Understanding Emotional Needs
By Frank Kermit
Emotional needs are about what a person responds to.
It has nothing to do with what a person should like.
We all should be attracted to someone that is good for us. We all should be attracted to someone that will take care of us. We all should be attracted to someone that has our best interests at heart.
But we are not.
We are not always attracted to the people we should be attracted to.
We are attracted to people that address our particular combinations of emotional needs, whether we like it or not.
And if our own particular combinations of emotional needs happened to be unhealthy, we can only be attracted to people that connect to us back, in emotionally unhealthy relationships. In simpler terms, people with intimacy issues can only function in relationships with people who also have intimacy issues.
When going over your relationship history, it is important in your self-assessment to recognize that the repeating patterns of behaviors of the people you dated are not an accident. They are a reflection of the kinds of behaviors that you respond to. More specifically, they are a reflection of the combinations of emotional needs within you.
If you want to start dating a different kind of person there are two ways to accomplish this:
The first is to change yourself, and;
the second is to date people that you may not necessarily be attracted (respond) too.
The second option of dating people that you may not necessarily be attracted too is the least popular option in our society. I see it in my practice how some people have such an incredible rage against what they call "settling" that their standards make it almost impossible for them to see how their resolve is part of what is stopping them from finding love and happiness.
However, it really is one of the best means to breaking an established pattern of attraction to the wrong kind of people. Part of the reason this happens is because once you start dating people that you would normally not be attracted to, you may find yourself experiencing new sensations such as someone treating you in the way you want to be treated (i.e. with respect).
Perhaps, you finally end up dating someone that can fully appreciate your sense of humor and experience a new range of relief in not having to censor yourself. Perhaps, you might even learn something new about yourself because this new type of person will have taken you for an outing or an event you never would have thought to try to begin with.
One of my personal favorite outings to take dates was live Pro-Wrestling Shows. Most of the women I dated had never been, but the lights, special FX explosions, and the hulking larger-than-life wrestling characters made for a good night of entertainment. The most re-occurring comment I got from those dates was that they never thought they could enjoy such an outing. Not only did they enjoy themselves, some of them ended up very turned on by the show, and got to associate those exciting feelings with me after the event.
The key to dating new people that you would normally not be attracted to is that in the process of dating, you get used too the new sensations (for example, being treated well and respected) to the point where, you become attracted to that newly familiar behavior because you link good pleasurable feelings to being treated well. This also includes exploring some sexual intimacy and linking sexual pleasure with the new type of person you are dating as you continue to get to know each other. That combination can lead to being attracted to the person who evokes those emotional stirrings inside you. In this way, you reprogram your own emotional needs to respond to a new type of person that you will be attracted and respond too.
The first option of changing yourself without dating new types of people initially can be more difficult for some people. It involves a tremendous amount self-inspection, and self-actualization. This is a longer path because without pushing yourself to actually date, you will need to re-construct new beliefs about love, sex, dating and relationships on a purely theoretical level. I have seen a select number of people, some of whom are incredibly gifted in other areas of their lives, who simply will not allow themselves to make mistakes in dating in order to complete a learning curve process and thus who may get to the point of refusing to date anyone until they have "everything figured out first".
Unfortunately, without putting yourself out there and dating new people to back new learning’s with actually life experience, these people are unable to grow fully confident in their new personas. Confidence is a result of action, and cannot be conjured up through rational thought alone. Behind your new self, must be works of action to uphold your new convictions upon a solid foundation of proof. Otherwise, there is no real way of knowing if you truly have healed and have emotional needs that reflect your healing.
If you already are attracted to the exact types of people that you would be happy building a long-term future with, then just keep going until you find someone with whom you can do exactly that.
However, if you are only attracted to the kinds of people that will cause you to continue to end up alone in your life, take it as a sign that you need to reprogram your emotional needs.
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