If you want to have a successful relationship, it is important that your needs are met and that the things that make you feel healthy and whole are present so that you can be the best partner that you can be.
Of course, no one person can meet every person’s needs – that is what your friends are for – but an ideal partner will be able to meet most, if not all, of the things that are important to you.
It is key that you identify your most important needs in a relationship so that you can share those needs with your partner. Knowing them is the only way your partner will understand how important they are to you and know that they must work hard to meet them.
Five needs that must be met in order to have a loving relationship that can last
1. To be heard.
The cornerstone of every healthy relationship is communication.
The ability to have an open and honest conversation about all things, whether good or bad, can keep a relationship on an even keel and move forward.
A key part of communication is knowing that your partner feels heard.
For many of us, we believe that we are excellent communicators because we are able to express our wants and needs, and emotions, and therefore, all will be well.
What many of us don’t understand is that being able to speak your truth is not enough. Being able to hear what the other person is saying is what is most important.
When your partner is sharing, do you truly listen or are you thinking ahead to what you are going to say next? If your partner asks you to repeat what they just said, can you do so? Do you work hard, in the moment, to make sure that your person is feeling heard?
And, most importantly, do you just listen without trying to fix it?
A client of mine had a relationship that she felt was very healthy. After all, they could talk about anything.
That being said, the same issues arose over and over and over and she just didn’t get it. After talking it through with me, she came to realize that while she was able to tell her boyfriend what she needed and wasn’t getting, he wasn’t truly hearing her.
He said he did hear her, at the moment, but really, it went in one ear and out the other. He felt like just listening was good enough and that action wasn’t really necessary.
So, make sure that your person feels heard in your relationship. That is one HUGE need that should be met if you want to have a successful relationship.
2. To be seen.
One thing that I hear a lot from my clients is that they feel invisible to their partners.
That the words of affirmation and physical affection that were a wonderful part of their relationship at the beginning have faded away.
As a result, my clients feel unloved and unhappy.
Interestingly, many of my client’s partners are surprised to hear that their person feels unseen. “I mean,” they say, “we have been together so long, they must know that I love them.” Or “Of course, I think that she is beautiful. She knows that and I don’t need to tell her.”
I know that, when I was married, my husband never felt seen. I was so busy with the kids and our lives and so constantly frustrated with him for whatever reason that I never stopped and looked at him and recognized verbally how important he was to me.
Gradually, over time, this eroded our relationship until our marriage ended.
If you want to have a successful relationship, it’s important that both people feel not only heard but seen. To be celebrated for successes. To be complimented on their appearance. To be touched with affection. To be told that they are loved.
So many people, as time goes on, start to take their partner for granted. The energy that they put into the relationship in the beginning, when they were courting, is energy that has been directed elsewhere. It is the absence of energy that can make it so that someone doesn’t feel seen.
Have you made your partner feel seen today? Have you made them feel like you are important to them and that you are glad they are in your life? Have you checked with yourself that you aren’t taking them for granted?
If you want to have a happy relationship, making sure your partner feels seen is key.
3. To be respected.
I can’t tell you how many of my clients who are in toxic relationships tell me that they don’t feel respected.
That they feel like their person looks down on them and judges them for everything they do. That their person is embarrassed by their presence and never wants to be with them.
And the effect of this lack of respect? Not only does the relationship erode but so does my clients’ self-esteem, which only makes things worse.
I have a client who is at the bottom of her boyfriend’s priority list. Instead of spending time with her, he is always with his friends. Instead of being home when he says he will be home, he disappears only to return with lame excuses. He tells her that she is important but repeatedly proves that not to be true.
Why does he do this? Because he doesn’t respect her, he doesn’t think she is important enough to make him number one on his priority list. And the damage to her self-esteem that his lack of respect causes makes her only feel worse about herself and makes him respect her less as well.
Do you make your partner feel respected? Do you recognize who they are and what they have accomplished and do you make them a priority regularly?
If you can’t make your partner feel respected, with your words and deeds, then your relationship will never be a successful one!
4. To be touched.
Touch is one of the most important things in the world for someone’s emotional health. And, when the touch isn’t there, things can spiral downwards quickly.
I know that, when my husband got separated, everything changed for me. We lived in a new town, my kids were off at school and the physical affection I got from him was gone. I was starving for affection and got it nowhere.
What I did was I started to get massages. Once a week while I could afford it and then once a month when I couldn’t. The massages didn’t fix everything for me but the physical touch helped me keep my head above water so I wouldn’t drown in the trauma of the divorce and the absence of touch.
I know that my case was extreme but it’s very important that physical touch be present in any relationship. And it doesn’t have to be sex. They say that a 10-second hug can have a huge effect on a relationship, even one that is struggling.
Have you hugged your person today? If not, do so if you want to have a healthy, happy relationship.
5. To be satisfied.
I thought long and hard about this last one and the word that I finally came up with was ‘satisfied.’
‘Satisfied’ can mean a lot of things but, in this instance, it means that someone is truly happy with their life and who they are in it.
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That they feel loved and supported and self-confident and hopeful and settled and all the other things that one needs to feel truly content in their lives.
I know that, after my divorce, I floundered around in short-term relationships after short-term relationships. (Yes, even life coaches make bad choices around love).
With each relationship that floundered and died, a little piece of me went with it. Even if I was the one who ended things, that thing that I wanted more than anything, to feel settled and loved, was once again out of reach.
I know that now that I am in a healthy relationship, and have been for more than 5 years, a big part of how self-confident I feel and how happy I am in my own skin is because of our relationship.
Not because of HIM but because of US. The two of us in the world make it a better place, both in the big picture and small.
So, is your need to feel satisfied in your place in the world being met? Do you feel at peace? Do you know what tomorrow will bring?
If you do, then you are definitely in a happy and healthy relationship that can stay the course.
So, there you go, five needs that need to be met if you want to have a successful relationship.
Many of us don’t understand that just being happy in a relationship isn’t enough and that if you aren’t happy a relationship is doomed.
To be in a successful relationship, it’s important that everyone’s needs are being met, or at least most of them.
Again, one person can’t be all things to another person but one person should make every effort to take care of the needs of the person they love. Only by doing so can their relationship be the happy and healthy one they desire!
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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. She works with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.