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Striving for self sufficiency in your relationship

I am in a different kind of relationship than I've ever had before. It is intense, it is exciting, and at times it is just a little too overwhelming. But despite the ups and downs, I have no intention of giving it up, even though I often find myself outside my comfort zone.

Part of the problem is my attitude. I had no idea what I was getting into when I allowed myself to be part of this relationship. In other words, I found myself attracted to this man and then I fell, head over heels, in love with him without considering the consequences of my actions.

Whirlwind romances can be fun in the beginning, and mine certainly was. In fact, after four and a half months, it's still fun -- but only when I stay within the parameters of the "self-sufficient relationship," one of the five types of relationships that Jeffrey Wolf Green talks about in his book, The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul Through Relationships (Vol. 2) (1998).

He states: "The self-sufficient type of relationship is an archetype in which both individuals have learned how to identify and meet their own needs. The resulting attitude of such people becomes one wherein each will feel that they are in the relationship simply because they want to be, not because of what the
other can do for them."

In my past relationships, my husbands filled my needs because they lived with me. We depended on each other and, at least in the first marriage, we grew up together. In the first marriage there were children and the necessity to have a good provider in the household. The second marriage was a "May-November" match and he was more a father figure to me in many ways. I had a lot to learn about being on my own after the divorce, and Husband #2 helped me grow in many ways.

In both instances I grew to depend on my husbands to fulfill my needs and my happiness. When my first husband and I split, it was because we had different views on life and apparently the soul contract was fulfilled. My second husband developed a terminal illness and made his transition in 2008.

But now... with my new boyfriend... I found myself wanting to follow the same pattern as in my past, but I
soon learned that he is much different from Husband #1 and #2. My new partner made it clear that he does not want marriage, he does not want us even living together.

After a year and a half of widowhood, I am still feeling as though I need a man to take care of... someone to move in with me and be a constant companion. Loneliness has earned its place in my life after decades of always being a household of two or more. I had grown used to being caretaker and comfort giver to Husband #2 and, being a sensitive water sign astrologically, my nurturing nature had hoped to find someone to replace that void.

However, I obviously need to learn to be self-sufficient. My soul chose a man who is an Aries! He is the typical strong Aries, too -- blunt, forceful, egocentric, fiery -- and terribly exciting to be with! He is going to teach me just how to live self-sufficiently. I have never known anyone like #3. He is an all-around independent sort of guy, a true loner, and despite the fact he attracted me and won my heart, I must accept the fact that he is never going to change.

I have a choice here, of course. I can decide to leave the relationship at any time and find someone who wants to be with me 24/7. At times, I admit, I yearn for that. I love caring for a man and I have much to offer in that respect. My other choice is to stay in this relationship and just accept the idea that my boyfriend wants to be alone, but is willing to do things with me now and then.

This means a lot of lonely nights and days... struggling with my emotions... wishing for a lifestyle he can't give me, knowing I can't change him. But really... I don't want to do that anyway. I like him just the way he is, even if I feel I'm not getting all I deserve.

Jeffrey Wolf Green says this about the self-sufficient relationship: "The element of compulsion and projected needs is entirely eliminated. Such people are simply free from within themselves to be with another person. As a result, such individuals have the evolved capacity to see their partners clearly and
objectively."

My boyfriend is there already. I am not. But I aim to be.

"The feeling of being threatened or insecure because of each other's individual needs or desires to actualize in the ways that each requires is eliminated," Jeffrey Wolf Green says. "Instead, each person will encourage and facilitate the individual development of one another. This allows for an unconditional love -- 'I will love you always, no matter what.' This is totally different than the conditional love that manifests in every other relationship type."

So why would I work so hard to evolve to that level in order to learn to meet my own needs instead of expecting someone else to fulfill them for me? Is this relationship worth keeping? Because I can see the value in being self-sufficient, especially in a relationship.

I am working at getting there... it isn't easy. I decided that I would rather stay in my current relationship and be happy when I'm with him... than not have him at all. He, after all, managed to capture my heart, and the thought of being with someone else is ... let's face it, unthinkable. I love him.

"The self-sufficient relationship type does not mean that each person does not have needs," writes Jeffrey Wolf Green. "Everyone has needs in a relationship."

Of course we both have needs.

A tool I use to deal with my anxiety during those times when I'm feeling especially vulnerable and uncertain about the future is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) developed by Gary Craig. It has helped me tremendously to neutralize the negative emotions that crop up from time to time and prevent me from
concentrating on all the good things in my relationship. See the video by Cathryn Taylor at the end of the article, and be sure to check out Emotional Freedom Technique for yourself. There are many ways it can help you.

"The difference is that each person has learned how to meet their own needs without projecting those needs on the partner. Such individuals are fine whether they are in a relationship or not. Because this type of person does not project needs upon his or her partner, the partner, paradoxically, is all too happy to meet those needs."

I've noticed that when I am around him and I manage to keep from being too "clingy," he is much more responsive to my needs. The minute I start putting pressure on the relationship, everything changes.

"Evolutionarily speaking, it takes a long time to arrive to a condition of self-sufficiency. As a result, this relationship type is not common. In the West, roughly 15 percent of all relationships will be in this condition," says Jeffrey Wolf Green.

Well, as I said, I'm not there yet. But this is, after all, the Relationship Transition Examiner writing this... and the relationship is definitely in transition most of the time.

Comments

  • Trish 4 years ago

    Hi Ann! I always enjoy reading your articles woman! This one is really really important, however. I don't know how many of my friends have gone through this at some point or another. And I say "friends" because personally, I've never actually had this problem in relationships. I've had to deal with the guys having these problems though! I wish so many more people out there would read this article when entering into new relationships. My best friend always told me "How can you be comfortable with someone else if you aren't comfortable with yourself first." She told me this when we were in 8-9 grade. And as always it happened when we were discussing mutual friends of ours. It seems that I've always been giving advice to my friends about their relationships.... and the one thing I always tell them first and foremost is that you have to love and respect yourself FIRST! Only when you are comfortable being alone will you ever truly begin to love another. Love you! Trish

  • valerie benson 4 years ago

    We all need companionship in this life. We need the feedback and alot of times we are seeing a part of ourselves reflected back in our friends and realtionships. what is life without an " esprit du corps"? its important to have an adventure with others and it increases our appreciation of life in its totality.

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