Relationships not only succeed because of love and commitment but because each other’s emotional needs are met. But do you know how?
You see, every person has their own needs, and I’m not only talking about the commonly known basic needs like food, water, shelter, or clothes.
I’m talking about the needs that are sometimes being taken for granted because they are not being discussed more often than they should.
These are emotional needs.
If you are familiar with and agree with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you probably know the possibility that maybe one of our main goals in life is to self-actualize.
But self-actualization is not that easy to achieve. Why?
Because on top of satisfying our physiological needs, we also have to go through safety, belongingness, love, and esteem needs before we reach the top of the pyramid.
These needs are also considered as the most common emotional needs, and they can be achieved through the help of other people and the relationships we build with them.
Hence, attraction and compatibility are not the only reasons why people decide to enter relationships.
We also enter relationships because there are specific areas in our lives that we want to satisfy or to fulfill.
What are emotional needs?
We are all humans, and part of being human is facing the reality that we all have certain needs and wants.
Oftentimes, we try so hard to get these wants and to satisfy these needs on our own, but there are some emotions and feelings that can only be felt through the help of other people.
These are what we call emotional needs. We turn to our partners, family members, or friends to make us feel like we belong, we are understood, or we are wanted.
Depending on what we feel is lacking or needs improvement in our lives, our emotional needs vary from one person to another.
One person in the relationship may want to feel appreciated even with the smallest of things, while the other person might want to always get attention.
The bottom line is, no matter what our emotional needs are, they can consequently make us feel either happy and content or unhappy, hurt, and dissatisfied.
It all comes down to whether our emotional needs are being met or not. But, what exactly are these emotional needs?
There are several emotional needs but let me share with you some other examples based on Maslow’s theory.
These are intimacy, autonomy, validation, privacy, connection, and meaning.
5 ways to meet emotional needs
Again, not everyone has the same needs which makes it hard for us to recognize and meet the needs of other people, even our partners.
Sometimes, we think that what they need is the same as ours, so instead of doing the right things, our efforts end up in misunderstandings and conflicts.
So, if you want to have a strong and meaningful relationship with your partner, both of you must know how to meet each other’s emotional needs.
So here are 5 ways to do it:
1. Identify each other’s emotional needs
Some people might not be aware of it, but sometimes, what causes relationship problems is the fact that some of us are not aware of what we want or need.
This can be extremely damaging to your relationship because you might project confusion and frustration to your partner.
How can you expect your partner to make you feel happy and satisfied if you don’t even know what you want?
Bear in mind that we must know exactly what will make us feel happy, content, and joyful so we can, later on, communicate our needs to our partners.
Take a step back, reflect, and be mindful of your reactions to your partner’s gestures. The same thing goes for your partner if they are also not aware of their emotional needs.
The best and most effective way to foster healthy relationships is by practicing open and honest communication with your partner.
Whether you just realized what your emotional needs are or you’ve been aware of them the entire time, make sure that you verbalize these needs.
Remember, your partner won’t be able to do the right things all the time especially if they are still in the process of identifying what will make you feel happy and content.
Help each other by openly communicating what you both think will make you feel seen and heard in your relationship.
Don’t just expect your partner to correctly guess your wants and needs every single time.
3. Identify necessary changes
After communicating your needs, it is time for both of you to discuss and identify potential solutions to your current situation.
If you feel like your partner’s behavior is not positively contributing to meeting your emotional needs, then perhaps your partner needs to make adjustments behaviorally.
If their actions or gestures don’t seem enough, identify other possible ways that could make you feel satisfied without them having to compromise their security and comfort.
The thing is, learn how to meet halfway. Both of you have needs and both of you are equally important in the relationship.
4. Set realistic expectations
Just because you are already aware of each other’s needs, doesn’t mean that there won’t be any problems anymore. Or that the changes will be done perfectly and smoothly.
Of course, you have to go through an intensive adjustment period with your partner, which means that there’s going to be some trial-and-errors.
If you’re expecting your partner to be more touchy and intimate with you to achieve a deeper connection, but they are not like that naturally, don’t expect too much right away.
Give them ample time to adjust and to get used to your needs.
5. Schedule necessary check-ins
If you want your partner to successfully meet your emotional needs and build a healthy relationship, always allow a few hours for communications and check-ins.
If you feel like they are doing a great job in meeting your needs, let them know so they will be encouraged to do more.
But if you feel like your needs are still not being met, it’s also important that you share this with your partner. It might push them to try harder and think of other ways to satisfy your needs.
When emotional needs are not being met
It may sound easy to just ignore your partner’s needs when it seems difficult to satisfy, but the repercussions won’t be that easy to deal with later on.
As I’ve mentioned previously, unmet emotional needs can lead to feelings of unhappiness, hurt, and dissatisfaction. But it’s not just that.
People inside the relationship whose needs are not being met can lead to feelings of resentment toward their partners.
After all, there’s the feeling that they are not as important and that their needs are easily set aside. Imagine the frustration, confusion, and pain caused by these thoughts.
It can consequently lead to irreparable damage to relationships.
When this happens, it can only move towards two possible roads: putting an end to the relationship or turning to someone else who can satisfy these needs.
Emotional needs may seem too demanding, but they are essential parts of every person.
Each of us has unique needs, and these emotional needs can determine our happiness and contentment not just in ourselves, but in our relationships as well.
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