How to tell someone “I need you.” I am incapable of doing it.
If I asked my mom, she would say “you don’t need it.” If I asked my dad, he would say “just ask your mom.” None of them taught me that single thing to express a basic need. Maybe it’s a lesson I would teach myself.
Fast forward years later, I am still not able to do it properly. And I am a fully grownup, let me tell you. I could have had up to ten children, no twin, no triple. It’s such a relief I don’t have any. Maybe not until could I tell my beloved: “I need you.”
I’ve worked an office job for a long time. It’s the type of work where you have people around. One of my coworkers, a good friend, often walks in and announces: “Jeff and I are over.” “My journey with Wyatt is a done done,” or “Conor was sweet but he is a sugar mommy boy, so..” Nevertheless, those names belongs to my coworker’s dating mates, boyfriends, or whatever you name it. We work together for years and I get used to that. Also the stories behind those broke ups are somewhat similar. The mate doesn’t have time for my coworker friend when that’s the only thing needed. My listening plays a major part in the shower of rants after those announcements.
“He bailed me when I lost my dog and I needed him.”
“He canceled our long-planned vacation just because his mom wants a reunion family dinner.”
“I’m tired of his constant texts but the one night I just wanted to cuddle and watch some movies, he didn’t reply to my message.”
“Maybe it’s just bad timing,” I chime in from times to times.
“You will meet someone perfect. He will show up every single time you tell him you need him.” That usually how we end our conversation. That statement probably never holds true in real life.
Unlike my version of the story, my coworker’s story has a voicing “I need you” part addressed sublimely. My coworker knows how to do that very well, never shy, never awkward. But still it doesn’t work out. So what? Is it just how that expression means for the other in an intimate relationship? Maybe the boyfriends didn’t know how meaningful it is to be there for my coworker; just a way to say they are there, not even their physical presence, literally.
Thinking about that, maybe I have been subtly expressing “I need you” without knowing it. It could be my excessive or quirky actions like sending many emails or other forms of communication all at once, or a day of significantly fewer messages. I can’t tell those right away because of the disguises. But why? Maybe deep down I don’t dare to articulate it, not in term of language, but in form of love expression. I never accepted my mother idea that I don’t need it. But very likely it rooted an insecure in me: what if one day I have to verbalize “I need you” to my beloved? It means I am a weak and a dependent, emotionally.
When telling you this story, I have finally come to terms with that insecurity. It means I accept being a weak and a dependent (from my own view) saying that to my beloved. Saying it out loud doesn’t make you a weak person nor prove yourself a dependent in love. On a contrary, being able to express out “I need you” is powerful and daring. You must be brave to do it. If the recipient knows what it means to you and sincerely respond to that this way or another, you found the one, just like my coworker did. He found Sơn, “a wonderful guy who makes me feel he is there for me and with me every time I need him,” my coworker described. I know how happy in love he is, too much I stopped teasing them by pronounce Sơn “son.” [And I am crossing “
That statement probably never holds true in real life” above]
One day, very soon, I can do it. It’s a learning process for me after all..
“Babe, if you read this, you should know that I need you now.”