Meeting each other’s needs is a necessity of every functioning relationship.
Finding a partner we are compatible with means finding someone who easily responds to our needs and someone whose needs aren’t too much trouble for us to respond to.
Even though everyone has unique needs, there’s a relationship needs list, a list of needs pretty much every person should try to recognize within themselves and try to satisfy in their partner.
All needs can be categorized into three groups: emotional needs, social needs and physical needs.
Depending on your and your partner’s personality, they will differ in the strength of need, so some things will be more important to one person and less important to the other.
Emotional needs are those conditions in which we feel emotionally stable, healthy, happy and content, which correlate with our feelings.
Most of our emotional needs should be met by our parents growing up and the people closest to us throughout our life, such as our partner.
All human beings need to feel connected to other human beings.
It’s one of the basic human needs and one of the biggest parts of healthy relationships.
Connection to your partner means being drawn to each other, sharing important parts of your life with each other and simply feeling that they are a special part of your life, the same way you are a special part of theirs.
Having a special sense of belonging and closeness is what makes us feel seen and understood and no person can be truly fulfilled without this, which is why connection is first on the list of relationship needs.
The most important part of feeling emotional support is knowing that your partner accepts you just the way you are.
You need the person you’re with to set aside all judgment and accept you for everything you are, together with your flaws, baggage and unresolved issues.
Of course, love mutuality is an emotional need.
The nourishment and kindness that come as a part of being loved and loving are something nothing else can compete with on the scale of how amazing it feels.
All the love that awakes inside us when that special someone is in our life and all the love they give us in return are what make life worth living.
Every person needs to feel like what they’re doing and the way they’re spending time matters.
Spending quality time with your partner and both of you being aware of what it is that you’re doing together and where you’re headed are some of your needs.
You need to feel important to the person you’re with, the same way they’re important to you.
In most relationships, loyalty is non-negotiable.
It’s not only about the need for your partner to be faithful to you in the sense that they don’t cheat on you; you also need your loved one to support you, always be on your side and never, ever lie to you.
Loyalty has a lot to do with being honest and open with your partner, even about the stuff that can be uncomfortable to talk about.
In healthy relationships that have a future, both partners need to know that the other one is truly committed to them and only them.
We don’t want our romantic partner to be with us just to pass time until something better comes along, we want to be their only and best possible choice and we need them to show us that that’s true with their actions.
True commitment on both sides is necessary for happiness.
Social needs are those conditions in which we feel like important and confident parts of society.
These needs are met by our partner but also a lot of these needs can be met by our friends, co-workers, etc.
People take pride in who they are.
Our feeling of self-worth is highly affected by the level of respect we get from the people who are closest to us.
Feeling like our opinions and ideas and the way we decide to live our lives are valued by the one we love is incredibly important, not only in order to feel accomplished and satisfied but also to maintain a successful relationship with that person.
Mutual respect is necessary for all relationships, including romantic ones.
This one goes a long way.
It starts with knowing how to communicate your needs (these very ones we’re talking about) in a kind but clear way that doesn’t leave room for miscommunication.
Neither you nor your partner can read minds so being open about everything is necessary.
If you want to make your relationship work, you also need to learn how to effectively communicate with your partner in case you’re not happy with the way things are functioning at that very moment.
Fighting is sometimes necessary, given that you do it respectfully and kindly enough so you don’t cross the line of hurting your partner in an irreversible way.
No matter how much in love you are with your partner, you still need to have a sense of independence.
Autonomy is one of the things a relationship needs.
Everyone wants to feel free to make their own choices in life, even if they sometimes alter them in order to compromise with their loving partner.
Getting enough time and space to be who you are outside of that relationship is one of the needs that most people have, even though the strength of it differs from one person to the next quite a bit.
Even though many people enjoy having a routine in their life, most also have a need for some level of change in their relationship.
You need from your partner to be spontaneous and ready to take some risks, as well as to be exciting, joyous and motivate you to be the best possible version of yourself.
Consistency is still something that should be a part of every highly functioning relationship.
We need our partner to keep their promises and be the person they present themselves to be.
Feeling safe and secure should be a given when you’re with the one who satisfies your needs.
