couples holding each other - Jackie Schwartz couples counseling

Be What You Need in Your Relationship

I often hear about men and women not getting what they need or expect in their relationships. People say things like, “We never have sex anymore,” or “You used to make so much more of an effort when planning date night”. It’s common for men and women to get complacent in relationships. It’s easy to stop doing the things that initially created attraction and connection. When a relationship is new, it’s easy to tune into the good things about our partner and to be the best version of ourselves.

When a relationship starts to experience difficulties, our efforts shift. Needs, wants, desires, and expectations may go unmet. It’s understandable that a couple may come to believe that fun, passion, romance, playfulness, and lasting connection are things of the past. Sadly, many couples get bogged down in negativity due to unmet needs, wants, expectations, etc. It can feel so hopeless and defeating. Luckily there are things you can do to redirect the relationship in a more positive direction.

Express What You Want

A very simple concept that many couples forget to do is to say out loud what it is that you need or want from the other person. If a husband wants more affection from his wife, he needs to say “I really miss how affectionate we used to be; I wish that we can have more of that”. If a wife wants more attention or affirmation from her husband, she needs to be able to say, “I really love it when you give me compliments on how I look. Like how you used to do when we first started dating”. This is the same for unmarried partners. After being in a relationship for a while, you may experience the same complacency and lack of “spark” and romance.

Therefore, creating a culture of emotional safety and openness is crucial for the purpose of speaking up for what one wants. Emotional safety is the feeling that our partner values our emotions and needs. We know that we are loved, supported, respected, and appreciated in our relationship. This allows for open and honesty communication, while feeling safe doing so. Being open and honest takes practice and active listening. State what you need and want from the relationship and from your partner. Ask them to tell you their desires and wants and genuinely listen. Honesty is at the foundation of healthy relationships.

Be What You Need in Your Relationship

In addition to speaking up about our needs we also need to be what we need! Remember, our partner is not a mind reader. Our needs are a reflection of our personality. If playfulness is a need for you, then it’s very likely that you are playful. If affection is a need for you, then it’s likely that being affectionate is a part of who you are. It makes sense to need that from your partner in return.  If you want your partner to be more fun and carefree, then maybe suggest a fun activity that you can do together. If you need affection, be affectionate. If you need silliness, be silly. If you need romance, be romantic. Speak up and act whenever needs are not being met. These simple tools can reinvigorate your relationship. They can give you more loving and positive thoughts about your partner and your relationship.

You Can Have the Relationship You Want

It’s not always easy to switch up the way you communicate in a relationship. Couples counseling can help you understand what you want and how to express those desires to your partner. Whether you are married or have been in a relationship for a long time, it’s important that you can be honest and open with your partner so both your needs can be met. If your relationship is on the rocks, or you just need a little guidance on how to effectively communicate, contact me today for a free 15-minute consultation. You can and deserve to have the relationship you want!

Posted by jackieschwartz