Tonight one of my roommates came back from visiting his boyfriend and told me about a fight they had.
And at the end of it he asked me: How can you be single for so long and so happy?
I told him that there have been two things in the last few years that made me have the thought “This is what boyfriends are for.” Driving alone to the airport (yeah, I’m a big scaredy cat and hate highway driving alone, anxiety attacks, the whole nine yards), and going to my fathers funeral.
In my entire life those are the only times I’ve had that thought. Otherwise, anything I need I can get from a friend or the internet.
My roommate got upset, started calling himself needy and a bad boyfriend. And I asked him how often he thinks that sentence to himself. “This is what boyfriends are for.”
His list was much longer; when he cooks or eats, when he goes to sleep and wakes up, when he finishes work for the day.
The weird part is that both of us were convinced that the other one was normal and we ourselves were the outliers. And then I realized that as with most things it was more complicated and more simple than I initially thought.
Neither of us is normal or abnormal. We all exist on a continuum of how much we need certain things. I don’t need the person I share my day with to be my romantic partner, in fact I don’t need that romantic partner very often at all, which puts me all the way at one side of the bell curve. He, on the other side of the curve, likes to share his meals and his bed with someone special. That doesn’t make either of us wrong, just far apart.
Lastly, the word ‘needy’ is one we use to attack people who need more than we can give them. And it isn’t helpful at all. I think we can let it go now.
And if anyone wants to make a little graphic for me depicting this I’ll take it.