Some people may be so generally content, so happy to draw air and be alive, that they don't orient to relationships in terms of meeting "needs," I suppose. And that seems alright. It doesn't necessarily mean that those same people can't greatly enjoy the company of others and share happy or joyful experiences, or give of themselves, or receive from others.
And then there are people who have been so wounded in some way that they will not or cannot acknowledge their needs, or perhaps they conflate needs with "neediness," or expectations -- or even demands?
Most of the folks in this forum, myself included, have some degree of ... shall we say... self-esteem "issue," and I suspect that we often didn't get the kind or degree of loving that we needed in our growing up years. We have, to some extent or another, unmet needs having to do with affection and love -- and often hope that others can, by relating with us, resolve this problem. But at least nine-tenths of the healing of such wounds to our heart/soul probably need to come from within ourselves, and only in this way, this meeting of ourselves with love and tenderness, compassion..., will our loving relationships with others feel less like a gaping unmet need.
That all said, I really do think that people need some things which we often don't get enough of, which are less tangible and survival oriented than food, water, and air. Unfortunately, we too often try to meet some of these needs exclusively with a romantic partner (or two, or three). One such need which comes to mind is the human need for belonging in supportive, sensitive, nurturing community. The modern, capitalist industrial world has done much to damage such "community," as I want to call it. People call any town or city a "community," but community involves more cooperation, collaboration, sharing..., than most of us experience regularly. In what may be called a "healthy community," one would feel that they could give to something which itself is giving. Our gifts aren't simply taken, but received; and by "receive" I mean to imply a sense of responsibility to others in the community to keep the gifts flowing. Such community needs to be nurtured by many over time, like an apple orchard or a garden, or it withers away by neglect.
I honestly think a major unmet need for most people in the "developed" modern world (perhaps especially in my native USA) is also a too-seldom recognized need: the need to give to a community which itself is giving to its members. And a gift is something freely given without expectation of return or reciprocity directly to the giver. Another way of saying the same thing is that we have a need to build and nurture healthy communities.
Last edited by River; 07-30-2009 at 11:15 PM.