Episode 296 – WANT MATCH

MONDAY MARRIAGE MATTERS. I have something new from Brooke Castillo today.

Two different kinds of relationships to consider:

(1) Two people come together and connect with each other in a way that enhances their lives. They are completely independent and responsible for their own emotional lives and their own brains, thoughts, and their own needs. And when they come together, they produce something even better than what they had independently.

This is in contrast to a lot of what happens in relationships, (2) where someone feels a deficit in themselves, they feel something is missing, and they’re not as happy as they want to be, and so they want to go find a relationship that will fulfill that need and will answer that problem of not-enoughness.”

If you come into a relationship wanting your partner to bring you happiness (example 2), you are essentially looking for them to behave in a certain way, right? And you are only happy if they act in that way. If you do this or that, then I will be happy. And, by the way, it is your responsibility to make me happy. But, do you know what, sometimes you aren’t happy, even when they do act in that way, because it feels insincere. Have you ever seen that? Have you ever experienced that?

“Really good relationships have a ‘want-match'”.

A want-match? What? Let’s discuss this!

First, it’s important to understand this principle: In a relationship, he gets to be who he is. And I get to be who I am. And we are both, at all times, 100% lovable – 100% worthy of love. And our only responsibility in the relationship is to be there for the other to love. We’ve discussed this before.

What about when we want someone to be different than they are.

“Changing our partner very rarely works. You can ask for what you want. But don’t get disappointed if they don’t do it.”

If you are not getting what you are wanting from the relationship:

  • Tell the person what you want, request of them what you want
  • But don’t expect them to comply

People will be miserable in a relationship that requires them to do a lot of things that they just don’t want to do. I’ve seen that. I’ve seen that in my family. I have seen that in friends’ relationships. One spouse, or both, has a list – sometimes even written down – of things their partner needs to comply with if they want to stay in that relationship. And sometimes the partner will comply – sometimes they will for many years. But, again, people will be miserable in a relationship that requires them to do a lot of things that they don’t feel good about, themselves.

Want-Match. If I request what I want Bryant to do, and Bryant wants to do it too, then we have a want-match. And vice-versa.

If I want Bry to do certain things, but he doesn’t want to do them, but he does them out of a sense of obligation, then we do not have a want-match.

And, understand this, if I am “making” Bry do something that he doesn’t want to do, in the name of closeness or intimacy or connection or even commitment, then what I am actually doing is increasing his disconnect. Wow.

Brooke says, make a list of what you want in and from your relationship, understanding that these wants will probably not all be met in this one relationship. Be honest. What are some things that I want to get out of my relationship with Bry?

  • Church activity – at church and at home
  • Monogamy
  • I want him to provide financially for family
  • Date nights
  • I want him to help with house cleaning
  • Spend one-on-one time with the boys
  • I want to go on missions together
  • I want him to take care of the cars
  • No pornography
  • I want us to go to bed at the same time at nights
  • Saturdays-Dad-Days

I asked Bryant what things he would like to get out of our relationship.

  • Church activity
  • Sex three times a week
  • Time together in evenings
  • Going to the gym together
  • Her to be in charge of food
  • Her to take care of house and family
  • Keep a budget

Bry and I discussed these things together today. There are wants that we both already want – activity in church, going to the gym together, spending time together at nights and going to bed together. There are also wants that he or I am happy to meet, even if we wouldn’t have thought of it on our own. We are happy to do it because the other asked. These are all WANT-MATCHES.

Now, what about my “needs” that don’t match? How can I meet those needs for me, if Bry doesn’t want to do it in that way – if he doesn’t want to meet my need in that way?

Let’s do some thought-work. What do I want? What are the reasons for what I want? Do I like those reasons? Are they coming from a place of love and abundancy, or are they coming from insecurities and work that I need to do on myself first?

“Ask yourself, Why is it that I want that, what is that underlying need, and is there another way for me to fulfill that, whether it’s with my partner or with someone else?

…Can I use other relationships to meet some of those needs. What are some relationships I want to add to my life?”

I’ll use Bry as an example. He wants to run crazy mud-flying blister-ripping, man-races. After listening to Brooke Castillo’s other podcasts, he tells me that it is a gift to his future self. Ha! Well, it is not something I am interested in spending my time and energy doing. And Bryant, instead of being disappointed at the denied request, started running these races with his older brother, Brad, who is also interested in this sort of exercise.

“So if there’s something that you wish your partner would do, I want to encourage you to ask them if they would want to do that. Not if they would do it, but if they would want to do it. Would that be something fun for them? And it’s not a reason to be disappointed or upset or frustrated. And sometimes you may be really surprised. They may be like, ‘Totally, I’ll do that, that’s no problem, I love that.’ Or they may say, ‘No, that doesn’t feel good to me. That doesn’t feel right to me,’ and that’s okay too. You can find another way to meet that desire.”

What are my needs this week? Why do I need those things? How can I find a way to meet those needs for myself?

I absolutely loved Brooke’s concluding statement:

“I believe that our desires are our roadmap to the life that we’re meant to live. I believe that, just like pain is a part of being human, desire is a part of being human. And when we clean out all the false desires and we tap into our true desires, we have a map for where our life is supposed to go.”

And that is my responsibility, my privilege. And Bry can be a part of it, as far as our wants match.



  1. […] But we can certainly make requests of each other. Remember WANT MATCH: […]

  2. […] really said those words, but, honestly, that is what I was looking for. We have talked about this before, […]

  3. […] Bryant meets many of my relationship needs. He wants to. Bry and I have a lot of want-matches. That’s what brought us together in the first place. But, trying to find all these things in […]

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