Understanding Your Partner- Transform Your Relationship Part 1
No matter how fantastic your relationship is, it’s most likely that there are times when you feel your partner doesn’t understand you, or they take something you’ve said the wrong way and you just can’t understand why!
We all have different personalities, and with these come different wants and needs. In a relationship, these needs are even more complex because we are relying on somebody else to fulfill them for us. The first step to understanding your partner is to find out what their needs are. You could do this by asking them, but it is better initially to try to work it out for yourself. You can do this by thinking back to a time when it was really great, when it felt like the two of you against the world, and you couldn’t imagine anything better than being with your partner. What were you doing differently then that you aren’t doing now?
Here is a list of the basic needs. Every single person needs all of these needs, but different needs will be more important to some people than others.
- Stability- This means that they feel stable in the relationship. They are confident that you love them, and genuinely want to be with them. They are able to count on you and feel that you are trustworthy.
- Variety- This means that there is some variety in your relationship, it is not the same day in and day out. You may do small surprises for each other like leave notes around the house, bring home flowers, go out for the evening instead of staying in.
- Closeness- This means that you have a close bond with your partner, both physically and mentally. You can chat to each other comfortably and you have a physical connection. You are in love.
- Importance- This means that your partner feels important to you. They are confident that you respect them, that you care about them and that you will listen when you tell them something. For some people it is necessary to feel like the most important thing in your life.
- Contribution- This means that your partner feels that you are contributing to the relationship. They are confident that you are both putting an equal amount of effort in to the relationship. They are confident that you are bringing all of your skills to the relationship
- Development- This can refer to personal development, or development as a couple. Your partner feels that you are helping them to grow as a person, whether that means supporting them in a career change, in finding a new hobby, in making new friends etc. They are confident that they have your full support and encouragement.
Sit down and decide on a scale of 1-10 what you are getting from your partner in terms of each of these needs, e.g. your closeness is a 5. Now put yourself in your partner’s shoes. What are you giving them for each need on a scale of 1-10? This part can be quite tricky and we will often over-score for our partner, but truly think about what they would answer. You can find clues from things they have said and done, such as ‘you’re not listening to me, turn the TV off!’ or feeling insecure when you have a night out with friends.
Which two needs do you think are most important to your partner? What score would they give you for those needs? Now is it starting to make sense why things aren’t as good as they should be?
Make an effort over the next month to try to get your score up to 10 for each need, paying particular attention to your partner’s two most important needs. Do not concentrate on your own needs yet. After the first month, if your partner hasn’t followed suit and started doing more for you, you can speak to them, or show them this post so they can work through it themselves.
If you’d like help on how to get your score up to 10 for each need, please feel free to email us: email@example.com
Write what you believe your top two needs are in the comments below, and your partner’s if you know them. Let’s see what the most popular one is!
Part 2 will be posted next week, and we’ll be looking at how your partner perceives your actions. Again, everyone is different so your intention may be different to how your partner sees it!