The Cube Test

Have y’all ever heard of The Cube Test? It’s going around the Internet again right now – all over Facebook, Buzzfeed, you name it. I’d never heard of it before (no big shock for me to not have heard of something). Some are calling it a Japanese psychology game. Others claim it has origins in ancient Greek or even Sufi psychology. I don’t really know, and I haven’t researched it. But I thought it was nifty. I love this kind of shit.

You’re presented with a series of questions that are meant to make you create a mental picture. You have to keep each of your answers in mind as you go along, because you’ll need those answers in the end. They’re supposed to reveal things about your psyche, about the kind of person you are. I found some of it accurate, and some of it wildly inaccurate. Regardless, I found it interesting.

Since I can’t find the video I watched (and the others are lame as hell), I’m gonna type the questions out. Try not to jump ahead if you’re playing along.

~

The Prompts

Imagine you are in a desert.

 

You come upon a cube.

 

How big is the cube?

 

What color is the cube?

 

How far is it away from you?

 

Somewhere nearby, imagine a ladder.

 

Where is the ladder located in relation to the cube?

 

What material is the ladder made of?

 

Picture a horse near the cube and the ladder.

 

What is the horse doing?

 

Is the horse wearing anything (such as reins or a saddle)?

 

Look around. Do you see any flowers?

 

If so, how many?

 

Where are the flowers in relation to the cube?

 

Now imagine there is a storm.

 

How do you feel about the storm?

 

How close is it to the cube, ladder, horse and flowers?

 

~

 

The Meaning (and my answers/reflections)

The size of the cube is a reflection of your ego. – I pictured the cube measuring in height roughly from my feet to mid-calf. Accurate enough, I suppose. I have some ego, of course, depending on what we’re talking about. But for the most part, I struggle with my sense of worth.

The color of the cube reflects how open you are. The lighter the color, the more open you are. – I pictured a clear, glass cube. Which is interesting. I’m pretty damn open here and somewhat in person, but I can also be extremely guarded. It usually depends on my surroundings.

The distance between the ladder and the cube shows how close you are with your friends. If the ladder is leaning against the cube, it shows that you and your friends trust and support each other. – My ladder was standing straight up in the air, several feet off to the right. Yeah. Probably because I don’t have any friends (in person, I mean). And I keep myself very. Very. Distant. Even being open, I am highly attachment averse.

The strength of the ladder’s material is meant to show the level of trust you have. – I pictured a ladder made of raw, untreated wood. I am a thousand percent trusting in a one-on-one relationship. Strangers? Coworkers? Acquaintances? You’re probably getting ready to throw acid on my face and shout my deepest, darkest secrets from the highest tower and the most popular social media platform.

The horse is meant to show how controlling or inhibited you are. If your horse is tied up, has reins or a saddle, it means you are controlling in your relationships. And the wilder the horse, the more uninhibited you are as a person. – I pictured a slick black horse, huge and powerful. He was standing there, stamping one of his front legs, snuffling impatiently, and completely unencumbered: no reins, no saddle, nothing. I am not very controlling in relationships…not very controlling at all, really. And as for inhibitions? It depends. I’m highly inhibited in some ways, but not at all in others. I will laugh my ass off, loud and unguarded. But if you want to talk to me about sex or bodily functions, I’m going to blush and stammer and look away. Unless of course if we’re in a relationship, then look out. You’re going to die of sex overdose.

The flowers reflect the kids you want in your life. The more flowers, the more kids you want. – Uhm. No. Wildly inaccurate. I fucking love flowers, dudes. I pictured hundreds of flowers. Ha! Yeah. Hundreds of wildflowers of all different colors. So at least the kids I no longer want are multicultural.

The closer the flowers are to the cube, the heavier kids are on your mind. – I pictured the flowers in a huge ring, encircling the scene in the middle of the desert. Oh. And the horse was eating some of the flowers now. Seriously. I’m pretty much past the kids thing. There was a time when I was overwhelmed with desire for kids. I’ve tucked that away in a deep, dark corner. I’m child-free and always will be.

The storm represents your fears and emotions. Far away and mild means you are calm in nature. Close and threatening means you are stressed and fearful, now and in life. – I pictured a storm far off in the distance. I could see the entire storm from start to finish, stretching across a portion of sky. I could see the lightening and the rain shadow, but I was in awe and completely unafraid. On my good days, this is exactly how I am. I’m completely chill and desirous of adventure and new experiences. On my bad days, I feel like I am the storm. But for the most part, at my heart, I’m zen as fuck.

~

Did any of y’all do it? Do you wanna share whether or not you found the answers interesting or accurate?

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Want to Need to Want You: An Essay on Love as a Need

February 14 encroaches with its thundering storm of love and lust and capitalism and shared venereal diseases. But I will be indisposed over the President’s Day holiday, which comes directly on the heels of VD Day. (That’s VD for Venereal Diseases for those in the know.) (Welcome to The Know.) So I’m gonna talk about L.O.V.E. today.

