A friend and I talked about “having it all” in a partner. You know… the idea that the person you decide to spend your life with can provide you with all of the emotional, intellectual, physical, sexual… and whatever else you need.
We differed in opinion… I genuinely believe that you can’t have it all in a single person and a single relationship. Humans a social creatures, and we need a variety of different relationships with differing people and with different opinions to feel fulfilled. From my own personal experience, I know this to be true.
I had a relationship a while ago, and the man I was dating felt that he and he alone should be the only person I ever needed to interact with. He was insanely jealous of any other relationship I had… whether I was continuing a friendship with my group of girl friends or with colleagues. So I asked him… and he told me that for him, I was all he ever needed. For a while I was flattered, and curious as to how one single person could fulfill his every need. Turns out, he lied. It wasn’t long before I found out about all of the other women that he closeted away with trying to find another person to fulfill other needs in his life. I don’t blame him at all… we all need more than one relationship to be happy. It’s just a matter of being a mature and honest person about your needs.
I have a close friend. He’s very happily married. He and I speak 2 or 3 times a week… and I am his first call when he needs to talk something through. He once told me his wife teased him about needing to talk to me about his work related problems… but the fact of the matter is, he would rather talk to me about work than his wife. Why? Because for him, he only wants to focus on the life he has built with his wife, and not dirty the conversation with inane work problems. Our friendship is based on our mutual need to vent about work. In fact, we barely talk about anything other than work. And, again, the most important part? He’s honest about his need to talk about work with someone other than his wife. She and I know each other, and know our friendship is only about work.
It’s an interesting dynamic, and I’ve had other friends comment on it. They ask if I ever feel uncomfortable about having such a close relationship with a married man, and I have to say I do think about it for the sake of propriety but it’s a mature friendship that is based on supporting each other in the professional world. Something that we both need, and don’t want from our partners in life.
What are your thoughts?