One of my followers on social media posed an interesting relationship question that she wanted me to answer along with other men who follow my posts on social media. She wanted to know what’s on the minds of men. And in her inquiries, she asked a question that stood out to me:
Is it better to be wanted or needed in a relationship?
Although I answered the question some days ago, the question has been lingering in my mind because there’s so much that can be said on this subject.
There is a value in being wanted just as there is value in being needed. So how does one decide which is the more preferred position? How are we to measure each option? One could ask is there even a need to choose between the two? What can be gained here?
There’s a lot behind the question as you can see, so let’s define our key terms for coherency.
A want is something desired or wished for. It can be something small, such as an inexpensive or an expensive item you’ve always wanted that you saved up for just because it made you feel good when you were finally able to purchase it.
It’s not a necessity by any stretch, neither does it need to be. You wanted it for reasons of your own that don’t need to be validated or otherwise approved of.
Needs, by definition, are necessities. Air, food, water and shelter are examples of bare necessities that we all need to sustain our lives at a basic level. Unlike the things we want, needs are not simply matters of choice. The fulfillment of these needs is imperative and must be met.
To be wanted or needed are both gifts when you think about it. The only exception would be in the context of need—whether it’s a true need or just a felt need. There’s a difference. A felt need is heard in the following, “I need you like the air I breathe” or some other similar heartfelt (and sometimes exaggerated) expressions.
This does not represent a need in a true sense. At best, it is a strong desire that feels like a need because of the emotional attachments that form over time and through experience as relationships deepen.
So with that said, I thought, how would I answer the question. “Would I rather be wanted or needed in a relationship?”
Well…Neither. I would rather be loved. I realize love was not one of the choices, but isn’t love what the question is really searching to find?
Isn’t that the underlying void that needs to be filled? We all want to be loved at the highest order. That’s what anyone who asks this question wants. They want to know that they are loved in the purest, most true essence of the word.
But wait, if we’re honest, don’t we desire to be wanted and needed? What if love leaves room for both? I think it does. Being wanted is a given. What person chooses to be in a relationship with someone they don’t want? Who in their righteous mind does that?
I think it’s safe to say that there are “needs” that our partners fill in our relationships. Otherwise, the relationships we build together would be meaningless. Furthermore, many scientist would argue that “love” in itself is a life need. Certain experiments and case studies have shown that animals—even humans—missing a component of love (whether motherly love or companionship love) were less adapt for survival than those given love.
Yes, it might be true that we “need” love, but we can also “want” that love to come from a certain person. So, the next time you’re asked that question, “Is it better to be wanted or needed,” just smile and say “Yes, both, please.”
BMWK, do you agree? Or do you prefer to be wanted versus needed? And is there flawed with needing love?