“Caretaking is mightily loving, it’s a powerful anti-aphrodisiac.”
So says Esther Perel in her TED talk, The secret to desire in a long-term relationship.
And I agree.
To a point.
I even poke fun at the idea with images like the one above.
Because I’ve long had a personal ambivalence towards need and what it means to me in interpersonal relationships, something I wrote about here (and even made use of a Meatloaf video!).
Articles like this one agree that needing another is “the most horrific piece of advice I can imagine.” They go on to say:
“I am a whole person. She is not powerful enough to complete me. I’m not powerful enough to complete her. She’s a complete person. That’s why I want her. Not because she’s half; she’s whole.”
And I agree. I do.
Heck, it drive me insane to get those messages (all dominant women know them well) that say:
“Goddess, I am a lowly worm, not worthy to lick your boots. I need your strict discipline to guide me…”
Nope to the nth fucking power of infinity. I am a dominant, not an orphanage for CHUD’s offspring.
But as I said in my previous post, there are things that I cannot do on my own, that take two people. Falling in love is the simplest of these things. The most obvious.
Do I need to fall in love?
Do I want to? Oh hell yes. I love it! And if I want to fall in love, I need another person to do that (or I guess I could go stark raving mad, but I’ll choose another person for $500, Alex).
Recently, on the Dating Kinky Facebook page, this image got posted:
And the following conversation happened:
No one “completes” anyone. We are perfect all by ourselves. Romantic nonsense! Oh, and “chooses”, not “choses”.
Dating Kinky Thank you for the edit, You’re absolutely right, and I’ll get that fixed.
As far as “romantic nonsense,” I like romantic nonsense. I’m a hopeless romantic.
That said, I’m also an incredibly practical person, and I can read something like “completes me,” and understand that there are things that two people can feel together that one does not feel alone (in my experience), and understand what is meant.
Room for many different points of view, here. smiles
Okay, but saying someone completes you is implying you were incomplete before your love came along.
Again, in case you didn’t understand it the first time around, my point is that there are different views on this particular topic. Saying someone completes me in a way that can only be done with two people is not saying that I am not a functional complete human being on my own.
I noted that conversation in my calendar for some time in January, and didn’t think more of it.
Until a few days ago, when someone said that “correction” is not a human need, and I started thinking about what are “needs” outside of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and how we might need something to accomplish what we want, even if it is not technically a human need.
Until I watched that video from Esther Perel a few days ago.
Until the topic of need came up today in my topic calendar. And so I’m writing.
I ask you…
How do you view need in your relationships? Can caretaking stroke your desire? Is it limitless or finite?
Do you want to be needed? Do you need to feel needed? Or do you prefer to be wanted and feel desired?
Do you feel need and desire are the opposites of one another? Or do you feel like they can coexist happily in a passionate long-term relationship?
Is there a difference between need, needy, and neediness?