When one has the desire to be in a relationship with someone, they are going to have certain expectations. And the same can be said when one is already in a relationship. Now, there is the chance that one is completely aware of what these are and at the same time, there is the chance that they are only slightly aware of what they are.
So there are going to be different needs and wants that other people are expected to fulfil, and ones awareness of what these needs and wants are, is going to vary. Some people will be in touch with what they look towards another person to fulfil and then there will be other people who are more or less clueless as to what they expect to be fulfilled by another.
The Fist Option
On one side then, there are going to be people who have a list in their mind or on paper of what they are looking for in another person. And because they have an idea of what they are looking for, there is the chance that they will find it.
This list could be made up on needs or non-negotiables and therefore, things that they can’t do without. And as well as these, one could have certain things they want but are not as important.
When one operates from this level of awareness it doesn’t mean they will always have their needs fulfilled, but what it does mean is they are less likely to be caught up in any illusions. As a result of being aware, one will also be able to reflect on what another person can truly give them and what they can’t.
For example, one has adult needs and wants and then they can have needs and wants that they still carry from their childhood years. And there is a difference between the wants and needs of an adult and those of a child.
The Second Option
Here, one is not necessarily going to have a clear idea in regards to what they want and need and so, they could just be drawn to more or less anyone that comes along. It won’t matter how compatible they are or how healthy they, as all that matters is they are available.
In this instance, it is clear that one is not at peace with themselves. They are in a place of desperation and they could feel as though there is a hole within them that needs to be filled.
What this means then, is that one will get their needs and wants filled but it doesn’t mean that this will lead to healthy and functional relationship. Just as one could be hungry and end up consuming all kinds of junk. Here one is getting their need for food met, but it is clearly not the right kind of food.
And in this example, one is unlikely to be aware of what is taking place within them. One is then not in control of their own needs and wants, their own needs and wants are controlling them. Here, one is likely to be in a position where their unmet childhood needs are largely defining their relational behaviour.
The Third Option
In this option, one is going to be aware of certain needs and wants that they have. So there will be needs and wants that they are aware of and there are going to be other needs and wants that are driving their behaviour that they are not aware of.
This could mean that one’s relationships are generally healthy and fulfilling, and that they are not under too many illusions as to what another person can give them. However, while one may be aware of certain needs and wants there is still the chance that their relationships are unfulfilling and dysfunctional.
So their expectations are then not being met and one ends up feeling frustrated, or one could find that their expectations are met but they still feel as though something is missing. This could then cause one to wonder if they will ever meet the right person or why other people seem to be doing fine, amongst other things.
Unmet Childhood Needs
If people only had adult needs in their adult years their relationships would probably be a lot healthier. That’s unless one had a childhood that was perfect and every need and want they ever had was met by their caregivers. But the reality is that not all of one’s needs would have been met during their childhood years.
Ones caregivers were only human, so it is not possible for them to have met them all of the time. So it is to be expected that there will be moments when one had to go without. For some people, their needs and wants would have been practically ignored.
However, even though these experiences are in the past, it doesn’t mean that these unmet needs and wants are no longer having an effect on one’s life. The pain of not getting these met could still be in one’s body and because of this, one can end up looking towards other adults to give them what they didn’t get during their childhood.
And these unmet childhood needs are going to merge with ones adult needs. In fact, one could feel possessed by them; with the people they attract and are attracted to being defined by what they didn’t get as a child. If one is aware of what this part of them is looking for, they will have the chance to process this pain and to express their needs in a conscious manner for instance. This will then stop them from creating the same unhealthy scenarios over and over again.
When one is not aware of this part, they could end up attracting people who are not compatible or who remind them of these early experiences. They could meet someone with the expectation that these unmet needs will be fulfilled and then they soon realise that this is not going to happen. And this is partly because they are looking for things that other adults can’t provide.
A child needs to be loved unconditionally, to have its needs and wants met on a consistent basis and to be accepted for who they are. These are just some examples and when these are not met, it is going to create problems.
Ideally one would become aware of these and then seek the assistance of a therapist of healer to enable them to grieve these unmet needs. This doesn’t always happen and this can then cause one to expect another person to love the unconditionally, to meet their needs on a consistent basis and to accept every part of them.
It is not possible for another person to do this, and as one will expect more than other person can realistically provide, they are going to prolong their childhood pain. So if one wants to put an end to the story they keep creating, they will need to grieve these unmet childhood needs. And through the assistance of a therapist or a healer, one will also receive the positive regard that they didn’t get all those years ago.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.