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Porn Reboot Needs vs. Wants: Unveiling Key Priorities

Porn Reboot Needs vs. Wants: Unveiling Key Priorities

Today I want to discuss needs versus wants as they relate to different areas of your reboot capital.

For those who don’t remember, reboot capital refers to the different areas of life in which you need to build up capital to help you end your out-of-control behavior. This includes your physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual capital.

I had a conversation with my girlfriend yesterday that made me want to write about this. We’re pretty frugal people for the most part. Each of us picked up these thoughts and behaviors from our parents who are also frugal. It’s a tough mindset to break most of the time.

For example, I’ll go to the store for something like body lotion and see a few options. As I look at both the name-brand body lotion and the generic version, I have a decision to make. If I’m not thinking consciously, I default to my frugal mind and opt for the generic version because it’s cheaper.

I did the same thing for years with my car as well. I’ve owned a 2005 Toyota Camry for many years. It has almost 300,000 miles on it. It’s been with me through both my worst times and my best times. It has been a reliable vehicle that I haven’t wanted to get rid of since it has run for so long. However, even though it was time for an upgrade, I still hesitated to spend the money.

Lots of men come to our program with similar frugal mindsets. Oftentimes they’re a result of driving themselves into financial ruin because of their behavior with porn, sex, and masturbation. Other times it’s because they spent lavishly trying to compensate for the crippling guilt and shame they felt. 

Living within your means is an important skill to acquire. It’s a necessary part of achieving and maintaining financial stability. It’s never a good idea to rely on consumer debt to fund your lifestyle. Taking out loans or purchasing things on credit is a fast track to possible ruin if you find yourself in an emergency.

There’s a line between these two extremes of extravagance and frugality. Neither is useful when it comes to rebooting. You don’t want to spend above your means and continue unhealthy financial habits. At the same time, you don’t want to become so cheap that you avoid spending time with friends or treating your family to enjoyable experiences.

Part of the Porn Addiction Counseling – The Reboot process is developing a healthy relationship with your finances. Freedom from your out-of-control behavior makes you a more engaged and hardworking employee or business owner. You’ll soon find yourself able to escape any troublesome financial situations you found yourself in when you first arrived.

After you get yourself out of any possible debt and back on track financially, the question of needs versus wants becomes very apparent. If you’re anything like me, you’ll likely carry the same fearful and frugal mindset moving forward. It’s not an easy filter to break down and separate from. 

Another part of the Porn Reboot process is learning to enjoy life. You spent so much time hiding from the world, trapped in a deepening spiral of compulsive sexual behavior. Now that you’re free from it, you need to fully engage with the world. This involves some level of spending, whether it’s on some new clothes, a trip for your family, or even some hobbies that you enjoy.

Spending money is simply a part of living a fulfilling life. Money is not something to be loathed or feared, whatever you may have learned when you were young or adopted as you grew older. It’s a useful tool that will help you build a life worth living. There are times when it’s okay to spend a bit outside your means with the understanding that it’s not an every day or all the time thing. 

So long as your needs are taken care of, you’re allowed to fulfill your wants, too. A life filled with only your needs isn’t as enjoyable as it could be. Once you’re in a position where you can afford to splurge now and then, learn to treat yourself, your family, your friends, and even the world around you. You’ll find life to be a much more enjoyable experience when you do.


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Handling Emotional Needs While Dating In Your Reboot

Most men who are working to overcome pornography addiction and out-of-control sexual behavior are unaware of the role of emotional needs.

They don’t understand that these are the baseline of all successful relationships; they’re too preoccupied with using porn, masturbation, and sex to distract from their negative emotions. 

However, emotional needs are an integral part of every romantic relationship, whether you realize it or not. If you want a fulfilling relationship, you must make sure both your and your partner’s emotional needs are met. Problems arise when these needs are neglected because it leaves both parties feeling like the other isn’t interested in or appreciative of them.

You might meet someone who would be a great fit for you in a relationship, but because you’re so caught up in your out-of-control behavior, you’re not going to meet her emotional needs. You’ll miss the opportunity because you lack emotional intelligence when you’re active in your behaviors.

As you start rebooting, though, it’s time to learn about emotional needs. Understanding the roles these needs play and the way they interact is vital if you want to have a successful relationship. 

Three Main Emotional Needs

There are three main emotional needs when it comes to dating: connection, status, and security. Every person values these three needs to varying degrees. It’s important to understand what each need consists of and how important each is to you and your potential partner.

Connection refers to the need to feel understood and appreciated, to share values, and to share experiences. Status refers to the need to feel important, superior, or even challenged. 

Finally, security refers to the need to feel safe and secure within a trusting relationship.

A person’s willingness to become intimate with someone depends on their needs, how these needs are prioritized, and how the other individual fulfills those needs. For example, if a woman prioritizes security, you must find ways to make sure she feels the relationship is solid.

Keeping Emotional Needs Balanced

Though everyone has emotional needs, it’s also important to keep these needs in check. These needs can either be healthy or unhealthy depending on how well a person maintains a balance with them. It’s easy for needs to expand beyond a reasonable point and become something toxic. Sometimes unchecked emotional needs can cause as many problems as unmet emotional needs.

The need for connection can progress to the point of neglecting spending time with friends or having quality alone time. The need for security can evolve into extreme jealousy or possessiveness. The need for status can reach a point where the person becomes egocentric or self-absorbed.

Unchecked emotional needs are no longer about building a strong relationship. They’re superficial ways to soothe unhealed inner wounds. Left unchecked, these surface-level demands lead to depression and loneliness, not fulfillment and contentment. And when you struggle with porn addiction or compulsive sexual behavior, it’ll only drive you deeper into that.

Needs Change Over Time

Another thing to understand is the way that emotional needs change over time. Things that were important to you in your 20s don’t seem as pressing in your 40s. Priorities in your 50s were the furthest thing from your mind in your 30s. 

Major life events like getting married or having kids can also alter your emotional needs. They shift your understanding of what’s important in life and create a change in the way you prioritize each need.

If you’ve been with the same person for a long time, both of your needs will shift as time goes on. It’s good to know what those changes are so you can communicate them with your partner and continue building a relationship that withstands the test of time.

If you’re single, it’s still good to know when your needs change. Recognizing the emotional needs you bring to the table helps you build more solid relationships from the beginning. But how do you know which needs have the highest priority in your life?

Recognizing Your Needs

As you learn to control your behavior with pornography, you’ll start to recognize your emotional needs. Acknowledging the needs that motivate you is an important part of your reboot. But you won’t develop sudden clarity on the things that are important to you; it takes some work to decipher how you prioritize your emotional needs.

I’ve got a quick assignment for you today. I want you to write out how you prioritize your emotional needs in life right now. If you’re in a relationship, look at that relationship and figure out which needs are important in it. If you’re single and looking for a relationship, find out which needs are important for your potential partner to meet. If you’re single and not looking for a relationship, analyze your past relationships and look for patterns in your needs.

Once you’re finished writing, I want you to share your findings with the Porn Addiction Counseling – Reboot Facebook group. There are hundreds of guys, some in the Porn Reboot intensive and some who stick with the free group, who share their findings from the assignments. I think it’s an important way to connect with other men and to follow through on actions in your reboot.

If you aren’t part of the free Facebook group yet, you can join us here. It’s a private group so none of your friends or family will know you joined. It’s a great way to stay accountable, to find support, and to get you through any lulls you may experience. Come join us today and let us know where you’re at in the ways you prioritize emotional needs in your relationships!

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