After Divorce, Should You Want or Require Your Next Committed Relationship?


People tell us that in order to discover "genuine love," we need "simply listen to our hearts." Regardless of how attentive we are.

With each subsequent marriage, we should anticipate the divorce rate to decrease down rather than increase up. In contrast, the percentages are increasing rather than decreasing. What gives? Because we don't learn from our previous relationships that end in divorce, we're more likely to repeat the same mistakes in future partnerships.

When it comes to successful relationships, what does each person logically need from the other?

In order to last and flourish over time, every good relationship must satisfy the unique needs of both parties. In the Pre-Commitment1 stage of relationship development, the main objective is to get to this point.

What else are we meant to listen to if our heart isn't telling us everything? This is where we're coming from! The person you select as a partner must be able to offer you both what you want and need. As a result, it's your job to find out what you want in a relationship rationally, and then have the fortitude and self-control to stick to your guns while looking for a new partner who meets those criteria.

It is a "non-negotiable occurrence or object" according to David Steele's definition of a Requirement2. It's a quality of a connection that's essential to its long-term health. Without it, the relationship is doomed by definition.

Air and water are metaphors that Steele uses to illustrate the needs of a relationship. If you've got one but not the other, you're doomed. If you want a relationship to endure, you'll need to have all of your criteria fulfilled. In other words, if you have five criteria for a relationship and only four of them are fulfilled, the relationship will eventually end if it is really a necessity.

Trouble begins when we fail to distinguish between the two terms: what we "need" and "desire."

'Wants' are nice to have, but not essential to the relationship's survival.

Wants3 are "stimulating, fun, and pleasure-producing goods and activities." While these qualities are nice to have in a relationship, they aren't required for it to endure and be a success.

Wanting something is like indulging in a sweet treat after a hearty meal. It adds flavor and enjoyment to the dish, but you won't die if you don't eat one. Wants, on the other hand, bring spice and intrigue to our relationship but do not pose a danger if not fulfilled.

The Difference Between Need and Want: Why Is It So Crucial?

Getting desires and needs mixed up is a common cause of marital strife.

So, why is it crucial to make this distinction? There are two kinds of errors to avoid in order to get the best results:

Treating an unfulfilled desire as an unmet need, and thus breaking a good connection that you should keep

Continuing a relationship that is doomed to failure because an unfulfilled need is being treated as an unmet desire instead of a necessity.

A Scary Experience for One Woman

My client was nine years into a relationship when I met him. He was eager to tie the knot, but she was wary. She desired an emotionally personal connection with her boyfriend, one in which they could openly share their most private thoughts and emotions, but he refused.

She checked in with him on a regular basis to see how he was feeling. He opted out. The nine years they spent together were filled with her pleading with him to communicate his feelings to her. He said that neither his father nor he had discussed their feelings.

In addition, he was excellent in every other aspect of their relationship. His persistence eventually got to her, and she decided that although it would be good to have a partner who was honest about his emotions, she could live without it since the rest of the relationship was so wonderful. Instead of becoming upset, she began arranging their wedding, blaming it on the fact that "that's just how guys are".

When she was out with her pals six weeks before the wedding, she met a man playing pool. He and she started talking and it came to her like a flash of lightning. He was expressing his emotions! Not only was he open to sharing his thoughts and feelings with her, but he also looked forward to doing so. They had a long conversation that lasted far beyond closing time.

So much for her excuse that "that's just the way guys are." Now she's faced with the question of what in the world do I know that my wedding is only around the corner?

Before her wedding, she understood that having a partner who shares her emotions was more than just a nice-to-have; it was an absolute need she couldn't ignore. Fortunately, she had the guts to end the relationship before things went from bad to worse, both legally and psychologically.

When she realized her need for a partner who would open up about his emotions was a necessity, not a want, what was the turning point? "Will the relationship ultimately ends if he refuses to speak about his emotions now that I know that guys can do that?" she questioned herself. She finally said, "Yes," although grudgingly. It was more than a desire for her; it was a need.

How Does This Help Me?

A healthy relationship requires both chemistry and intelligence.

When it comes to chemistry, the heart talks, and necessities dominate. When it comes to a committed partnership, both must be taken into consideration.

Our society feeds us poor counsel, and this is an issue that will not go away. The implication is that "real love" shouldn't need the use of mental resources. Over 66% of all remarriages fail because of faulty reasoning.

If you want a successful relationship, you must be able to distinguish between what you feel on the inside and what others think on the outside.

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