Do you know what you need, what you really really need?
Everyone of us has relational needs. These are things like our need to be encouraged, comforted, respected, etc. Sometimes we're not really aware of the needs we have - we might just feel grumpy, or lonely, or misunderstood. But when we think about it more carefully, we might identify that we have a relational need that's not being met.
Try looking through this list and deciding what you really need, and what your partner can do to meet your needs.
You could also try letting your partner know exactly what you need, rather than expecting them to guess what you need, or to read your mind.
These sentences are just examples - adapt them to let your partner know the best way to meet your needs.
Attention (wanting someone to join you in your world of interests)
I’d really like you to come with me to the show, even though I know you have other things to do.
Please let me tell you some of my thoughts and ideas.
Acceptance (wanting someone to accept you warmly, without criticism or judgement, when you feel like a failure or when you fear rejection)
I need to know that you still care about me, even when I mess up badly.
Please can I have a hug?
I sometimes feel as if this job is going to take forever! Your encouragement would mean so much to me!
Appreciation (appreciating what you have done)
I washed your car for you, because I know you prefer to drive a clean car.
Please can you help me for a few minutes?
I’m feeling really sad. Can you just hold me for a few minutes?
Security (feeling safe in all kinds of ways)
Can I trust you not to tell anyone?
Approval (appreciation for who you are rather than what you've done)
I need to know that you like my taste in clothes.