Of course, this isn’t exactly what people say, but it’s usually what’s hidden underneath the words. We spend so much time trying to control others in order to maintain a sense of emotional balance within ourselves. This strategy may work as a short-term fix but in the long term, it creates pain, suffering, disconnection, loss of intimacy, and despair in relationships.
At their core, a need is something that must be met for our survival and a desire is something we want for ourselves.
If we looked at needs and desires through the lens of a relationship, we might say something like this:
“A need is something that must be met for the survival of the relationship and a desire is something we want for the individuals within the relationship.”
When practicing polyamory, polyamorous relationships, and other forms of ethical non-monogamy, we need to be really clear with the difference between what we need and what we desire to be happy. This will look different for each individual and each relationship. The key to finding what’s true for you and your partners is to sit down and share what’s important to you as individuals and as a couple (or multiples) in the relationship. Write a list. Go over this list and prioritize. Consider what is a true need and what is a desire. The more clear you get with yourself and your partner, the more clarity you will have in your relationship. With clarity, anything is possible.