We are made for relationships and naturally look to others to meet our relational needs. But no one person can satisfy all our needs. We must mind the gap between our needs and what others can fulfill.

Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash

There is great joy in sharing our life with others – our dreams and interests, and even our disappointments and burdens.

And, to be sure, our vitality depends on this intimate knowing. We need each other.

At the same time, no one person can satisfy all our relational needs. And we place an unnecessary strain on our relationships when we look to one person to do so.

We must mind the gap between our needs and what others can realistically fulfill.

This is done by first acknowledging our needs and desires.

For instance, whether at concerts or in underwater basket weaving, we want someone to join us in those things that matter most to us.

But we also acknowledge that others have their own unique dreams and desires.

No two people have the exact combination of interests, even when they enjoy an extensive common ground.

As such, there will always be something missing between what we want and what the other can give.

This is the gap. And it’s found in every relationship. Nothing is broken, but it is important how we respond.

Sometimes this is simply acknowledging we don’t have what we want.

This honors our desires and gives us the freedom to make wise choices going forward.

Perhaps we build a community of likeminded individuals to help fill the gap, and learn to enjoy what the other has to offer without resentment.

Mind the gap. Honor your unmet desires and freely enjoy all that others have to give, however limited.

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