All Relationships Have Functions

All Relationships Exist To Gratify A Need

Human beings are social beings. We thrive in relationships because they award us the opportunity to laugh, cheer, and cry together, as well as support one another when need be. Relationships allow us to feel like we belong somewhere. For some, relationships gives one a sense of purpose and identity. It is human nature to always want or need to be with someone. Be that as it may, the one thing that people do not talk about is how we all get into relationships for selfish reasons.

The word selfish may sound too harsh for many because society teaches us to perceive selfishness as a no-no. An inhumane way of being. However, it is the very nature of humans; to survive and make sure that they are “fine”, what ever that might look like. Think of it in this way, many people, if not all people, when usually faced with making a decision, especially big, life-changing decisions, the best possible result for self is usually the motivation. Even in situations where one thinks they are being selfless, in that moment, they are essentially being selfish because the act of considering the other or benefitting the other would make them feel good about themselves. So, in essence, that is how humans operate, and it is not necessarily a bad thing. It is part of a human being’s process to “survive”.

When people get into any relationship, whether knowingly or not, they get into that relationship with the aim or hope of getting something in return. This might sound like you are using a person, but it is the reality of relationships. People do not just get into relationships to get material things, but there are also a number of “unseen”/nonmaterial things that people could benefit from relationships. For example, one could get into a relationship to feel a sense of companionship, to feel loved, to move up in the rank of society, to have get money (i.e. in romantic, platonic and professional relationships, etc.), to feel a sense of safety and security, for stability, and and and… the list is endless. Most people think that when we talk about benefits in a relationship, it is something that only happens in romantic relationships, but that is far from the truth.

For people to be able to have conscious, meaningful relationships, they need to understand why they would want to get into that particular relationship, as well as what they are hoping to get out of the relationship. In addition, how they are to contribute to the desired result. Once these are clear, communicating these needs and expectations to the other party helps one decipher whether the relationship is able to be established, and if so, how fruitful it could be. It gives the other party the opportunity to decide whether they would be able to meet the needs communicated or not, and/or to communicate their own needs and expectations in return. Nowadays, a lot of relationships operate on assumptions which leaves a lot of room for failure. People expect other people or their significant counterparts to know what their needs might be and gratify them without having them being clearly communicated. The inability to share one’s needs clearly is usually due to the fear that one will be thought of as being selfish (or too needy) for having specific needs. So, the result is usually one holding back and having a relationship that feels one-sided or has no direction at all; which is not fulfilling.

When one’s needs (i.e. psychological, physical, sexual, financial, intellectual, etc.) are not being met in a relationship, any kind of relationship, they would need to reflect if they would simply settle (which has it’s own negative effects on the relationship with self), try to communicate theirs and remedy the situation, or to walk away from the relationship. Being able to ascertain what is healthier for one, especially in relationships, and follow through on making sure that such a healthy outcome or environment becomes a reality is important. It takes a lot of internal work and courage but it is absolutely necessary!

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