September 07, 2016

Just Some Thoughts on Vulnerability and Legitimate Needs vs Neediness

Wow, I can't believe it's been three months since I last posted! Unfortunately, I'm going to write about the same topic as last time: vulnerability in dating. I've given this topic a lot of thought in the last few months, and especially so in the last few weeks.

As a 31-year old, unmarried, professional, LDS woman, I've grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle. One in which I am my own boss. Where I don't account to anyone else for my time, my money, or my day-to-day choices. If I want to spend my whole evening sitting on the couch, painting my nails, and binge-watching The Mindy Project, I do it. If I want to drop more money than I should on a purse or new shoes, I can. If I decide to go out of town spur of the moment with friends, who's to say I can't? I've been taking care of myself for so long, and I know I can keep taking care of myself for many years yet.

I've grown so accustomed to my independence, it's been a bit of an adjustment to factor in another person. Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Or at least I'm trying to not let it be a bad thing. It's been humbling to go through the experience of letting another person into my life. I think I'm still working out where the balance is. Where do I let go of my "I'm an independent woman; hear me roar!" mentality and let someone else be a part of my life equation? Is it when I can't reach for something on the top shelf and it's easy to get someone taller to just do it? Or when I need to go to Instacare and could totally go on my own, but wouldn't it be nice to let him take me instead?

I worry that instead of communicating, "I love you, and I want you to be an important part of my life," I'll communicate an "I am needy" or "I am high maintenance" message, which is counter-productive and untrue. How do you balance asking for what you need, with what they need, all without appearing needy?

And yet... Shouldn't we grow to the point where we need another person, at least a little bit? Part of me is concerned with needing a boyfriend/partner/husband too much, not just for his sake, but also for my own. I'm afraid of hurting his feelings if I don't need him enough. But I'm also afraid of overwhelming him if I need him too much. Where is the right balance in all this?

I have many other thoughts related to this, but I will let this suffice for now. And if anyone has advice or suggestions on this topic, I welcome feedback and comments!

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