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If that’s the story you are telling yourself, you will no doubt add suffering to the original pain.
I once read a quote that said we are all born with two needs: “ Hold me, love me.”
The desire behind wanting to see your partner is not pathological. We are all born with a need to connect and to belong. Oftentimes I hear women blaming themselves for wanting more connections, they are often labeled as needy.
If as women, we embrace ourselves and our natural needs then we do not need to apologize for them.
I have seen many women feel bad about themselves after hearing that their man does not miss them as much. As women, we have a tendency (have been taught) to internalize everything. That’s the main reason the stories we tell ourselves usually condemn us for having needs.
So my first inclination after hearing that statement is to unearth the meaning the woman is making,
If she is not blaming herself and her sense of self in not damaged by that, then we move to how can she negotiate with her partner so he can make more efforts. It’s a lot easier to negotiate needs once we are clear about our need and we are not feeling bad about ourselves.
The truth of the matter is people do have differing needs for connections.
It always feels better when we are aligned with our partner about issues that matter to us. If frequency of connection is important to you but not so much to your partner, this could become a perennial topic. The two of you can choose if this is a deal breaker or not.
In summary I would like to emphasize that asking yourself this question:
“And what does that mean to me that he does not miss me when we are apart?” is a very important question to ask yourself and please be honest with yourself.
Struggling with a partner that wants more alone time then you do can cause lots of confusion and tension.
You might be looking for a sign when you are apart that the relationship is still in good standing. Being missed brings a lot of reassurance, but over-emphasizing this can breed more insecurity.
Being apart does not have to feel like disconnection.
Alone time is good and necessary in relationships, there is a healthy and an unhealthy version of “space”. I like to look at the healthy version first. Relational Space refers to the flow of connection and separation between two people.
The importance of connection is easy to understand and everyone in a relationship craves that feeling of closeness and
union with another. We all want to feel special to someone.
Separation can be a harder pill to swallow because we have a lot of romantic myths floating around that push for merging with another person.
There is an idea that being joined at the hip and having all of the same wants, needs and desires is what true love is. People tend to build relationships on similarities and often ignore the differences. I hate to burst any bubbles, but this is not a realistic view of love. The differences will eventually catch up and cause a lot of problems.
Think of it as self care that can blow fresh air into your relationship. It’s kind of like going off on a solo adventure trip and then you come back to the people in your life and you have lots of stories to tell and everyone gets to share in the excitement.
If you can think of the space your partner is taking as good self care that will benefit the relationship, then you won’t react to it as a threat.
If you don’t make it a negative, most likely he won’t become defensive and shut you out. Instead of defending his need for space, he will stay open to you.
Keep in mind that space allows creativity and erotic energy to thrive.
Now, let’s look at the unhealthy version of taking “space”. This is the partner who is withdrawing and isolating. Who is keeping you at bay because he is a love avoidant. In this case, your distress around the situation is pointing to an actual problem. There are lots of nuances and greys in relationships.
You have to be willing to look at the reality of the situation and own your part.
- Are you reacting from your own insecurity and smothering your partner?
- Are you needing too much reassurance in the relationship or are you picking up on a red flag in the other person?
Just remember that healthy relationships have a “me”, a “you” and a “we”.
If a woman is concerned that her boyfriend does not miss her when they are apart, I would suggest that the woman may be putting her self-worth into one basket, the basket of, “I am only ok if he cares about me.”
That is, does he show her he cares by asking her about her day and then does he listen.
AND, does he try to understand her needs and meet them if he can or does he supports her in getting her needs met in other ways?
In modern day relationships, a major way we show the other that we care is by being aware of their needs, meeting the ones we can and then supporting them in taking action to meet the other needs.
Needs are normal & healthy.
How your caregivers responded to your needs definitely taught you whether to take care of your needs or ignore them.
- If your caregivers met your needs with love, you will have NO problem asking for and getting your needs met.
- If your caregivers resented meeting your needs you will have a hard time getting your needs met. You will also attract people who cannot meet your needs.
The way we learned we were worthy of love as a child is by having our needs met.
If you are having trouble meeting your needs now, it is highly likely that you learned that your needs are unimportant and therefore you are unimportant.
Here are some examples of Needs:
I would suggest that the woman who is upset that her boyfriend is not missing her while they are apart needs to find new ways to learn to love herself by becoming aware of her needs and finding ways to meet them on her own and also in good healthy discussions with her boyfriend and all of her relationships.