Are Your Needs Being Met?
Are your needs being met in your relationship? Do you feel like you don’t get to do anything you want to do? Would you know how to ask for something you need from your partner?
I bet if someone were to ask you what problems have you had in relationships, you’d easily be able to rattle off a list as if you had prepared to sit an exam. You’ve got them right there on the tip of your tongue just waiting to be heard.
On the flip side, if you were asked ‘what do you need in your relationship?’ it would be harder to give specific answers. Most people would trot out the ‘I just want to be happy’ line without knowing what would actually make them or their partner happy.
Let’s be clear that wants and needs are two different things. For us to function properly and at our optimum in any situation we need our needs to be met. If our needs can’t be met then we won’t be at our best and may just give up and move on. Wants come and go. Sometimes we want to buy something specific. Once we have it our want is satisfied and we will move onto the next want. With needs, they generally stay the same and need to keep being met in order to keep us happy.
If you did know what you need within your relationship, would you know how to go about getting it? It all comes down to how you communicate to your partner what it is that you want. You have to sell the benefits.
If one of our basic needs within a relationship is some time with friends, how do we communicate this? Most of the time we would bottle this up until we end up blurting out something like, “you’re suffocating me, I don’t get to see my friends anymore.”
The problem with saying it way is that it’s confrontational and putting the blame on your partner. You’re playing the victim. You’re hardly like to get a favorable response and will most likely end up having an argument that ends up with tears. Then you will find you haven’t actually made any progress at all.
So how would you go about saying it? A less confrontational approach would be to quietly say to your partner that “I haven’t seen X in a while, would you mind if I arranged to meet up?” This way you’re not blaming your partner but rather stating that you want to meet up with a friend. You’re also making your partner feel that their opinion counts which is likely to obtain a more positive outcome.
When you’re a number of years into a relationship, it might seem that your partner isn’t so happy to see you as much as they used to. A lot of people need to feel wanted and so how do you go about asking for this need to be met?
If we take a similar approach to the last example and say “you never seem happy to see me when I get home,” it’s going to put your partner on the back foot straight away.
A nicer way to say this that would invoke a more positive reaction is “I need to feel you’re happy to see me.” By opening up and explaining your need this way, you are making yourself more open and vulnerable to your partner. Your partner is more likely to relate to this phrase and you being vulnerable. They are more likely to see it as a way of getting closer to you. It might also open up other conversations where each of you will be able to express your needs in a calm and open nature as possible.
Needs are often a non-negotiable in life and if they aren’t being met, it’s best to find ways to ask for them to be satisfied. Remember that your partner has needs too and it’s always a good idea to ask them randomly, “how are you feeling?”
So to sum up, approach the topic without playing the victim and laying the blame, avoid making accusing ‘you’ statements and check in with them randomly from time to time by asking how they feel.
If your needs are being met, or not, but you think you’re just getting bored, you might want to read our article titled How To Cure Relationship Boredom for some tips to keep things fresh.