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Old 12-23-2009, 11:27 PM
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Default loving and needing someone

If love is a need and we find that in each other, is it okay to need someone or someones?

It seems that a lot of people search for love in someone and need to find them and then when they do, its considered unhealthy to need them. Why is that?
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:51 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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The whole hierarchy of needs (thank you, Mr. Maslow) are things that are important to humans. Working to address each of those needs, in turn, is the mark of a healthy human--as long as those needs are addressed in a healthy fashion.

Problems arise when a general need--that of companionship--gets corrupted. We have a need for companionship and we fulfill that need by finding companions. When we treat that general need, instead, as a need for a specific person--instead of recognizing that many other persons can provide what we need--then the fulfillment of the need is twisted and dysfunctional.

So, there's nothing wrong with needing other people and relationships with them, whether romantic or platonic or varying in wild and wondrous ways. There is something wrong with perverting that general need into a need for a specific person. Even within a relationship, while one needs a partner or partners to fulfill the need for companionship, it's only healthy if one can walk away if the relationship(s) become(s) toxic.

While one should want a specific partner, that desire should rest on a foundation of only wanting that partner if the relationship is healthy. If it turns otherwise, then the desire for that person should flag and one should be able to walk on. If one *needs* that person in spite of the toxicity of the relationship, then there's a major problem. That form of need is unhealthy.
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCrow View Post
There is something wrong with perverting that general need into a need for a specific person. Even within a relationship, while one needs a partner or partners to fulfill the need for companionship, it's only healthy if one can walk away if the relationship(s) become(s) toxic.

.
I think you lost me on this one my friend. Lots of people have one person to fill a specific need; especially romantic/intimate ones. Are you saying that most monogamous people, have perverted the need for physical intimacy because they only need it from one individual? I'm specifying most here because I wouldn't want to represent all monogamous people as some merely live monogamously while others truly are monogamous. I think I musunderstood your point. Sorry for that.

I totally agree with you that if a person stays in a relationship that is toxic to fulfill a specific need you definitely have a problem.
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Last edited by MonoVCPHG; 12-24-2009 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:37 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Are you saying that most monogamous people...have perverted the need for physical intimacy because they only need it from one individual?

Nope. They have the need for a bond with only one person, and that's perfectly fine. It's only perverted if they think they need one, specific person *to the exclusion of any possible other*--that there's only one possible person who can meet their need. Whether somebody feels a need for one partner or many, when the need gets twisted to where only a specific person or persons can meet the need is where the problem arises.

So, your need to have a single pairing is good and healthy. Redpepper meets your need. There are also other possible partners who could meet your need, though, and the realization that such is the case is a sign of a healthy relationship. Should the relationship turn sour, you could walk away knowing you can meet somebody else to meet your need.

Were you to say that only Redpepper could ever meet your need is where the warning flags would begin waving. That would be twisting your general need for a romantic pair bond into a dysfunctional obsession with Redpepper. That sort of thinking is what keeps people in bad relationships and what drives stalking and other psychopathologies.

Did that clear up the concept? General need is good; specific obsession is not.
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While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:44 AM
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Gotcha my friend. Needing only her is healthy but the idea that there could never be anyone else to fill that need for the rest of my life, regardless of circumstances, is unhealthy. If that were the case I would be destined to be alone forever if she left me or something happened to remove her from my life.

I totally get that!

Thanks for clearing this up.
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:52 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCrow View Post
Problems arise when a general need--that of companionship--gets corrupted. We have a need for companionship and we fulfill that need by finding companions. When we treat that general need, instead, as a need for a specific person--instead of recognizing that many other persons can provide what we need--then the fulfillment of the need is twisted and dysfunctional.
There's also the related problem of dysfunctional need that leads to entering relationships that clearly aren't healthy--of wanting somebody so badly that anybody who exhibits any interest becomes acceptable, whether or not it's a good pairing. I think this sort of dynamic is at play when most people speak of somebody being "too needy."

So, if Jane wants a romance with somebody because she feels the human need for companionship, that is good and healthy. If Jane feels the need so strongly that she'll hook up with anybody who chats her up, without considering whether it would be a good relationship, then she's needy in a dysfunctional sense.

