What We Want vs. What We Need

What We Want vs. What We Need

In Addiction, mental health by Tree House Recovery

As we get to know ourselves better and begin to develop lasting relationships with others, whether in the form of friendships or romantic partnerships, it’s important to sort our needs from our wants. Figuring out what’s necessary for you in a relationship is a step towards getting the love and friendship you deserve. Sorting your needs from your wants can bring clarity to your life and help you harness a deeper understanding of your inner world. It will also negate any future confusion, miscommunications, and unnecessary pain. It’s a win-win. While it’s vital to give credence to your wants and desires, it’s important to be able to separate these from what’s non-negotiable. Here are a few steps towards figuring out what you want in relationships vs. what you need.

Figure out what your core values are.

In order for you to discern what you truly need in relationships with others, you have to get clear on what your core values, or belief systems are. What do you place value on in your own life? Independence? Commitment? Loyalty. Your values are essentially the invisible set of beliefs with which you navigate the world. Clarifying them will help you get to know yourself better. From there, you can enter the world of relationships with the ease of knowing your core values.

Learn about your emotional needs.

What kind of emotional support do you need in a partner? What’s non-negotiable for you? For instance, some people need a partner who is nurturing, while others don’t need that particular trait. It can help to make a list of emotional qualities you feel are necessary in a future partner or friend.

Look back at past relationships.

To prevent making the same mistakes over and over again, take an inventory of past relationships. What worked? What didn’t work? Were your needs being met?

Communicate your needs.

When you enter into any kind of close relationship, make sure to communicate your core needs. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page. It’s difficult to have 100% of your needs met 100% of the time. However, consistent communication helps those odds.


Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474