Our generation was brought up on the contrasting ideas of fairytale romances and the independence of womanhood, which now implies we have new grounds to stand on because of the numerous changes in equality over the last century. This makes a difference in how we view relationships of love, true love and even the concept of soulmates.
At 15-years-old, the Taylor Swift lyric, "When you're 15 and somebody tells you they love you, you're going to believe them," rings true. At 15, we are bound by the idea that it's time to start dating (if you haven't already) and find our high school sweetheart.
And then college comes around. At 18, we suddenly assume we'll find our college sweetheart/one true love, and this person is going to be the type of person we cannot live without. This person is supposed to be someone I've needed in my life, or I would feel like I was missing something forever ... right?
In my ventures in love, I've seen and felt true love. And to be honest, it's far from a "need," and should not be seen as a "need." It should be a "want."
Allow me to explain. Growing up, my mom used to plan out the day's schedule on a white board. My family is very inclusive, so she would ask my sister and me, "Is this a 'need' to do, or a 'nice' to do," when we were inputting activities we'd like to incorporate into the day. If we went shopping, and my sister and I would be at ends trying to decide if something was worthy of purchase, she'd ask, "Is this a 'need' to have, or a 'want' to have?"
This idea of need vs. want became a huge factor in how I looked at basic, everyday decisions. And now, I look at it in terms of love. Formulating my own perception of the difference between wanting and needing something/someone gave me a different ground to stand on when it came to true love.
I've always wanted a love story like Jasmine and Aladdin, or Rapunzel and Flynn. But as I experience different types of love with different people, I've begun to realize that true "need" love is the cherished family and friends you have, or any other significant people you can count on to be by your side when times get tough. These are the true loves that you always can count on to love and support you.
In regards to a life partner, they should be a "want" love. For example, I want a best friend, I want a lover, I want someone with passion and compassion, I want honesty and loyalty, I want sarcasm and humor. But what I really "need" out of this relationship, is a "want" to love them.
I used to believe that if there was no feeling of need, then it was not true love. But needing in a romantic relationship can be a dangerous thing. Feeling like you need someone in order to be happy develops a serious lack in self-confidence, possible jealousy or envy, fear and even anger. And we all know "fear is the path to the Dark Side."
With true, true love, there must be a want. A want to talk to them every day, a want to be there as their support system and for them to be yours, a want to choose to go through every up and every down of life with that person.
If need replaces any of those wants, a cycle of overwhelming negative emotions develop.
When you find "the one," you should want them to be "the one," in a sense. They say "when you know, you know," but you also should want to feel, deep in your bones, that this is the person you want by your side forever.
Being OK (and even happy) without them is not a bad thing. The difference is choosing to want them by your side. Needing a partner for happiness, is like needing there to be a serious differentiation in the weather in order to be happy. But wanting a partner who adds to your current happiness in your own pursuits and successes, now that's something beautiful to look forward to.
Eventually, after every breakup, we've all learned to be happy without that person. And we've all realized we don't need them to be happy. This is why knowing if you "need" or "want" the person in your life is so important.
The difference in the one relationship that will be your forever is, despite knowing you can live without them and don't need them to be happy, you don't want to experience life with anyone else.