Even though we don’t like our relationship to be boring, everyone needs that special feeling of tranquility you only get when you’re sitting in silence with the one who you just know is right for you.
You need your relationship to be harmonious and as easygoing as possible. Too many ups and downs are no one’s cup of tea.
Even though your partner should be the one who’s able to deal with all the difficulties of life with you, they also need to be the person you unwind with.
Having similar values is very important but so is having a similar sense of humor.
You and your partner are supposed to be able to have fun together and offer each other a safe place where you can rest from the everyday troubles of this world.
Physical needs are mostly tied to our partner.
Human beings need to feel a physical connection to someone and to have a special sense of intimacy, usually with the person we choose to be our romantic partner.
There’s no one who doesn’t enjoy random hugs and kisses from their loved one.
Sharing our emotions through soft touches is sometimes as important as other levels of communication and connection.
Affection is definitely on every relationship list of needs.
There’s a reason why our romantic partner is different from our friends and that reason is the physical attraction we feel for them and the physical attraction they feel for us.
Maintaining your physical health, hygiene and fitness are some of the basic things that fall into this category.
What actually happens if one’s meets aren’t being met in a relationship? Can that relationship work out?
How can you even know that your partner is leaving you with unmet needs?
Well, even before you’re aware that you’re not completely fulfilled, you’ll probably start acting one or all five ways described in the following part.
5 Ways You’ll Start Acting When You Have Unmet Needs
You’ll try to minimize your needs
There will be a thought or two in your mind blaming your partner for not being who you needed them to be at that very moment.
Not wanting to upset yourself further and dig deeper into your issues, you’ll start to tell yourself that you either have too many needs or that they are in fact being met (even though you don’t feel like they are).
You’ll feel resentful toward your partner
There will be so many negative emotions building up inside you toward your partner that you won’t know how to handle them because it won’t be completely clear to you why they are there.
You’ll know that that’s not how you’re supposed to feel in a happy relationship but you’ll probably still be trying to make excuses at this point.
You’ll initiate fights
Right about then, all that negativity that was hidden deep inside of you will start to find its way out.
You’ll be picking fights over the most irrelevant things.
Many innocent things your partner does will annoy you because, unconsciously, they will remind you of what your partner is not doing to make you content.
Right now, you no longer feel the need to share as much with your partner as you did before and you won’t care about their life either.
Completely honest communication might have gone out the window by this point as you’ll feel no desire to open yourself up to your partner at all.
By now, the feelings of safety, security and connection with your partner are long gone and you won’t feel comfortable enough to make them understand your problems.
You’ll start looking for attention in other places
Feeling like you’re not getting enough attention from your partner might get you to start seeking attention from other people.
Sometimes, the person who’s not getting enough attention from their partner will start spending more time with their best friend or their family but sometimes, they’ll explore flirting with other people or even sink into cheating.
Feeling unseen or ununderstood is one of the main reasons people cheat in the first place.
So, how to act and what to do when you realize your needs aren’t being met in order to avoid toxic and destructive behaviors that will only bring you more pain? Read on.
5 Steps To Take To Fix That Problem
Identify your needs
We all know that we want all the nice things in our life but have you ever really sat down to think about what your exact needs are?
This part you have to do on your own. Be completely honest. What do you need and to which degree?
What are the needs your partner isn’t meeting? How do they manifest?
Dig deep into your own personality and identify your exact needs; don’t minimize them or be ashamed to have them.
Openly communicate your needs to your partner
The next step to deal with this situation in a healthy way is to tell your partner exactly how you feel.
Loudly and openly tell them: ”I do need to feel secure/connected/respected and you’re just not meeting that need.”
Try to be in a calm, happy place when you start this discussion, as you don’t want it to end in a fight.
Explain to them why it is that you feel that way.
Tell them about specific situations that made you feel like you should have gotten more out of them but didn’t.
There’s a good chance your partner is completely unaware of this issue so make sure you explain it to them in detail, remaining in a cooperative and peaceful mood.
Help them figure out how to meet your needs
Maybe the reason your partner hasn’t been meeting your needs is that they simply didn’t know how.
