If a few hundred people were asked about what the purpose of an intimate relationship is, there is likely to be more than one answer. For some people, being in an intimate relationship could be a way for them to fulfil their basic needs, to have someone to share their life, and to grow.
When someone has this outlook, it could show that they don’t feel as though they are missing something. Another person is then not there to complete them; they are there to complement them.
And as they feel like a whole human being, there is a strong chance that they will be drawn to people who feel the same way. One is then going to have a clear idea of where they begin and end, and a clear idea of where other people begin and end.
This will allow them to realise that other people are not an extension of them, which will play a part in allowing them to see that it is not possible for another person to meet all of their needs. There will the needs that they can meet and then there will be the needs that they can’t meet.
The Right Tool for the Job
This is then going to be no different to how someone wouldn’t expect a screw driver to bang in a nail or to cut a piece of wood, for instance. They will have a number of tools that will be used for different jobs.
In the same way, there will be a clear understanding that they would be putting their partner under too much pressure if they were to look towards them to fulfil every need. Doing so could be seen as something that would end up destroying their relationship with someone.
One could think about how they would feel if another person expected them to fulfil all of their needs. If they were to do this, they could end up feeling smothered and overwhelmed.
Perhaps one has even been in this position in the past, and this might have caused them to feel as though they were the other person’s parent. Alternatively, one might have expected too much from others in the past.
Even though there could be a number of things that one can have in common with someone, there are bound to be things that they don’t have in common. This may mean that one of them will need to reach out to a friend instead.
Also, at times one might not be able to be there for the other person emotionally or vice versa, and one of them will need to reach out to a friend or a family member. Through reaching out to others in this way, there will be far less pressure on their relationship.
There are then going to be other people who believe that the purpose of a relationship is to be with someone who will always be there for them. Not only this, but this person will be expected to fulfil just about every need that they have.
So, although another person is an individual with their own needs and feelings, it will be as though they are just an extension of them. Therefore, it might not be acceptable for them to have their own life.
The Centre of the Universe
If they are with someone, they might not want them to spend time around others or to have other interests. The reason for this is that one could feel lonely, or as though they have been rejected.
On one level, one could believe that the other person’s life needs to revolve around them and, if it doesn’t, it could be taken as a sign that they don’t love them. The more one pushes the other person, the more they could pull away.
Out of Balance
In the beginning of the relationship, the other person might be willing to put up with this kind of behaviour. This could be because they will appreciate the attention, and it could show that they also feel as though they are missing something at a deeper level.
One is then going to be an adult, but they will be behaving more like a dependent child. The only way that someone like this is going to be able to have a healthy relationship with another person is if they feel like an interdependent adult.
A Deeper Look
If someone like this was to take a step back, they may find that they are unable to view their partner as another human being. Instead, they see them as some kind of parent figure.
When someone expects a lot from other people as an adult, it can show that they didn’t get what they needed as a child. With this in mind, there is the chance that one experienced a lot of neglect.
A Lot of Power
One’s physical appearance would have changed as the years went by, but what wouldn’t have changed was how they felt on the inside. The wounded child within them will still be looking to receive what it didn’t receive all those years ago.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that when one expects another person to fulfil every need, they will be identifying with their wounded inner child. The key, then, will be for them to heal this part of themselves.
If one can relate to this, and they want to change their life, it might be a good idea for them to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by a therapist or a healer.
And as one begins to grieve their unmet childhood needs, they may find that they no longer need as much from others. Along with this, the adult part of them will be able to be there for their inner child.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, 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.