By TOYIN IDOWU
I remember getting into a shopping-mall sometimes ago with the intention of picking just three provision items for the family. At the end of the day, I didn’t limit my purchase to just the milk, beverage and a pack of corn flakes that I originally wanted to buy, but in addition, I picked up some hair accessories, a wine-coloured bead and a set of green boxer’s short which I never planned for. What an impulsive buyer!
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Getting home that evening, the first thing that came out of my wife’s mouth was that we didn’t need those items at that time! I never bother to listen to her because I felt she was just displaying her natural ability to properly manage things and I was not in the mood for that sermon at all. As far as I was concerned, I saw what I liked and I went for them. Later, I began to see how wasteful I was when the boxer’s shorts didn’t size my son and on getting back to the mall to change them to a more appropriate size, I was told that as a policy, they don’t change under-wears! Till now, the beads are still lying at home and I can’t remember my daughters using them for more than twice in the last 24 months because the colours are not really appealing. The worst part of it was that I completely forgot I had a laundry guy who would bring my clothes home that night. What I was left with couldn’t pay him for the services rendered, so I had to ask him to come for his money the following day. What went wrong? I simply substituted what I wanted for the things I needed!
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Broadly speaking, a need is something you can’t live without to survive. Simply put, a need sustains you; to sustain is to strengthen physically or mentally, help, support, encourage, assist, preserve and nurture. You will agree with me that these are the major things that partners do for each other that reproduce happiness in their relationships. While wants on the other hand, are things we might wish to have but don’t necessarily contribute to our survival. They could be referred to as things that just entertain us which we can do without like jewelleries, expensive cars, gadgets, alcoholic drinks etc. To entertain is to amuse, feed, divert, delight, cheer and play. So many partners are not adding values to each other but are just there to amuse and cheer each other which produce nothing. At the end of the day, you still find out that a large important vacuum is being left un-filled. If we try to look at some of the items we have acquired, we would discover that a lot of them don’t really deserve the kind of attention we gave them when we wanted to acquire them initially. They look like what we needed to survive at the onset but at the end of the day; they are just flashy, entertaining and occupying spaces in our domains.
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The same way a lot of relationships are in shambles today because someone didn’t distinguish his or her needs from his or her wants thereby making a wrong choice of a square peg in a round hole of a spouse. When it comes to the point of making a decision on who to marry, so many potential partners look needed especially when the emotions are misbehaving but not all of them are worthy of being given the attention of a marital relationship as far as your personal life is concerned. There is a partner you need and there is a partner you want! A partner you want could be just for friendship, business connection or just positioned in your life purposely to teach and prepare you on how to handle the opposite sex. It might interest you that a whole lot of prospective partners fall in the category of people you want but not who you actually need. Look at direction of your life critically, not everyone can tango with you. It takes some people with a set of qualities and attributes to actually fit in. When the prospective partner possesses these needed qualities as peculiar to the direction of your life, he or she automatically become the “needed spouse” in your life because without them, you may not really be fulfilled.
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Having laid this foundation, I want us to drag it into our relationships more. A need is the attribute that a person you want to marry must possess for your relationship to survive while want is what you desire either now or in future. In other words, if there is a need like trust that is not met in your relationship, it could cause illness in that relationship but when some wants are not happening like shared interest in sports, the relationship can still forge ahead depending on how things are seen. A more practical example is if you are a very conservative and naturally laid back lady with a lot of fantastic goals in life, you may die without achieving one-tenth of your life’s ambitions if you don’t marry a daring goal-getter (which may or may not physically measure up to your standard) who would push you and always be on your case. That daring attribute makes him the needed spouse but if you crave for six packs more than this, then he becomes a wanted spouse for you.
Just as our physical needs differ from each other so also some of the things we want in our partners are different. Someone wants a tall guy while another lady is just concerned about six packs however, all these have got little or nothing to do with the success of the relationship because they can’t sustain neither can they hold your relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I am not under estimating the importance of physical attributes but the point is they shouldn’t be the bedrock of your relationship because they are not stable. However, talking about a needed spouse, he or she possesses some qualities that transcend the physical attribute necessary for giving you both a fulfilled relationship. It has got a lot to do with the core things of your life, having a direct blend in the values for the two of you. The spouse you need has some core values that don’t conflict with yours which is the bedrock of every relationship.
Another thing worthy of note is that wants change over a period of time. If your reason for marrying someone is basically the physique, a time could come when the physique would change due to age or some physiological changes in the body and you may not have it the way you had always craved for it from the onset. This could strain a relationship because what seems to be holding the relationship is now taking a different turn. But when you marry based on your need which could be on core values that have very strong affiliations with your goals in life and values, these things hardly change. They keep the relationship going. A lot of guys who had made their want of a sexy lady some ten years ago are very much indifferent to it now.
In conclusion, what some people want is what some need but the essential thing is for individuals to be sure of whom he or she is and differentiate need from want so that you don’t get derailed out of confusion.
Keep a date with the author every Thursday on Reality with Toyin Idowu on ExpressNG Follow him on twitter @ThoyinIdowu Or visit www.toyinidowu.blogspot.com