I think we get kind of headstrong trying not to need anyone. We try to prove we have so much to offer by insisting we will take nothing from someone else. Let me in, we seem to say, I won’t make a dent on you. But what’s wrong with needing someone? What’s wrong with some giving and taking?
For me, you have to break it down to get anywhere.
Do I need him to make me feel valuable? Bad
Does his affection give me self-worth? Bad
Do I need the status as a couple to feel good about myself? Bad
When we talk about needing people in a bad way, that’s typically the kind of thing we mean. But there are good ways to need people, and good ways people need us. Ways that empower and strengthen us both.
I need my friends. I have friend who listen to me without judging. And I have friends who call me on my shit when I’m too much in my head or ignoring the obvious. I need that. I sometimes just need someone who knows me to listen and I can see on their face or hear in their voice when I am completely full of shit or making excuses. But I can’t, for whatever reason, discover this on my own without them reflecting my nonsense back to me.
I need my brother and father for their encouragement, business advice and to remind me that there are still amazing wonderful men out there.
I need my boss to give me constructive feedback that helps me grow in my career. I need mentors to help me navigate new territory in my life.
Often I need a man to help me relax, to remind me why I am a woman, to appreciate my tenderness, my compassion, my creativity. I need someone to be an intellectual challenge to me; to make me think about things differently, to open my mind. I sometimes need someone to pull me out of my shell, take me on an adventure, introduce me to something brand new. Or I need to take someone on that adventure, share my passions, experience the joy of reliving something familiar to me with new eyes.
And often, I need a man to make me feel good sexually. Yes, I can get myself off, but it’s mechanical. My fantasies keep me going and I’ve developed a rich fantasy life. But there is nothing that compares to the feeling of being at the mercy of a man’s sensuous body for that release. And there is nothing more exciting than taking a man to that same place. Solo satisfaction pales in comparison to the dynamic of this exchange with someone I care about. Together we can do more than alone. We can support more, endure more, create more if we learn to lean on each other just enough to strengthen the foundation of something bigger.
Did you know it’s impossible to tickle yourself? It is. Because there is something in the surprise of the touch and movement that excites and turns on our nerve endings. It’s impossible to surprise ourselves, and I’d suggest it’s also impossible to challenge ourselves, to push ourselves truly outside our comfort zones to take on something brand new. Even when we set goals, they are our own goals, but what do we learn that is unexpected when we are along for the ride toward someone else’s goals, to fulfill someone else’s dreams? Who has more fun and laughs more, the one being tickled or the one doing the tickling? It can be satisfying and exhilarating for both. But tickle yourself and you’re like, WTF, that’s pointless.
We don’t exist in a vacuum. We do actually need each other. And if we don’t appreciate and nurture the magic that happens when two people affect each other, if we just want to be islands needing no one, we really aren’t living. I’ll be useless and unnecessary when I’m dead.