Couples: Here’s Why and How to Identify Your Basic Needs in Your Relationship!

We all enter into a relationship because we need to love and be loved, to feel valued and secure. But these are not the only basic needs that each person seeks in a romantic union. So what are the other valuable things?

The problem is that we can rarely articulate our basic needs in a relationship because we have never thought about them. As a result, we start dating a new person hoping that they will make us feel good, but it never happens.

To avoid another romantic disappointment, you should start identifying your relationship needs. When you have a clear structure of your needs, it will be much easier for you to gravitate towards the right partners instead of wasting time in dead-end relationships.

So how do you know what’s good for you? Read on to find out.

Basic needs in a relationship: What are they?

Human needs can be classified into several categories, such as physical, financial, emotional needs, etc. However, the majority of relationship needs are psychological.

The most basic are:

  • Affection (romantic gestures, words of love and sex)
  • Respect (your opinion matters to the other person)
  • Appreciation (receiving gratitude and praise)
  • Safety (physical and emotional safety)
  • Loyalty (partners are loyal to each other)
  • Trust (transparency in all aspects of life)

You can also prioritize these concepts and decide which ones are basic and which ones are more or less flexible.

For example, trust and loyalty are your top priorities and you want your partner to respect them. So if someone lies to you or cheats you, that’s a breach of contract.

At the same time, you are used to talking about your feelings, but you don’t mind that your partner doesn’t share much because they are reserved or shy.

Essentially, each person must determine their own needs and seek a partner who has similar values.

Can basic relationship needs vary from person to person?

We all value similar things that are fundamental to building a lasting relationship, like love, passion, support, etc. But do we value them equally?

Obviously, the answer is “no” because each person has their own hierarchy of needs. This means that a specific need, such as raising children, may not be as important as emotional comfort in a relationship for one person, but is a priority for another.

What does it depend on? Studies show that the distribution of values ​​mainly depends on age. But there are other factors, such as family traditions, culture, upbringing, social circle and personal traits.

Although basic needs such as support and compassion are present in everyone’s belief system about healthy relationships, their importance can vary from individual to individual.

How do you determine your relational needs?

Once you know your basic needs, you can decide who to engage with by consciously or unconsciously comparing your needs and the other person’s ability to meet them.

Without a clear value system, you can get lost in a relationship and do things you don’t like.

But don’t be afraid. The following techniques will help you on the right path to determining your basic needs.

1. Identify your love language

Love language is a concept first described in the 1990s by Gary Chapman, Ph.D. They are basically how we receive and express affection in our relationships.

If you can identify your love language, you can better understand your basic needs in a relationship.

There are five love languages:

  • physical touch
  • affirmative words
  • quality time
  • To receive gifts
  • Service Actions

To find out which of these languages ​​is yours, choose one thing from the options below that is most meaningful in a relationship. Each option corresponds to the previous list of love languages.

What matters most to you:

  • Walking down the street holding hands, hugging and kissing.
  • When your partner says words of love to you or compliments and congratulates you.
  • Spend most evenings and weekends together.
  • When your loved one often surprises you with gifts
  • Practical care and support, such as help with household chores or breakfast in bed.

Any love language can be translated into basic needs: physical touch corresponds to physical intimacy and sex; words of affirmation equal emotional support; receiving gifts is synonymous with attention; acts of service are done through helping and supporting, and quality time means devotion.

2. Decide what currently makes you happy or crazy.

You can use a simple exercise to determine what you like or dislike in a relationship. So let’s start by identifying the things you enjoy.

Write “I like when / It’s great when” on a piece of paper at least 10 to 15 times. Then find an appropriate ending. You can use current or past relationships as examples. The things you wrote down are your needs.

If you can’t clearly define what is most important to you in a relationship, try the opposite approach. It is about highlighting characteristics or actions that you consider unacceptable. And again, take a sheet of paper and write “I can’t stand/hate when” several times and complete each sentence.

For example, let’s say you wrote: “I hate it when my partner leaves dirty dishes in the sink. This means that you value cleanliness as a quality in your loved ones and want them to see cleaning as rewarding work, not frustrating.

Go through the whole list and add more sentences like this when you remember something else. At this point you can write as much as you want. Later you will learn to distinguish between core values ​​and desirable but not required values.

3. Set your priorities

Now that you have a list of needs, it’s time to decide what needs to be. It is normal to have many criteria and to aim for perfection. But unfortunately, you probably won’t find a person who meets all your requirements.

The following method should help you narrow down your needs to five or seven essentials. So far you have about 15 on the list from the previous chapter. So write down your needs on small pieces of paper and place them in front of you on a table or other surface.

Now imagine you are crossing a river, but to enter the bridge you have to leave an object behind. What will it be? Repeat the same exercise until you have five to seven things without which you cannot imagine a romantic relationship. Of course, the number could be higher depending on your personality.

The final step is to sort your concentrated needs by their importance. It’s an effective way to find out what you’re looking for in a relationship in the first place and move on if they’re not there.

4. Discuss your needs with your partner

This conversation is an effective way to check a couple’s compatibility and see if they see things the same way. In addition, it will compare your values ​​and boundaries and determine whether you share them.

When should you start listing your basic needs? Topics like having children and spending money are a bit difficult to discuss on the first date. Others, such as holiday preferences, can be processed at any time.

Generally, you have to wait for the 4th or 5th appointment. In the meantime, make sure there is chemistry and an emotional connection before discussing serious matters. Otherwise, there is no point in wasting time matching values.

Naturally, your partner will disagree on several things or their priority. Many inequalities equal less chance for this relationship to succeed in the long term.

But before you decide to break up, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can your partner adapt to your beliefs over time?
  • If he can’t, can you bend your own rules?
  • Does this specific need that you disapprove of outweigh the current relationship?

If both the first and second answers are “yes”, do not rush to say goodbye to your relationship. There is still hope to find common ground.

5. Analyze your current relationship

If you are currently dating someone, you can analyze the existing romantic relationship to determine what is important to you.

Ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers:

The answers to these questions will reveal your true opinion about the components of an ideal relationship.

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