getting to know ourselves.
  6. So trying to get all our needs met by our partner is almost bound to end in disaster in my experience.
  7. And there are other needs that have to be met by others, not just our best beloves or ourself. I think we humans are quite complex with lots of portals that need to link to different people to be activated.
  8. And to flourish we need different people for these to come alive with. Sort of Polyfriendory….With just one person or alone, many of the facets of our psyche wither
  9. So a friend net is necessary and it is good if the net is loving too; and I think many of my friends are loving, though, like me and my best beloved, far from perfect, sometimes let me down, sometimes have their own stuff that gets in the way and sometimes I have to let folk go, move on or they have moved on and let me go.
  10. I also think humans need some solitude; some time in the wilderness, when we can figure out our needs; learn to meet those needs we can meet and then be much clearer on what needs our best beloved realistically can meet and what needs our friends can meet and if we need some new friends. And of course we can try meeting our own needs as no one else is around…..
  11. And I think we need boundaries. I don’t think love, empathy or compassion are possible unless we set clear boundaries; otherwise we burn out, or come to resent others, and I like this Brene Brown riff on this topic:
  12. And of course I think our needs are physical, are mental, are social and are spiritual and so these are included as well as self/best beloved/friends dimension.
  13. Some give it a try; experiment a bit in figuring what needs you have and how to meet them and heck even talk it over with your partner, friends and of course self.
  14. Hope head not hurting….or any other parts…

About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Marital and Relationship Conflict, PERSONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CREATIVE STRATEGIES and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Love and Need

  1. Michael Walsh says:

    I know it sounds banal because I’m not sure what else to say simply, but “Very good.”

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