I have been playing with the
idea that we create all of our relationships based on the
needs they fill. It is not a very romantic notion, but I
invite you to read, ponder with me, and let me know what
you think. I am thinking of all relationships romances,
friendships, family, strangers, with your body, and even
relationships with physical objects, ideas, and institutions.
For this discussion, let's focus on romantic
relationships, and you can expand from there. How have
you chosen romantic partners in the past? Think about
one. What is a need that you imagined this person might
meet for you? And did they meet that need? Did meeting
or not meeting that need have any influence on the outcome
of the relationship?
Here are some possibilities of the kinds
of needs that I am thinking of:
At the lower levels of consciousness,
an older man might want a flashy young woman on his arm
to meet his need to bolster his declining self-esteem.
A woman who is fearful about her aging might choose a
virile young man in her life to meet her need to prove
she is still attractive. People often need to prove to
their Inner Judge that he is wrong about their unworthiness,
and at this level of awareness they will choose relationship
partners based on this need.
At medium ”levels of consciousness
( = healthy neurotics), denied parts of people's total
being are often projected onto others in order to meet
their need to feel whole. A man who was forced to deny
his quiet emotional side in childhood might choose a woman
who embodies those qualities. If that inhibited woman
feels her soul's urge for wholeness, she might be very
attracted to the man who is confident and aggressive in
the world. This is the origin of Love at First Sight,
Fairy Dust, and Love Across a Crowded Room. Partners are
chosen to meet the soul's need for wholeness unfortunately,
of course, we cannot be complete within by merging with
someone from the outside.
Other needs that might exist at this
level are companionship, financial security, emotional
support, or a partner for tennis or sex. Of course, there
is nothing wrong with meeting these and similar needs
in relationship, but if we do it thinking that we are
choosing for love and enduring happiness, we will surely
be disappointed. Our denied parts start looking pretty
annoying in other people after awhile, and Love at First
Sight starts to get shaky after love's first slight.
When we reach what I would call higher
levels of consciousness (I hope you are as uncomfortable
with this ranking system as I am), there is a new need
that emerges and can be met in relationship. This is a
human need for the intimacy that I have written about
in two recent articles.
By this level of awareness we have claimed our right to
be who we are, and don't need someone on our arm to make
us look good. . .we know we are goodness itself! We have
reclaimed the denied and split-off parts of our whole
being, and are not looking for completion from the outside.
In our expanded consciousness we approach relationships
of all kinds in wholeness and respect, and our needs are
both practical and spiritual.
At this level of mental and emotional
health we can choose romantic partners who are compatible
with how we dream our lives how we each relate to finances,
travel, leisure, sexuality, physical activities, home,
nature, animals, diet, spirituality, entertainment, and
technology. Those are the practical needs, and meeting
them is an important part of a healthy life.
The intimacy that I have written about
previously is a willingness to be open and present with
our own feeling truth in each moment. I believe that this
is a spiritual need that is often not met in relationship,
because many people are afraid that if they show up and
reveal the truth of who they are, they will be rejected.
To be rejected and lose love is a major wound from most
childhoods that continues to haunt adult “love”
relationships. (I use the quotes around love in this context,
because if we are afraid to lose love we are not IN
love, we are in fear and call it love).
So, once we free ourselves
from the need to bolster our egos or complete ourselves
through another, we can offer our entire being as we are
to another. We can show up in the Spiritual truth of who
we are, and be truly open, present, and intimate with ourselves
and each other. This is a high level of conscious relationship,
and the only way I know that will actually make love come
Let me know what you