We all have individual needs; to be loved, accepted, understood, trusted, respected, appreciated, encouraged and the list goes on. Acknowledging our needs and the needs of our love partner gives purpose to the relationship. Learn to express your needs in ways your partner can listen to and understand.
I’m sure you know that “needs” are basic requirements that must be fulfilled if you are to feel happy in your relationship. If your needs are not met, then you tend to spend your time feeling unhappy, unsatisfied and doing everything you can to get them met, either directly or indirectly.
It’s important to express your needs to your partner. Honor your needs. It would be wonderful if our partner met all of our needs for love, sex, intimacy, finances, fun, recreation, encouragement, safety, support, passion, romance, nurturing, etc. It often doesn’t happen because we withhold what we really need from our partner. Healthy individuals know how to honor their needs without putting pressure on loved ones to meet all of them. Some can only be met through relationship, while other needs can be honored within.
Immature love says, “I love you because I need you.” Mature love says, “I need you because I love you.” ~ Erich Fromm
That is the difference between being needy and having needs. The problem is not that you need love, but that you depend on your partner to create love and happiness in your life.
Giving up your responsibility for satisfying those needs is a mistake. Even terrific relationships can lose their spark over time.
“Since your needs (and your partner’s needs) will not always overlap and neatly complement each other, there will be times when one of you will have to make the decision to place your needs on hold in order to meet the needs of the other—unfortunately for more and more couples, the idea of compromise and sacrifice for the greater good of the relationship is seen as an affront to the right to have one’s needs met.” ~ Dr. Richard Nicastro
Failure to acknowledge your relationship needs – to yourself and to your partner – and not having open and honest communication can certainly lead to a sense of disengagement from each other.
There is a line in my “romantic” wedding ceremony that says, “Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place.” When you are feeling that your needs are not being met, do your best to remember what attracted you to your partner in the beginning of your relationship. Feel it again and keep it fresh in your mind.
Healing your relationship means that you’ll have to review how you have contributed to the problem – and what you need to to do fix it. It also means finally taking stock of both you and your partner, and what each of you needs and wants in a healthy relationship.
Next, begin to again do those things that made you both happy in the first place. Discus your needs with your partner. Be nice to each other. Try new things that sparks something unexpected. Relationships are about give-and-take. Reconnect lovingly. Make some new promises to each other about doing more to show that you appreciate one another. Make some new music together!
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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