Finding Balance Between Wants and Needs

Article Submitted by: JL Reed, Student at University of Oregon


Every good relationship has a balance of yeses and nos.  If you never said yes or no to anything, you would be a puppet.  Finding middle ground is the give and take of a good relationship, in which you negotiate and persist when something is important to you.

When trying to find a balance, remember that there is a difference between wants and needs.  Both are valid.  Both are important.  (In a paradoxical way, we “need” both.) 


There are some things we need, things we can’t live without.  Things we need are different from things we want—things that would make life better or more enjoyable.  We naturally have to take a stronger stand on asserting needs and getting them met.


These needs are worth fighting for more than wants that only make life or a relationship better or more fulfilling.  Relationships are, at times, going to fail to make us happy and fulfilled.  At those times, people commit to doing without while they solve those problems. 


So don’t act as if everything you want is a need and that your relationship should be providing your every want.  Reserve that stance for serious infractions.


But do remember, even serious infractions by your loved ones are still your responsibility.  If, for example, you are in a marriage where there is no connection or in which your spouse has an addiction that is making things emotionally unsafe, it is still your responsibility to deal with those things appropriately. 

Go get support for your need for emotional stability, safety and healing.  Don’t be a victim.



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