Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hard Rocks Love - Lesson 2:
No One Can Possibly Meet All Your Needs

No one can possibly meet all of your needs.

The reverse is true too. Above is what I call a Compatibility Needs Chart to help you understand why. Like the the Social Dating & Mating chart yesterday, I couldn't find one to convey today's message on the Internet, so made up my own.

This one breaks down most of the basic needs people have, and it's useful to compare yours with someone you're interested in or involved with.

Think of this chart as a pie - but remember that the slices are never equal. For example, one section could be large and another very small. You can assess your own needs and also add your own slices, such as your parenting style if or when you have kids.

This is useful in comparing yours to a potential boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. Do the two of you have compatible needs and styles?

Emotional & Temperament Compatibility

As a couple, are the two of you comfortable with each other's inborn and basic temperament?

Here are a few examples. Some people are stoic. They don't cry easily or are given to drama. Others are very expressive and wear their feelings on their sleeve. This may or may not work out, depending what the other person craves in a partner.

Some people are naturally quiet. They can spend an evening saying very little and prefer a quiet partner too. Others need lots of conversation, and are uncomfortable with silence. There are plenty of successful 'mixed' couples, however, and wouldn't have it any other way.

Some folks are spur of the moment. They'll pack a suitcase in a heartbeat and head for the beach or last minute invitation. Others need to plan and don't like quick and unexpected changes.

There are those who live for today and don't plan. They don't save money, their credit cards are smokin' hot, and they don't make long-term plans for career. They are entirely comfortable living like this. Others would never dream of this lifestyle and consider it dangerous. This type of couple often has a lot of conflict.

Visual Pleasure, Sex Drive, and Sexual Style in bed

Never underestimate visual pleasure. Before we want something, except for the blind, we usually have to see it.

Some people have a need to maximize their appearance. They even want their pets to look good, like Rainbow Poodle above or a muscled out Doberman dog named Killah. These folks look great most of the time, and often prefer this in a mate, but not always. Others are strictly casual, jeans and tee shirts, or even slobs, and dislike dressing up.

If one person needs their lover to have that certain look to light their fire, and their lover rarely satisfies the other's need for visual pleasure, they have a compatibility problem in this area, particularly if one was a certain way in the beginning, but slacked off as the relationship wore on.

Their lover is likely to feel betrayed if the other makes little or no effort to stay in shape, or the opposite situation where suddenly one gets in shape and starts dressing up. I'll have a whole article about couples who had that on their plate next week.

People vary in their sex drive. Some have an enormous sexual appetite. They literally cannot study, focus on their work or anything else until it is satisfied. This hits teens and the 20s crowd the hardest, and for many, is a contributing factor for low grades.

Blame Mother Nature disguised as our hormones, commanding us to seek a mate and reproduce. A strong sex drive is not evil, although the Puritanical streak in our culture paints its so, while the hedonistic side of our society will exploit it.

Some people have low sex drives and cannot understand why others or their partner is always ready to get naked and do the wild thing. They can go days, weeks, months, even years without having sex or even masturbating. As people age, they tend to 'forget' what it felt like to be all juiced up all the time. Ask a woman in her 30s who has been given a fertility-inducing medication. If she's honest, she'll tell you she hasn't been this horny in 15 or 20 years.

Sexual style and compatibility in bed is important in determining compatibility. A lot of people love to fuck off and on all night, every night, especially when they're young, while others are ready to quit way sooner and content with getting laid once or twice a week.

Some people like the kind of sex you see in porn movies, where anything goes. Then there are those won't do oral sex, or only be on the receiving end. Others may reject sex toys, anal sex, threesomes, sex parties, etc. People have widely varying comfort levels in bed, and when one needs one type of sex that the other rejects, their pie charts ain't overlapping and they have problems in that section.

Need for Entertainment and/or Physical Activities

The couch potato with the athletic type who can't sit still and wants a partner to jog with or go camping, swimming, etc. runs the risk of becoming bored with one another.

This is true of the party animal paired up with someone who hates going out socially. Or sometimes, they share little in common with what they like to do for entertainment. One has to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to bowling events while the other will hide rather blow a day at a museum.

Nearly all couples have activities they like that the doesn't, but if they can't find a common ground of fun things to do together, that's less pleasure in the relationship and ultimately can hurt it.

Intellectual Interests, Curiosity and Humor

Some people discover after the sexual excitement has been satisfied that they have little to talk about, or if you do talk, your style of communication is so different that misunderstandings are common, and you may even accuse each other never meaning what they say or never saying what they mean.

Another indicator of compatibility is do the two of you laugh at the same things?

This is more important than you might think. A little laughter each day is a major stress reducer and can smooth over a lot of the hard times couples encounter. If one is annoyed at another's sense and style of humor, that's a wet blanket on the relationship.

