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Our society tends to make us believe that our partner is responsible for fulfilling all of our needs, so when we don’t feel satisfied with our life, we believe our partner has failed us in some way. We spend almost our lives trying to find the perfect person, yet when we do finally get the girl or guy, they always fall short.

One person is not able to meet all of your needs every moment of every day. It’s completely unrealistic to think they can. Recently, in a Psychology Today piece, the author tells a story about himself and a girl that he met in a workshop. He states he spent three days flirting and trying to win her over, only to be told, “You’re a wonderful man. I could easily fall in love with you. But I am married. I fall in love twice a week and take all that energy and channel it into my marriage.”

Then, he states that she walked away, and the two never crossed paths again. It was only later in life that he realized that this woman was utilizing the power of a third in her relationship.

When our partners do not fulfill our needs, we can go a few directions: we can either give up on fulfilling our needs, force our partner to (a toxic dynamic) or we can outsource.

When you outsource, you are bringing in a third. While in many cases, the third is a literal person, it doesn’t have to be. It can also be a hobby, something you are passionate about, or something that gives you purpose.

Losing yourself to a third can ultimately lead to betrayal, and it can jeopardize the boundaries of your relationship. However, if you can master finding a healthy balance with this third party, without betraying your partner and while keeping things completely healthy. If you can master this fine line, you can achieve true satisfaction.