I see this in action frequently. Anybody who needs to be involved with somebody--seemingly anybody--presents as desperate. They're really only ready for relationships when they reach the point that they want a healthy relationship and aren't looking to jump into one at the first sign of possible interest. It's when they can consider whether a match could be good for them--and pass on a match that doesn't appear to be good--that they're dealing with a need in a healthy fashion, instead of being "needy."
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

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Old 12-24-2009, 03:58 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Thanks for clearing this up.
Not a problem. We can only discuss it by understanding what's actually been said. If I write something that's difficult to wade through, I have no problem trying to explain it more clearly.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:20 AM
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There are a lot of examples of the type of unhealthiness I think you are referring to. Physically abusive relationships, co-dependant relationships where one person manipulates the other through their weaknesses such as addiction. I think we have all seen people go down a path of destruction in trying to fill a need desperately. Usually this is because they are not connected to themselves I think.

After splitting up with my ex wife I went down a path where I thought all I needed was sex. I almost slept with some one who was completely unhealthy out of sheer belief that this was a need and what I was supposed to do. Luckily my body said no and my mind regained control. That was a very low point for me but out of it I grew immensely. I also explored casual sex and found that I didn't "need" sex just for the sake of it. All of this lead to me being prepared to love and "need" Redpepper in a healthy way.

I have found something very specific in Redpepper; complete trust and the ability to share my darkest thoughts and history. I do feel this would be extremely hard to find with any one else. While I don't consider being this open a "need" with every one, I do consider it a need to reach the level of depth I have with her.

So I guess my "needs" are very individual based.

Hmmm..great topic Lilo!!

Thanks for pushing my thoughts on this Seventh Crow
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:59 AM
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I think one of the first discussions I participated on here was this one:
http://polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1537

It was interesting to me that some people very much disliked using the word "need" in conjunction with a romantic relationship or individual.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:17 AM
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Another point: If we are talking Maslow, then I would suggest that love is one of the hierarchy of needs. Maslow doesn't talk about love on his pyramid (http://psychology.about.com/od/theor...archyneeds.htm) but I think it goes somewhere in with physiological needs/security needs personally. Of course I have no idea, I am flying on the seat of my pants here, but to me it is at the very base somewhere of how I function.

If what I am saying is the case then I would suggest that some people struggle to be able to function because their needs are not met in terms of receiving the love that they need. Maybe this is a definition of love thing, but it seems to me that we are brought up these days, most of us, with a roof over our head and food and water, most of the basic needs met. Sometimes to access. Some people live in overly large houses and eat way too much... blah blah blah,,, but ... it seems that societially we are creating ways to destroy loving one another which means that perhaps our need fo one another is more obvious: be it by not communicating efficiently, by maintaining a facade that to the outside world that looks like we are really "together" on things with our partners, by being too busy to spend time together, by trying to find our needs met in cheating/affairs, whatever.

Just as I said in my thread intro, we quite often are told that we are not to need each other and let each other love one another. I think it's perfectly okay to need each other, we are social creatures and need to feel wrapped in love in order to help us function properly. We need to give love also. Not just in terms of poly relationships, but in terms of loving the world in whatever way we can.

I watched the little drummer boy tonight with my son. That old one from my childhood where the drummer boy follows the star and takes his lame lamb to the kings to see if they will help him... they can't but say that he should look at the baby in the manger as he is the king of kings... the drummer boy feels inadequate as he has no grand gifts, but plays his drum instead. I told my son that he was playing his drum because that is what he is good at and that that is all that is required in life is to be everything we are and we will receive love and joy from it and be able to give that to the world. The lamb is healed and his heart is filled with joy.

The baby Jesus, and I'm sorry to use him as I know that a lot of people aren't into that, but as an example, is a symbol of pure love and what love can do to change the world, in my view.... the drummer boy and his lamb is a symbol of a boy with hurt, pain, poverty.... etc... he needed some pure love in order to be able to function in the world. In order to be healed in the form of his lamb being healed.

It seems that many people loose sight of this message.

I didn't actually see the little drummer boy before I wrote this thread, but it has something to do with it for me.
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