Want vs. Need

I used to work for an organization that taught elementary students the difference between a want and a need. Food is a need - you need food to survive. A new skateboard? Well, that's a want. You can live without that.

But as an adult, it isn't always so black and white. And when it comes to relationships, the need/want lines blur even more.

An episode of Girls has stuck with me over the course of the past week or so, and I keep going back to this new Mimi Rose character, and her feminist approach. If you don't watch the show, here's a little back story: Mimi Rose is dating Adam (formerly of Hannah & Adam), and she got an abortion without consulting with him first. Now, I'm not going to get into the abortion debate, but what their argument boiled down to is this: Adam felt that she did not need him, and so he almost left her because of it.

Her response to him packing up his belongings was simple: I don't need you, but I do want you. And isn't that better? I don't need you, but I like coming home and knowing you're behind the door.

I can't shake it.

I don't need a man, but shit if I don't want one.

One behind the door when I get home at night, or on the other end of the phone after a long day. And while I don't need either of those things, and I've learned to find solace in coming home to an empty house, it's only because I know that it's not always going to be like that.

And this is where it gets tricky for me.

Everyone wants to feel needed, don't they? At work, or home, in your family or circle of friends, it's nice to know that someone depends on you. I understand that. I strive for that, too.

But what I also strive for is stability, and knowing that if I create that myself, I don't need to depend on anyone else for it.

Because somewhere between college and turning 28 years old, I've started to scare men away.


I'm not overly aggressive with them. I don't scare them away because I'm too needy, like some girls are. I'm the opposite. And these men know it, and they run from it.

But it doesn't mean I don't wish they stayed. And it doesn't mean I'm not upset when they leave.

I've had this conversation with some of my girlfriends over the past few months. How we're college educated, hard working women, who come from good families, but - for whatever reason - cannot find men who want to date us.

Are we that intimidating?  And why is being confident for the right reasons, a reason for men to be too scared to approach us?

I used to dwell on this all too often, but I try not to anymore.

Because I want someone who wants me, who isn't scared to approach me, or to chase me, or to be waiting behind that door.