If you think that your partner is generally a committed partner who cares about your well-being, give them the benefit of the doubt and start with the assumption that it’s not that they didn’t want to satisfy your needs, they just didn’t know how to do that.
Try to help them.
Give them examples of real-life situations and explain to them what they can do to make you feel like they are trying to meet you halfway.
Tell them exactly what it is that you expect of them, so they know how to behave in the future.
Save time in your life for just your partner
You and your partner obviously need to reconnect.
There’s a good chance you’ve drifted apart, either before or after you figured out your needs weren’t being met.
The first step to reconnect is to find time exclusively for your partner, so no other people and NO PHONES.
Create an enjoyable atmosphere, a safe place for you two to share the thoughts that have been on your mind for a while now.
Don’t expect your partner to be everything to you
While there are many needs your partner can satisfy, don’t rely on them to satisfy your each and every need.
There’s a reason we have many people in our life.
It’s impossible for one person to be everything to you, that’s just too many expectations from one person.
Learn to accept that your partner can’t be everything to you and that you need to spend time with other people in your life in order to feel completely fulfilled.
All this being said, maybe you’ve started thinking that you’re the one who isn’t meeting their partner’s needs?
Well, even if they hadn’t told you directly, there are ways to know.
7 Signs You’re Not Meeting Your Partner’s Needs
You fight a lot
If you’ve noticed that your partner has started picking fights almost all the time and about things you two never used to fight about before, there’s a chance that they feel inadequately satisfied in other parts of your relationship and fighting is their way to passive-aggressively show their dissatisfaction.
Pay attention to the exact words they use when fighting, as those can be a clue to what’s actually bugging them.
They no longer speak to you about their life
Your partner used to share with you everything that happened to them during their day, you used to know what they had for lunch while they were at work and now you don’t even know the big things about their life.
They no longer confide in you or tell you what made them upset during the day; you practically know nothing.
This is a sign of them withdrawing and no longer feeling comfortable or safe in your presence.
Together with this, they will probably stop asking questions about your life outside of the relationship.
Your partner stops communication when you offer them advice
When your partner decides to communicate with you and tells you about an issue they’ve been having and you try to help them solve it, they immediately withdraw.
This is a sign that they only want to be heard and seen and that they are seeking your attention and not a solution to their problem.
They beg for your validation
If you notice that your partner looks for validation for the things they do, if they start asking you to appreciate them more or emphasizing some things they did for you, they definitely feel like you aren’t affirming their position in your life enough.
They wouldn’t beg for validation if they felt validated. They wouldn’t ask you to appreciate them if they felt appreciated.
They wouldn’t try to make you respect them if they didn’t feel disrespected.
It might seem to you that they are bragging about doing irrelevant stuff but when you feel underappreciated, you pay extra attention to your partner’s every reaction to the things that you do.
You no longer have deep conversations
When a person doesn’t feel appreciated, they don’t feel safe. When they don’t feel safe, they don’t feel comfortable.
When they don’t feel comfortable, they don’t feel eager to explore their deepest thoughts, fears or desires.
If you’ve noticed that you no longer have deep conversations with your partner, there’s probably something they aren’t telling you.
They’re meeting new people
You’ve noticed that your partner has started going out more without you, meeting many new people and maybe even forming relationships that are crossing the line of what’s appropriate.
If they aren’t getting the attention they need from you, they might be looking for it in other places.
They are physically distant
If you see that your partner doesn’t want to sit close to you, hug you, kiss you or touch you, there’s always something going on.
They are not only physically distant but also emotionally and you should definitely start being worried about what’s making them that way.
So, where should you go from here?
There’s only one thing you can do if you want to help your partner open up.
Be honest with them and explain to them all the patterns in their behavior you think are alarming.
Tell them how much you love them and be honest about the fact that you’ve figured out that you probably haven’t been the best boyfriend/girlfriend lately.
Make sure they feel peaceful and safe and allow them to share everything that’s been bugging them without attacking them or turning this conversation into a fight.
Tell them they deserve to be loved the way they need to and be open about doing things their way or at least look for a compromise.
Talk about your own personal relationship needs list or maybe even create a mutual one, one that’s unique for your relationship.
Remember that love is important but relationships also take hard work in order to blossom.