I don’t mean love in the way someone says:

  • OMG I just LOVE those heels, girl! You must tell me where you got them! Hashtag YOLO!
  • Dude, this chicken is divine. I would totally LOVE it if you’d left out the cream cheese.
  • I LOVE Bonobo. Like totally LOVE Bonobo. The music gets me high.

No. I’m talking about Love as in Eros. Merriam-Webster defines Eros as such:

  1. The sum of life-preserving instincts that are manifested as impulses to gratify basic needs (as sex), as sublimated impulses motivated by the same needs, and as impulses to protect and preserve the body and mind – called also life instinct.
  2. Love conceived by Plato as a fundamental creative impulse having a sensual element; erotic love or desire.

I also consider the nature of love is more than emotional/sensual “feelings.” Love is a verb, meaning it requires attentive action toward your partner. And despite what many believe, it does require effort. If you’re not willing to put forth any effort in your relationship, then can you truly call it love? I think not.

(P.S. The concept of Eros deserves a post all its own. Psychology fascinates me, and Eros is no exception. If you’re into psychology or the inner workings of humans, I suggest digging in.)

Note that I placed emphasis on certain words in those definitions. Chiefly need(s). For that, my dears, is what I’d like to discuss today: Love as Need. How Wanting your Lover becomes Needing your Lover.

Some people believe that love (and desire and lust and passion and psychic/soul connections and all that goes with it) forever remains in the realm of want. I disagree. Strongly.

Love in an adult relationship between two unrelated, attracted adults, certainly begins as want. (I’m not going into polyamory. I’m discussing this from the perspective of a monogamous coupling.) But as it progresses, if in fact it progresses from strong connections and compatibility to a mutual desire to become long-term partners, your love for one another should certainly still be a wanting. But I will argue that it also becomes a need. And I don’t mean need in the way some perceive it as this negatively connoted cloying, whiny neediness. I mean need in the way that you finally reach the stage where your want becomes so strong that you need your partner to fulfill your wants and needs.

Most people who give the concept of need serious attention and thought, only go so far as to consider the physiological needs of humans (and mammals in general): air, water, food, shelter. While these are critical for survival and must be met first, human complexities include more than just physiological needs. These may be the only ones necessary for survival, but we need more than that to be fulfilled and live lives worth living.

Countless studies have shown the importance of interpersonal relationships, communities, families, intimacy. Consider infants. One simply cannot dismiss their need for love. I could cite study after study on the nature of childhood development and the effects of love upon said development. Parental affection is critical for most infants to become well-rounded, healthy members of society as we know it. Children who are deprived of love are wont to develop such afflictions as social anxieties and depression. They often have difficulties relating to other human beings in acceptable ways and develop issues with trust and self-worth. These are proven facts. Children need love. Parents who provide for the physiological needs of their offspring but withhold love and affection are psychologically damaging their children.

We, as humans, simply require more than our physiological needs met.

Consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds

In order, he places physiological needs as the foundation of human needs, which of course is inarguable. Once those needs are met, we move into safety needs (adequate shelter and clothing to protect one from the elements and predation). But take a look at what he places next:

Love and Belonging. Here, Maslow argues (and I adhere to this psychology) that friendship, intimacy and family are requisite for social and emotional stability. Otherwise, as previously discussed, we are neglected and ostracized, which typically develops into severe depression and other psychological problems.

Now let me place this into the context of a long-term monogamous relationship.

Real Life Shit

I do believe in soulmates. I do not, however, ascribe to the notion that there is only one person in all humankind that can fulfill your own personal needs of love. There are billions of people on this earth, and while we will never meet even the tiniest fraction of those billions, rest assured there are many people out there who are capable of fulfilling your love needs.

But while in a monogamous relationship, the person with whom you shared a mutual attraction and wanted to become your lover…that person is the one whom you’ve chosen to fulfill your needs. I do not argue this in a toxic way. I do not argue this as a way to say, “Well, I fucking need you, so you have to put up with whatever I do to you. However I treat you. I don’t have to do a fucking thing to actively love you, but you have to stay because I need you.”

No. That’s bullshit. And anyone who argues such doesn’t understand the responsibilities inherent to love and interpersonal relationships. Failure to acknowledge those leads to neglect and psychological abuse, which in turn may lead to feelings of ostracism and depression. That is not love. And if your relationship ever reflects such neglect, then your partner is no longer fulfilling your needs. And now you must decide whether you want another to fulfill those needs.

So if I say, “I need you,” I am declaring to you that I’ve chosen you to fulfill my personal needs.

I want to
Need to
Want you

And that will remain true so long as we want to fulfill each others’ needs and actively demonstrate our love.