A relationship is intended to be a mutually beneficial experience, but many of us (including me) have left relationships drained because we poured all that we had into the other person without reciprocation. In my single season, I’ve really learned how to effectively communicate my needs so that I will be able to get them met the next time I choose to enter a relationship with someone. Here are the three things that I’ve learned that will also help you experience a new level of satisfaction in your relationships when it comes to communicating your needs the right way.
1. Find Out Each Other’s Love Language
The basis of your needs in a relationship is rooted from your love language, which is the way that you express and receive love. Once you know what your love language is and what your partner’s love language is, you will both be able to communicate in a way that each other is receptive to. What is your love language? Take the quiz at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ and comment your love language below!
2. Define Your Needs
When communicating your needs to your partner, you must clearly express your definition of what you desire because that reduces miscommunication and heightens the likelihood that your partner will be able to accurately provide what you are asking for. If you desire affection in a relationship, explain what your definition of affection is and give examples of what actions translate affection to you. It is not wise to assume that your partner carries the same definition of your needs as you do.
3. Attack the Problem, Not the Person & Offer a Solution
When communicating your needs about desiring a change in behavior from your partner, you must always keep the focus on attacking the problem and not your partner. Then, offer a solution that will meet the need of what you are asking for. Afterwards, discuss your partner’s thoughts on it so you both can come to an agreed solution. While it is it easy to say “you don’t make time for me,” that is an accusatory statement that puts the blame on the other person, which will cause them to be defensive. Instead, try telling your partner “Our relationship has grown so much since the beginning and I want to be sure that we continue to give our relationship the proper time and attention it needs to continue growing. Since we are both free on Friday nights, I would like for us to set aside that time every week where we can go on dates and find new ways to stay connected with each other. What do you think about that?” Approaching your needs in that manner will guarantee a resolution, because it attacks the problem and not the person, while also offering a solution.