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When you say or hear, "I need you"

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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Peter Overduin

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Posted September 14 2009 - 01:27 PM

We all know "I love you."  Of course, we all understand love differently, but what I am interested in particularly, is what does "I need you" mean differently from "I love you."  Is it the same, only said differently?  Is a deep need akin to love but somehow fundamentally different? 

I know that I love someone, and there are times when my need is almost stronger than love itself.  I like to write poetry from time to time, as well as read it, especially the classics, many of whom wrote epic poems of love, but I have found little on the thought of 'need' in the context of a love relationship. 

I would be interested in what people think about the subject of "I need you" in the context of "I love you."

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#2 of 9 OFFLINE   ChristopherG



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Posted September 14 2009 - 11:17 PM

Well....need can sometimes be something that can be almost unhealthy as in co-dependent, which is an especially painful relationship for all involved.  Probably not what you where looking for, sorry, but the surest way (in my experience) to disaster in a relationship is to place the burden on the other individual for your happiness.
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#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Matt^Brown


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Posted September 15 2009 - 03:08 AM

I take need as co-dependent as well. I need you to make me happy, I need you to make me feel safe, I need you to help me keep my finances straight. I guess you could always go the romantic "I need you to complete me" but I find that to be even more co-dependent. Maybe a woman would have a different view on this topic.
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#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk



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Posted September 15 2009 - 03:17 AM

"I need you" in my relationship is basically what is said when we want sex. 

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted September 15 2009 - 08:20 AM

Originally Posted by Steve_Tk ">

"I need you" in my relationship is basically what is said when we want sex. 

Also frequently used when the female partner happens upon an unusually large bug/disgusting mess/armed burglar that needs to be dealt with immediately. 

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Elizabeth S

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Posted September 15 2009 - 09:12 AM

"I need you" sounds like a desperation of feeling from the person saying it.  Nobody should "need" anybody.  It is probably partly said to give Person B a feeling of utmost central importance in Person A's life.  However, it reeks of the root of obsessiveness.  "I love you" to me implies you can put the other person's needs first. 

It's hard to put in words, but,

"I love you" = You come first and I will even let you go if that is what will make you happy.  You will be in my heart forever.

"I need you" = I cannot live without you and one of us may die if you leave.

But. . .that's just me.  I do not want to be in "love" or "need" mode, ever.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted September 15 2009 - 04:49 PM

Another vote for the negative. While we tend to idealize love in the west it can be easily argued that it is the less selfish of the two. "I need you" is more blatantly all about the one saying it. "I love you" at least has the potential to be all about the other person.

The other issue is what happens when need goes away? Some believe love is fleeting. If that is the case then need is even more so.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   DaveF



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Posted September 16 2009 - 12:06 AM

The romantic views are covered. I'll comment on the boring, mature relationship case.

"I need you" is the unspoken and (hopefully) understood reality in a lengthy and mature relationship. It's most evident in with elderly married couples. One spouse makes all the money; another handles all the finances. One gets everything fixed and replaced; another takes care of the food. One does the household planning; another does all the driving. And so, over the years, by dividing the roles, couples become co-dependent and need each other for the day-to-day stuff to work out. If one leaves or passes, the other can be in for a lot of challenges and troubles until they rebuild the skills to do all the things they've not done for years or decades.

But that's too materialistic. In a long-running friendship, you are accustomed to that relationship. You need it to be there for emotional and mental well-being. To have that ripped away is extremely stressful.

I see this after just three years of marriage. My wife has taken over finances and laundry -- things I did just fine as a bachelor. But now, I'm losing that knowledge. If she vanished, I'd be in trouble for a while until I got back to managing these things on my own. But more than that, to lose the relationship -- well, it's so integrated into my life, my normal activities, my emotions -- I need her.

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted September 16 2009 - 04:48 AM

I always thought the ultra-sappy, over sentimentalized "I need you" and (God forbid) "You complete me" were neon lit billboards for codependency.  After all, if someone "needs" you, it means they cannot meet their own needs and cannot survive without you.  My goldfish needs me, my girlfriend should want me.  Don't even get me started on "You complete me" .  Terrible movie.  Set relationships back to the stone age. What the hell do I want with an incomplete person?  Complete yourself so you can bring an actual human being to the relationship; not some needy, whiny little sad sack looking for me to inject meaning into your life (soon followed by you stalking me after I launch your incomplete ass).

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