Folks with widely different educational backgrounds find happiness all the time, and the key really isn't education but knowledgeability about issues the two think are important.

I believe that a well-rounded education benefits most people, but college isn't the only avenue to this.

Some of the smartest people you'll ever meet never got past high school but read the paper and learned a skill. There are folks out there selling cars and houses (before the economy nosed dived) who only have HS diplomas but the make a mint.

Aside from specific technical and professional information, you can learn more from keeping up with the world, national and local news, style, and sports section in a paper than in college. Many college kids graduate and don't know jack about the world or their profession beyond the textbooks.

Tip to college students: Take half hour a day to review the world and information related to your chosen profession. You'll have an advantage in job interviews, because you can drop names and trends in the conversation.

But let's look at 'smarts'. It isn't all that important to a lot of people, and they don't need, care or want to talk about a lot of worldly shit. This can include black issues. They just want go to work, get paid, come home and relax and have fun when they can.

They might enjoy conversations about sports, celebrities, fashion, what so and so's been doing, or a hobby like music, gardening and fixing cars.

Doesn't mean their IQ is lower than the other person, although it could if there's an overall dullness about them. More likely is that they're tuned out to other conversations because they feel like they're not part of it ('it' being the system and world events), nor have any control or power over it, so why bother being concerned about it?

Thus, if one person has a need for 'smart' discussions, i.e., intellectual stuff, and the other is bored to tears by this, their pie charts don't match up. Over the long term, one usually gets bored or downright resentful if the other tries to change them.

Ambition and Economics

Traditionally, this was the man's role, to be ambitious enough to get a job and the best job possible. Black families, however, have always needed both partners to work, and now, most white American families have to, to pay the bills.

Women still have a strong bias against men who sit on their ass eating cereal and playing video games all day (and if you can't tell, I'm one). This is generally true even if she's working and he's taking care of the baby, and if the couple doesn't mind this arrangement, you can bet their family and friends have plenty to say about it.

Historically, people view men not fulfilling their role as being the hunter or farmer and able to bring home dinner. He is low in the hierarchy or totem pole, and disposable since he's viewed as useless.

When men are doing fantastically well, most don't mind if their wife doesn't work, particularly if they have children. But what if she has a real career and doesn't want to stop working, and he hates his babies in daycare? Their values and expectations clash.

Spiritual and/or Religious

I'm not using the two words interchangeably. One can feel deeply spiritual and connected to God without ever setting foot in a church or attending only on holidays.

Some folks are not religious or spiritual, and not only do they not need this in a partner, they don't want it. It's not a slice on their chart, but they may or may not care if it's on yours, as long as your don't force it on them.

Others need religion. They may be peripherally involved with church or attend regularly and play life by the Book in a very orthodox or even rigid way.

The biggest mistake a friend of mine made years ago was giving up a woman he really, truly loved because she couldn't agree to go to church with him every single Sunday. This is so important to him that he had to have this and no compromise of I'll go once a month could satisfy him.

Hardly anyone understood this, even her. He grieved for nearly a year over the loss of this relationship and is still single. He's hardly alone. Disagreement over religion and/or how to raise any children in terms of their spiritual or religious upbringing is one of the top reasons couples break up.

In summary, we can have different styles and interests and still have a successful relationship, but it's harder.

When you think of your past loves that failed, beyond the "he/she did me wrong", ask yourself how much overlapping there was on your mutual Compatibility Needs Chart.

And like the photo below, and despite who did what to who, was one of you like a cow trying to swim with a dolphin?


I'll upload a new Hard Rocks Love installment soon, but wanted to lay down this ground work first. Hope you enjoyed this.

~ Kit


  1. hmmmm

    this is def. the case. i suppose the one that would bother me the most would be the intellectual, humor, curiosity not because it's been a problem in my life, but because it's prolly the one thing that will bother me and i couldn't keep my mouth shut.

    but then again, my refusal to confront certain things may also be a problem for someone else.

    im looking forward to your next installment.

  2. God works in mysterious ways...

    I finally get a chance to visit your blog--and my relationship is in a shamble.

    Thanks for this--and btw I answered your question about home purchase as it relates to a possible collapse of Fannie and Freddie.

  3. no they cant and strange thing ios folks expect such

  4. This is SO true. I remember one guy I dated. Wonderful, wonderful man. WE got along in every way and really complimented each other. One of the smartest people I know, a gentle soul, and very, very hot. Smoking, actually. We were great in all ways but one. He couldn't be happy living anywhere else than out in the boonies, and I mean no stoplights in the county, no cell phone service boonies. While I love the country, I enjoy amenities of civilization as well, and I could not work in such a rural area as he lived in. When I recognized this, I broke it off. We remain friends to this day. He's now married to a terrific woman who is much more compatible with his lifestyle choice than I am. Didn't mean anything was wrong with him, didn't mean anything was wrong with me. It's like garlic and chocolate. I love each individually, but who would eat chocolate-covered garlic? it just won't work.

