It's a word that evokes a vulnerable, sensitive connotation; in a way, sometimes perhaps, it can be desperate and primal, a word we associate with necessity or survival. Nevertheless, it's one we use with casualness and confuse with desire. At three years old, we demand a teddy bear off the store shelf on the premise that it is absolutely essential to the completion of our stuffed animal collection - so, we scream "I need it!" because without it, we're just not whole. And when we don't get it, well...we might just throw a tantrum on the floor. Our lives are over and so is the world.
Yes, I know what you're thinking - 1) I come up with some crazy dramatic analogies. 2) Toddlers are selfish lil' demon spawns. 3) What's the point? Well, both 1 and 2 are correct, and here's the answer to your question in one simple sentence:
We tend to use the words need and want interchangeably.
I've thought about this concept a lot. Although I haven't experienced it, I've seen the ugly side of need. I've seen poverty and homelessness, sickness and hunger. There are people who are in need of food, shelter, and medicine for their survival. But are we in need of others, or do we just want them around?
For years I've asked myself: Do I need someone to be complete? Do I need someone at all?
I was raised to be independent - to provide for myself financially and to rely on no one else but myself. I like it that way, and I wouldn't change it. It's shaped who I am and it's made me stronger and more resilient, and for that, I'm grateful. My parents earned what they had when they were young, and my mother spent many years of her young life struggling and fending for herself. So, naturally, they did what all good parents do and protected me, and in the best way they knew how: by teaching me to become like them - somebody who didn't need somebody else.
And yet, here I lie, on half of my bed, clinging to my snoring dog for comfort, wide awake on a late Sunday night because I can't stop thinking about my husband. He's been gone on his business trip for less than 24 hours, but it sure feels much longer. I'm not happy being alone, no - not any longer. Instead, it saddens me. I've become a vulnerable, soft mess. I try to distract myself with all sorts of things but something feels different. My body has noticed and followed suit, and all of a sudden I no longer have much of an appetite. I'm tired, but can't go to sleep. I'm under the sheets, but still feel cold. I feel uncomfortable, uneasy, restless. I miss him.
So, do I really need him?
That, my friends, is the loaded question, and I realize I've digressed (sorry) - but the simple, straightforward answer is yes.
At first, I couldn't stand feeling like I needed Adam. I didn't want to need anybody. But the greater my love for him grew, the greater my need for him did, too. After Adam slipped out of bed at 4am that Sunday morning and left, after months of being home without any business trips in between, I felt disoriented. I couldn't stand sleeping by myself, I despised it; in fact, I had forgotten what it was like. I felt awkward and out of place coming home to a quiet, empty apartment. I prayed that he was safe. What would I ever do without him? I couldn't imagine it. I couldn't fathom living without him. And as scary as the thought of that was, I wouldn't have it any other way - because I wanted to need him. My life is better because he's in it, I am better because of him.
Go ahead, laugh at me. Make fun of me, even! But as embarrassingly soppy as it all might sound, it's the truth, folks. I'm always going to be 100% honest and real on this blog. Love makes you vulnerable. You get tangled in its grasp and it traps you. Eventually, you become a lost cause, but strangely in the best freakin' way possible. You might try to fight it at first, but you will fail. It'll be the best thing that ever happened to you, but also the craziest. One day, you'll need someone, and you won't want it any other way. I know I don't.
require (something) because it is essential or very important.
a thing that is wanted or required.
"his day-to-day needs"synonyms: requirement, essential, necessity, want, requisite, prerequisite, demand, desideratum
"basic human needs"
I need my husband as much as I want him; like water, he is required for my well-being and he is essential to my core.
Who do you need?
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