How we love
"We can never know in the beginning, in giving ourselves to a person, to a work, to a marriage or to a cause, exactly what kind of love we are involved with. When we demand a certain specific kind of reciprocation before the revelation has flowered completely we find ourselves disappointed and bereaved and in that grief may miss the particular form of love that is actually possible but that did not meet our initial and too specific expectations. Feeling bereft we take our identity as one who is disappointed in love, our almost proud disappointment preventing us from seeing the lack of reciprocation from the person or the situation as simply a difficult invitation into a deeper and as yet unrecognizable form of affection." ~ David Whyte
We are wired for connection and yet we struggle with how best to show up for one another and how to feel best 'met'. Our expectations have deep roots, and often we're not clear on the origins of these stories and we're also not very clear on how best our needs might be met. We come at it with an idea in mind, a story of how it 'should' be and cling to that. When reality offers us another, somewhat different experience, OUR story feels challenged. We lock onto our expectations for they are ours and must surely be right and yet in holding so tightly, we miss the opportunity of what might actually be a more fulfilling, more rich, more meaningful connection.
Knowing what our most important needs are, but relaxing in how firmly we think they must be 'met', allows for movement and flexibility.
According to Human Needs Psychology, there are 6 essential needs that people require.
*love & connection
If we are able to meet 2 of these needs within our relationship, we have a friendship. If we meet 4 or more, we will find ourselves bonded together in the most fulfilling of ways. "Knowing what the other person really needs not only wards off potential conflict but also opens up a whole new world of intimacy and understanding between two people" and having our needs met, triggers our feelings of connection and love and there's a strong reciprocal emotional circle created.
Taking time to get to know another person, to find out what is important to them and what is paramount for the other person, as well as sharing what is true for us, builds trust and gives the other person clues as to how best to show up within the relationship.
So take your time and enjoy the journey!