just support and belongingness (level 3), where it might have slotted back when commitment was more about baseline stability than anything else.
Today, men and women alike repeatedly told me they wanted a partner who “makes them better.” We are a generation focused on self-actualization: fulfillment, satisfaction, reaching our highest potential (level 5, peak #goals).
Fantastically, true modern partnerships (or at least our idea of them) can and should help us self-actualize, elevate us, and help us become our best selves.
But we need esteem — level 4, knowing who we are and what we bring to the table, having couple, opposite-sex or same-sex: When one person is lower in the pyramid, there is less headspace for love (level 3), especially of the makes-me-better, self-actualizing variety (level 5) because he or she must first tend to self-esteem (level 4).
As humans, we move all over the hierarchy every day. But in general (and as the theory goes), all needs must be fulfilled eventually, and when a need is unfulfilled, it’s activated and we’re motivated to work on that need until it’s met. Physiological and safety needs come first (you’ve gotta survive) before esteem and love (to help you thrive).
Enter modern-day romance and relationships: Hey there, idealism! Not only do most of us want to explore and expand personally, but we want couple-with-your-best-friend, do-life-together loves, too.
(So did my ex, for that matter, before our commitment conversation.) But if that’s the case, what’s going on here?
Well, for one, needs and wants are different things, and timing is a crucial element of modern-day relationship success. For millennials, “I’m not ready” is not a line or excuse, but often a reality of dating and falling in love.For example, if he’s working on gaining a steady source of income after a career change (level 2: safety needs) while you’re working on a promotion at work (level 4: esteem), or he wants a casual relationship (level 3: love and belongingness) while you want that modern-day, growth-oriented partnership to hit every continent or start a side hustle together (level 5: self-actualization), maybe the tough truth is he’s just not at your level. to work in advertising and, by all accounts, has one of those committed, inspiring partnerships I mentioned earlier.A straight guy friend told me he thinks he subconsciously struggles to date women who are ahead of him. “Someone in the same place in life,” my friend mused. The good news is, although fulfilling relationships may seem rare among the oodles of options we have today, they may ultimately prove more powerful tools for personal growth than “ideal” relationships of the past.And in relationships, more women are breadwinners than ever before; the number of family units with female primary or sole breadwinners That doesn’t mean old societal expectations have completely fallen by the wayside, however.They still play a role in dating between men and women — subconsciously or consciously.Of course, not every man or woman follows the same trajectory, nor do we all measure our pyramids in the same way.