This post is inspired by a movie I just watched “Our Souls at Night”. It’s a story about a man and a woman that are in their later years and start sleeping with each other platonically. Just as a way to not feel lonely anymore initially.
It’s this part that really made me think about loneliness, neediness, and connection.
Yea, I know what you’re thinking, why am I overanalyzing this movie on a Saturday night? Because there’s so much there that’s so true to everyone’s lives.
Loneliness is a part of life. Everyone has felt lonely at various times. Even people that are married feel lonely sometimes. People that have a family. People that live in big cities surrounded by millions of people. At some point we’ve all felt it.
A large part of that is we have a need for connection. If we don’t get that then we feel needy for it. We need that connection and that’s normal. It’s one of our human needs.
There’s so much advice on dating out there that focuses on not being needy. It tells guys and girls “don’t be needy” “no one likes neediness” and so forth. The advice is partially true. Neediness in a relationship is almost never a good thing. Usually because you’re too needy.
Usually this advice just tells you what not to do, how not to act. You’re just magically supposed to switch that neediness switch off? Ignore it and pretend it’s not there. There you go, you’re all fixed. Now you’re ready for a healthy relationship right?
Surprise surprise, eventually that neediness comes back again in the next relationship no matter how hard you try to suppress it.
It’s because we’re just trying to treat the symptoms and we don’t look deeper on what’s causing it. This way, it’s always going to come back. That’s normal if we don’t make deeper changes.
As humans we need connection to other humans. Not one of us is an island. Not one of us can be solitary all the time. People that say “I don’t need anyone” are lying to themselves. We all need connection to other people.
The problem is that not all of us have our need for connection met. Actually, a lot of us don’t. Then when you date someone or get in a relationship with someone, you put your need for connection completely on them.
You act needy because you are needy. They’re the only one that is satisfying your need for that connection. So of course you’re needy, you actually do need them since they’re all you got.
What’s the way to overcome needing this need for connection? There is no way to overcome it, but there are other ways besides a girlfriend or a boyfriend to fulfill it.
Friends and family can make you feel that connection. Even groups like a soccer league, a book club, a salsa class, and any other type of group or club can fulfill that.
Those are just some healthy ways that will indirectly make your dating healthier and better. You won’t be in a relationship because of loneliness or being overly needy for the other person.
If you see it for what it is then neediness isn’t a bad thing. It’s just showing you what you need to feel happy and fulfilled. When it’s one other person it’s going to be very difficult for that relationship not to go down an unhealthy road eventually.
Accepting that not one person can go at it alone and we all need other people in our lives to feel happy is the most important thing to realize.
Remember that. You need connection as much as everyone else. It’s important for yourself and for the people in your life.