It's important to know what you need in a relationship because healthy relationships require effective communication between a couple. In fact, a lot of relationship advice talks about knowing your wants and needs.
However, it is hard to ask for what you need, especially if your needs are being dictated by your emotions — which they almost always are. Unfortunately, we live in a world that so often tries to belittle our emotions.
We receive messaging around how we should be "rational thinkers". Our decisions should not be made emotionally. We should not let our heart decide.
Do not act out of emotion. Emotions are innately irrational.
Think about that for a second. The thing that makes us human is considered "irrational".
And yet, it is our emotions that affect how we exist in the world. They dictate who we are in a relationship with. They guide our decision making. They sit it our body and let us know when something upsets us. Or when something pleases us. Or when we are scared, anxious, or feel "off".
The more connected you become with your body and your feelings, the more authentically you will be able to identify your needs and ultimately, get them met.
Here are 5 Ways To Figure Out Exactly What You Need In A Relationship.
1. Get connected to your values
Your values guide most of your decisions. You likely chose your work because it has similar values as you. Your relationships will, ideally, reflect your values, even where you choose to live is based on what you value.
But can you name your values?
For starters, figure out what is important to you and why.
Writing things down can help you to make sense of your thoughts and feelings. So, make journaling a habit.
Figure out a time that fits into your life. Create a routine and stick to it.
Find a journal that speaks to you. Go browse your local bookstore, or online.
Write freeform. Write in lists. Write questions and answers. Write however feels good.
Then, go back and read your writing. Often. You will notice ideas and patterns that pop up repeatedly. Do not ignore them.
3. Visualize your ideal relationship
Really think about what you what from your relationships with others.
Feel what you want it to feel like in your body. How does your heart react? Do you feel soft? Do you feel powerful? Do you feel light?
Visualize how it will affect your daily life. Are you spending every day with them, or do you see them once a week? Are you introducing them to your family and friends? Do you hang out alone, or socially? Do you have them stay over?
Consider how much time you want to spend on it, how much energy you have to invest in it.
Reflect on how it will affect your mind. Do you want a relationship that challenges your opinions? One that supports your ideas? One that stimulates you mentally?
Record all of these things down in your journal.
4. Think about the relationships that haven't worked
One way to tune into what you do want is to identify what you do not want.
Consider your past relationships: what did you not enjoy about them? What was your breaking point? If you could go back, what would you do differently?
What did you learn from the ending? What can you ask for differently going forward?
5. Ask your body what it needs
Find some time to sit quietly with yourself. Calm your breathing and calm your mind.
Bring to mind your ideal relationship, and then ask your body what it needs from you, and from the person, or people, that you are in relationships with.
Pay attention to the parts of your body that respond. Pay attention to silence. Pay attention to pain and discomfort.
If nothing comes up, that is okay. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Repeat the process. It will get easier with time, and practice.
Do these things as often as feels good. Start to notice themes that continue to present themselves. Get intimate with your innermost desires, so that they start to show up in your life because you asked for them.