Dangerous Compassions

basic needs for close relationship



Hello, reader.  How are you doing?  I’ve been thinking about my basic needs for close relationship.

Ming and I have lived in Kalapuya land for almost a year now.  I’m getting to know this biome and this town, and we’re forming alliances.  I need to be close to people who treat me in ways that build us both up.

I’m an introvert, disabled, and you know I have the autism.  I only have so many social spoons.  So I need to save them for people who treat me in ways that work for me, where things are reciprocal, and I’m feeling really good.  It doesn’t make sense for me to over-give or put up with painful situations.

bad habits

Of course things aren’t great all the time, and I can tolerate some bumps in the road.  But my bad habit is to prioritize others over myself.  I don’t want to do that anymore.

Another bad habit is to ally with people who paint me into a corner, so I look up one day and realize I’m in a bad place, with very little freedom.  Freedom is one of my core values, and I don’t want to sacrifice it.

I’ve been working on a list of my basic needs for close relationship.  These things could be deal breakers.  This list applies to romantic and sexual relationships, but also chosen family, best friend relationships, and very close friendship.

basic needs for close relationship
  • consent
  • respect me as your equal
  • share power
  • collaborate on our relationship, needs, shared needs
  • consistency
  • integrity
  • communicate in ways that work for both of us
  • talk to me kindly without yelling
  • be fair with me and everyone
  • be honest with me
  • co-cultivate a safety where I can be honest with you
  • understand and respect my





why I’m on earth

  • stay curious about me–respect my Mystery
  • help me toward my goals, on my terms, collaboratively
  • fun
  • desire
  • ok with abortion, ok with me aborting a pregnancy
  • good smells
  • no sensory overwhelm through smoke, animals, tv, etc
questions I ask about a close relationship

When a visit with this person is over, do I feel more or less stable than before the visit?  Do I feel more or less happy?

What if anything am I sacrificing, to be close to this person?  Is it worth it?

Does this person help me toward my life goals?

Does this person take more than they give?  Are they mining me?

Am I attributing traits to this person that are not there, or attributing actions they don’t actually do?  Where is the goodness actually coming from?

Am I seeing the other person as they are, or am I mistaking potential for reality?

Is this relationship going how I want it to?

Do I feel stuck or trapped in any way?

Is this person activating my problems? fitting into a previous pattern of abuse that I’ve been in?

Does this relationship destabilize me?

Does this relationship destabilize my other relationships?


Wow, those are good questions.  Often I forget how relationships aren’t in a vacuum.  My big relationships need to be balanced.

Often I’ve attributed great things to a person I loved and wanted, when it was really me supplying the great things.  It can be easier to thank others than to recognize myself.

Often I’ve felt stuck or trapped and not thought that thought out loud.  Or I accepted that feeling as minor when it’s huge.

Sometimes a person reminds me of someone I had a bad thing with in the past.  So I start behaving in a way I don’t like, and it’s not about this new person in front of me, necessarily–it’s some weird reenactment.  I need to be careful about that.

Being dazzled by potential feels like optimism taken too far.  I’m a visionary–seeing potential and working toward the world I want to live in is a big part of my life.  But people are sovereign beings, not projects.  Unless someone specifically asks for help, I have no business giving a lot of help toward what they could be.  I want to dwell in reality, not potential.

breaking up

Relationship isn’t about fairness.  Breaking up isn’t punishment–it’s just making other choices.  Freeing myself from someone who things aren’t happy with is a gift to the world.  I can use my energy in other ways that aren’t draining.

I have no responsibility to work and work at any one relationship to maintain it.  There are many people in this world.  Friendship and other love relationships are supposed to be fun.  If it’s not fun, I can try to correct an error or change a behavior.  But it’s ok for relationships to come and go.

Ming and I are married–I’m going to work very hard to keep things happy with him.  I have my temporary chosen family also, and commitment to them.  Otherwise, things are flexible.  Sometimes I get confused and think I’m married to everyone.  Nope.

priorities and needs

What are your basic requirements for close relationship, reader?  Have you thought about it much lately?  It can be a topic when someone’s starting to date.  But I want to revisit my priorities and needs often, because they change.

I’m curious, caring, and can get swept up into strange situations.  You know I like to try something different.  But I need a good mix of intentionality and spontaneity.  Thank you for caring about me, all these years.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

2 replies on “basic needs for close relationship”

You’ve given me a lot to think about, thanks for your sharing.

I do not know what I need in a relationship. Or if I do, it’s hard to untangle. My first relationship was an on-again, off-again struggle because I wanted a girlfriend who was into nerdy stuff. I’m not sure what she wanted. We didn’t want each other, eventually.

I think one thing I would require is affection, which sounds odd since I spent so much time convincing myself I liked solitude. But random handholds and frequent hugs help a lot. Something to think about.

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