There are 10 fundamental needs in an intimate relationship which are expected to be met exclusively by your partner when that union is entered into. These needs determine the difference between a relationship and a friendship, yet generally, they remain unspoken. Most people have never taken the time to identify their own needs, never mind share them with their partner.
The resulting lack of communication means that neither set of needs are met within the relationship, so one or both view their partner as a source of frustration rather than love.
These 10 needs will vary in priority for each individual in the relationship, and there’s another layer too; women’s needs generally differ from men’s, just to add to the complication! Yet, here’s the thing; we meet our partner’s needs based on our own, when it’s highly likely that their needs are different to ours.
Just one example… two of the ten intimate relationship needs are Admiration and Affection. In general, men tend to need admiration more than women, and women need affection even more than men (remember, this is a generalisation). Without affection, a woman’s sex drive is likely to diminish, because for her, love-making follows as a result of the affection she receives. For men, the more admiration he feels within the relationship, the more affectionate he’s likely to be towards the woman who is looking at him through adoring eyes.
It goes one step further too, because you also need to know how your partner likes their needs to be met. So for instance, just knowing that she needs affection is one thing, but how does she like him to actually meet that? Is it through touch, or loving words, or by bringing her breakfast in bed, spending time with her, buying her gifts? If he thinks it’s through loving words, when she’s craving touch, then he’s got the need correct, but not the way in which she wants it to be met.
If he loves admiration, then how does he like her to communicate that? Through words, or touch, perhaps love-making? If she’s assuming that he needs love-making, when he’s longing for admiring words, then there’s another mismatch.
So you see, it’s important not only to determine your partner’s needs, but also how they like them to be met. They can only pass this information on to you once they have figured it out for themselves, which of course goes both ways.
Can you begin to see how relationships can become a mismatch of what we think our partner’s needs are, and why communication can go so wrong at times? Then we begin to take it all personally, and this is where the fun and games really begin…
Women often say to me that their partner would not want to sit down and discuss their mutual needs with them. I truly feel that if it is approached in the right way, then a man would be nothing less than delighted to know how he can make his woman happy. After all, if she’s happy, then she’s going to be treating him with admiration, which in turn meets his needs. Ultimately, relationships are meant to be based on the ability to relate. If you are not able to discuss something as fundamentally important as your needs, then what is your relationship actually based upon?
Instead of open, honest communication, we tend to play unconscious games in our relationships. We pretend we have no needs because we love to give, or we’ve been raised to put our own needs last, or perhaps our limiting beliefs leave us feeling that we don’t deserve this kind of love. So we project these beliefs by denying our needs. For some reason we feel we’re being less demanding this way. Here’s the thing: pretending you have no needs is not modest; it is highly destructive to your relationship and leaves your partner without a clue as to how they can take any part in making you happy. This leaves both of you frustrated.
Not caring about meeting your partner’s needs leads to major problems. Affairs generally only begin when needs are not being met within the relationship. This is not an excuse, it’s an awareness. Share, care about and meet each other’s needs and you will create a rock solid, fulfilled relationship. If you genuinely don’t care about meeting your partner’s needs, yet refuse to leave the relationship or speak your truth, then you are consciously placing both yourself and your partner into a life of frustration. Your partner has limited choices here; to either spend their lives living in this eternal frustration, to leave the relationship if you really refuse to listen, or to get those needs met outwith the relationship.
Resentment builds, and it’s not long before defensiveness, stonewalling, criticism and contempt take the place of love.
You see, if he doesn’t receive any admiration from his partner, it only takes one other person to pay him a compliment or two, to have a big impact on him. Likewise, if she’s receiving little affection from him, it can only take a little attention from someone outwith the relationship to have that same impact on her. Yet if these needs are being met fully within the relationship, then an admiring compliment or a little attention from someone outwith the relationship can be graciously accepted as part and parcel of life, whilst holding little importance.
As I mentioned earlier, this is not an excuse to have an affair, it is simply an awareness that all human beings have needs, particularly within an intimate relationship. It’s important to understand too, that you will teach your partner just how much they are able to share their truth with you. If you are constantly defensive, critical, reactive and take everything personally when they attempt to share how they feel, then it makes it extremely difficult for them to approach you about anything.
Acknowledge your needs. Then share and acknowledge your partner’s, because the rewards are infinite. A truly fulfilling relationship where both are sharing and meeting the other’s needs is a deep, rich and beautiful experience. The relationship itself becomes a source of joy. Giving becomes a joy, because all that you give comes flowing back to you. In essence, giving to your partner becomes like giving to yourself.
Ultimately, your relationship becomes your experience of yourself, through another… the more loving you are with your partner, allowing them to be themselves and share their truth, the more love you will see emanating from their eyes directly back towards you. A man will experience his own masculinity through his lover’s eyes… when she looks at him, he will see his own strength reflected right back at himself through her adoring gaze. A woman will experience the power of her own femininity through his eyes, the way he holds her, touches her, and through his complete presence.
If you would like to fully unravel your ten relationship needs, discover how you can meet one another’s needs fully, learn the art of effective communication and a great deal more, then join Andy and I for a Couple’s Breakthrough Experience. All you need to do is agree your dates (24, 48 or 72 hour options), book flights to Inverness, and we will take care of the rest – overnight accommodation, meals, collection from the airport are all included… and you’ll leave here with all you will need to take your relationship to a brand new level of awareness, intimacy, understanding and connection.