    Me, after we broke up I started dating My Honey. We're compatible in many ways. He's very intelligent, we both like to travel, he's absolutely beautiful in body and soul, and our personality quirks compliment each other. I think he's the one. We've been together 8 years and are now in the position where we could get married at some point. it's been a long road, but a good one.

    Now it was my turn to ramble. Please forgive it, and accept my thanks for your thought-provoking piece.

  5. Emeritus, Thanks. You mentioned that your refusal to confront certain things (or not) could be a problem with a future bf. Not necessarily if you find a guy with an attitude that matches yours on those issues. Good luck.

    Jonzee, Yes He does, and I'm sorry to hear that, or maybe not... maybe someone more compatible is in the future.

    Torrance, since I've read that you're into dogs these days, I had your dog store in mind when I uploaded the Rainbow Poodle. :)

    Laurel, Ramble anytime, just don't offer me any chocolate & garlic! You're right about that, and I imagine how hard it was for you to break up with ultra-rural bf. How wonderful that you took a risk leaving him only to find someone more compatible. What a blessing.

  6. @mountainlaurel

    loved your little digression. it reminded me of a dr. laura show i was listening to last week. a very disillusioned young woman dialed in to ask how she should proceed with her bf/fiancee. apparently, they had been together since college and remained in love post graduation. he was the one except for 1 big problem: his family business was in china and he would be going there relatively soon for a long period of time (anywhere from 15- 20 years and maybe even more). according to the young lady, it wouldn't be that long and he would be back.

    dr. laura tried to convince her (in no uncertain terms) that unless she was willing to move to china and have and raise her children there, she should break up with him. the woman kept insisting that it could work because he was the one, and after all, no one really knew how long he would be in china; therefore she was willing to wait. at the same time, she also expressed that she had NO/ZERO/ZIP INTEREST in leaving the US or raising her children in any country other than the US.

    finally out of frustration, dr. laura told her that love does not cure all problems and that if she was so sure, then she could go ahead and wait 15- 20 years for him to come back to the US and marry him. she also informed her that her young man was obviously unwilling to sacrifice his responsibilities for her. why was she so willing to give up her friends/family/job/etc for this man? then she hung up and went to another caller.

    I'm so glad you realized that no matter how perfect someone is, that big IF can be and most often is a good enough reason to part ways, no matter how in love you are. at the end of the day, you couldn't see yourself living in the boonies and no amount of love for another person would quiet the unhappiness of your own heart as you made a life in the country burning kerosene lamps, fanning yourself senseless and churning your own damn butter. lol
    (good call btw. i'm a big believer in the middle ground- something known as the suburbs. that is as close to the country as i'll ever get and if i go further, there had better be a city nearby).

    i still wonder what that woman decided to do and the limbo that her heart must be in. she had all the evidence right there that this wasn't something that would work. i think that at the end of the people, women are so afraid. when we've found someone perfect and have invested so much time, we find it hard to believe that there can be someone out there. we are also scared of the time it would take to meet that next someone. therefore we settle rather than move on. i hope she makes the right choice.

    (sorry Kit for the novel)

  7. btw, i used my other blog. hey! is actually emeritus. :-)

  8. Thanks for the thoughtful response, Emeritus. Indeed, I had a friend go through the same thing with a Korean BF. It took her 15 years after that, but she found the right guy. And he was worth the wait. I hope for the caller's sake that she broke it off. Certain things are deal-breakers, and we really need to know what they are so that we can be firm with ourselves when they come along.

    I thought about compromise with Rural BF, but suburbia was not his thing. And I had spent too much time and effort on my education to not work.

    I have to admit that it was quite hard to let him go, but I had interest from MH and I knew he was going to ask me out. I've never done the 2-guys thing, so I was quite honest with RB and told him exactly what was going on. The only thing he made me promise was not toy with him and try to try again if MH and I didn't work out, and I promised I wouldn't. Not fair to any of us.

    A few years later MH and I went to RB's wedding. RB approved of and like MH, and the feeling was mutual. I had always like RB's new wife, even before they dated. So I'm quite relieved that friendships were still preserved. Kit, can you do a post on friendship and love as well?

  9. Very insightful! I loved this post. That chart is way helpful. Got me to thinking about how compatible I am with my boo, lol. I'd say we're in pretty good :-)

  10. Shy, thanks, glad it helped.

    Laurel, re: "can you do a post on friendship and love as well?

    Can you be more specific? This is a very wide topic. As briefly as possible, what exactly to want to know or learn?


Hi, this is Kit.

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