Reading Time: 5 mins 30 secs || 3 Needs Your Partner Can’t Give You

We fall for people and hope they complete us, make us better, or help us grow into that person we think we should be. We create heavy expectations and are devastated or angered when they fall short. We place needs on them that in no humanly possible way can they meet. We know at the back of our minds that they can’t meet it, but hey, it’s normal to hope. Of course, they fail us and we cry. We long for these needs to be met or our questions answered. We know there is something deeper but we can’t reach it. What do we do? We go to that human closest to our hearts, our lovers, our ride or die, that one that loves us to the moon and back, but still, nothing. Disappointment sets in, next thing, fights, and misunderstandings. We eventually get sick and tired and decide to leave for another. Another who ‘understands’ us, ‘gets’ us or is even more ‘matured’ than the other. Jokes on us, the cycle continues simply because we do not understand that there are needs our partners cannot give us.


23 years on planet earth, I’ve had my fair share of relationships, each leaving me wiser. Well, I’d like to hope. Dating came early, the first boyfriend in high school at age 12 or 13. Scratch that, I wouldn’t count that, we didn’t even know what we were doing. All we did was talk on the phone and see in church. Let’s say my relationship came in university at age 17. I had to be there for someone emotionally,  meet needs and be a support system to another human being. That relationship paved the way for the others that would eventually come. Two came after that and I am currently in another. With everyone, I learned something new, gave a part of me and saw something new in me.


I started dating at a time when I should have been finding myself, learning to live as a single and whole entity. Because I didn’t give myself this chance, I had to do a lot of finding in relationships and in people. I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t understand my purpose and I definitely did not feel accepted. I spent my time trying to meet these needs and not even paying attention to who I was with. I was with them but I wasn’t hearing them. I was hearing my own voice trying to find itself. Because of this, I ended up in broken relationships and blamed it on ‘I wasn’t understood’.


The other day, I was in church at a singles night event. I was a bit distracted trying to update social media but when my pastor’s wife started speaking, something caught my attention. She was spelling out my problem and explaining my whole life like she had the script to it. She talked about the 3 needs your partner can’t give you.

3 needs your partner can’t give you


Your Identity


Everyone wants to know who they are beyond that name written on their birth certificate; they want to understand themselves. A while ago, I asked myself a question, “Have you really met yourself?”. You look in the mirror every day, see a reflection, see a face but do you really see you? I used to go into relationships not knowing who I was and would end up trying to be whoever I needed to be for the partner at that time. This confusion made me do things I regret and make silly mistakes. A relationship is made up of two whole humans who are to know themselves first before complementing each other.


You know your name because your parents told you. They birthed you and gave you an identity that you carry around today. That’s just a name. Becoming a practicing Christian made me realize that my true identity can come from only God and no human being. Before choosing to be with someone, there is a need to know who you are in Christ Jesus and understand that you are a child of God. This understanding helps to base your identity in Christ and not the past or a boyfriend.


Spend time with yourself, get to know who you are, achieve that level of comfort and do it all with God beside you. You’ll be amazed at how much he will reveal to you and how your understanding of yourself will begin to fall into place.


Your Purpose


Stop with the ‘I find myself in you’ or ‘everything is clearer with you’. You do all these in finding your purpose and by doing that which God has planned for you. I am guilty of trying to find my purpose in a man, adjusting my life to suit what he wanted and not what God wanted for me. I only just burned out and burned everyone close to me, it was exhausting and draining. I remember how empty I felt after my first real break up. My life was so much centered around my boyfriend that the emptiness was inevitable. And trust my juvenile self to try to fill it up with nonsense.


Your purpose is what you find in the one that created you, not the one that shares your bed or your heart. It’s not about us, it’s about our creator who made us all with different purposes. I believe our sole purpose is to do the work He has sent us to do, to proclaim his name. But of course, we have assignments and different ways to fulfill this purpose. I feel one confusion in the hearts of many is finding that one purpose. There is no full stop to purpose, as you keep getting to know God, He keeps revealing more and more to you.


I sought answers in men but it only broke me further. No human can answer the question to what your purpose is, God who created you, will tell you. Expecting your partner to be God is just very unreasonable.


Your Acceptance


Ever found yourself doing too much to be loved, or breaking your backs just to please and be accepted? We’ve all been there or rather, I’ve been there. I don’t want to call this the most important but I need to say it louder for those at the back to hear it. No matter what you do, until you accept yourself and know that God has accepted you and his acceptance is all you need, you will not find it elsewhere. Your partner can’t meet the need for acceptance.


Every day I thank God for Jesus in my life because Him being with me has come with so much understanding, unlearning and relearning. I used to have daddy issues. For reasons I can’t share with the world, I didn’t have the best relationship with my dad growing up. I entered relationships wanting to be accepted, wanting a father figure. Well, that didn’t work out. I hurt myself and hurt my partners too. Well, a few years down, I built a better relationship with my dad, found Jesus and ended up feeling accepted by the best fathers, the earthly and heavenly. Jesus loves you and is here for you. Accept yourself, forgive yourself and love yourself, you have the best guy in the world loving you.


These three things are important and you have to find them on your own before you choose to share your life with anyone. They are not restricted to romantic relationships alone. Sometimes we expect too much from even our friends or siblings and forget that they are not God and cannot meet these needs. Knowing all these, however, doesn’t mean you will become the best partner in a relationship. Truth is you still need to work at it and understand each other. But believe me, meeting these needs just makes it easier. And, one thing finding these things does to you is giving you that fierce confidence. You know who you are, what you want to do, where you are going and what to accept or reject.


I hope you enjoyed reading this post, please leave a comment let’s continue the conversation. Support me by sharing this post to others, it would mean a lot to me. Thank you.




*Disclaimer: Thoughts in this post are not entirely mine, the points were listed out by my Pastor’s wife @deolajani.  I only used my life’s story to explain them. The images used in this post are entirely mine. 

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