I Need YOU: Debunking the 3 Myths behind “Need” in Relationships
From the desk of the Modern Day Cindi: Need is a word that is synonymous with necessity meaning that something or someone is essential, required, or necessary for life, for continuation, for balance, for direction, or for survival. Outside of the three basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter, need also manifest itself in relationships through Love as I Corinthians 13 points out. Even more, these three little words ‘I Need You’ can mean: help me, hold me, affirm me, validate me, protect me, speak to me, and love me.
However, the word ‘need’ has lost purpose in a world that promotes the gain of one thing in exchange for the loss of something else. More often in our modern culture, need has been translated into something tangible, material, and agenda driven. Likewise, societal roles for men and woman have painted women as emotionally inferior and needy, and men as emotionally superior. Despite that, I offer a different perspective for understanding and honoring need in relationships as both sexes are affected by fulfillment or lack of some form of need equally. So let’s remove the subterfuge of the word “need” and debunk the myths:
Myth 1: The utterance of the words ‘I Need You’ is soft and feminine.
TRUTH: Men, as well as women, have needs that are emotional and sociological in nature to which both benefit from the creation of woman and man and even the joining together in union.
Myth 2: There is an unequal loss of control voicing need which turns into weakness, inferiority, inability, and ineptitude.
TRUTH: Yes, there is a relinquishment of control once these words are uttered, but not unequal if given to God first before sharing with others.
Myth 3: If I share or request support from my significant other in this way, I may become a burden and will be vulnerable to judgment, invalidity, embarrassment, or fear.
TRUTH: Vulnerability is a great tool to build healthy communication once fear is exposed and excised. Not only is the listener promoted to a place of trust, but the speaker is even empowered as they are granting access to a place in their life that only they have the key.
In order to be genuinely comfortable communicating need to a spouse or significant other so that both can benefit mutually, each person must do the following:
- Absorb the fear and humanity of your mate and empower them within that space.
- Be mindful not to over talk, out talk, or invalidate their need.
- Listen intently to the words that are conveyed to understand how to edify and why what is said is important.
Beyond the tangible pretense of the phrase “I need you” is the intangible “I need YOU! “ This phrase was designed to provide assistance and comfort, not ignite fear and vulnerability. We all could possibly be much further along in our relationships if we spoke these words freely, more often and they were received freely and more openly.