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In terms of pop culture, The Best Man Holiday came out years ago. But it raised a question which I think is ever present in our society. If you’ve seen the movie you may remember there was a scene where Jordan (Nia Long) is outside talking to her boyfriend Brian (Eddie Cibrian) and after they reminisce about their morning romp and talk about plans over the next few days, he says something like “Sometimes I feel like you don’t need me.” And Jordan quickly says “I don’t.” I nodded and shrugged– in an old Baptist church lady “Well…” type of way. But in the midst of my flippancy I noticed that others were groaning, gasping and even shaking their heads in a very “you done effed up now” type of way toward Jordan.

And I just kept thinking but she really doesn’t need him.

I understand the game…or the understood rules of the game. A man has to feel like he’s important in your life. Knowing that he provides something for you, brings something to the table is vitally important to him, it speaks to his love language. And I get that too. Really, we all want to feel important.

But I’m into words and the meanings and connotations behind them and I know what it means to need. Contemporarily we often use the word interchangeably with “want.” But the old school definition of needing something means it is essential to survival or overall well being. And as human beings we do need love and affection. But honestly, if that love and affection doesn’t come from a particular individual, despite what our fleeting feelings may lead us to believe, we don’t necessarily perish or even go on to live unfulfilled lives. And I say that even to say if a person leaves you unwillingly, like through death, many of us won’t die also as a result.  This applies in a non-romantic context as well. Say a mother’s lost her child, and we can assume that she loved the child like any normal mother, even she, despite suffering one of the greatest losses known to humanity, doesn’t necessarily die physically as a result.

I believe that there are so many ways in which we can experience love, an essential, that it would be extremely dangerous for all of that power to rest in the hands of just one person.

A large part of me wonders if this whole men desiring to feel needed doesn’t harken back to days when women had little to no options of being independent and financially stable. And men were proving to women that they loved them by their willingness to” take care” of them. If that’s so, while we all know those days are over, I can imagine how a person might feel dejected if they present their love to you–in the context of being needed–and you spread your legs, squat and piss on it.

That does indeed suck and perhaps Jordan could have taken a less harsh approach. But my question is what would that approach be? Was Jordan, and more universally, are all women in romantic relationships with men, supposed to lie and pretend we need them? Or is it enough to show and tell your man that you want him, desire him and maybe even yearn to be with him? Does that preserve the ego and spare feelings in an acceptable manner?

Ladies, what do you think? Is it imperative that you use the word need when describing a man’s role in your life? If not, how do you make him feel important without lying?

 

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