Relationships: Respect Your Needs

What’s the difference between being “needy,” and having your needs met?

It boils down to respect:  for yourself, your partner, and your relationships.

I often hear of people in romantic relationships being very concerned about coming off as too “needy,” or of seeming to require too much from their partner.  As a result, they often find themselves putting aside their own values and desires for the sake of keeping their relationship afloat.  When this happens, some individuals may find that they are not being true to who they are, or being clear about what they believe they deserve, when it comes to fueling their relationship.  These individuals will sometimes classify themselves as “needy,” and can experience a sense of guilt if they are to vocalize their relationship standards.

When people describe themselves as “needy,” they sometimes indicate that this is a bad thing in their relationships.  Having needs in a romantic relationship is by no means a negative thing, though:  it’s often healthy, and signifies that you have respect for yourself.  Just as you have basic physiological and safety needs to survive in the world (think Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory), you also have corresponding emotional needs.

This is not to say that your partner should fulfill every “need” you have, though.  Striking the right balance of having your own passions, hobbies, friends, and activities can fulfill your needs, and can also do so for your partner.

If you or your partner are making the other feel bad for having emotional needs when it comes to your relationship, healthy communication is advised.  Tapping into the respect that you have for yourself can help you in discussing these concerns, and is useful in coming to a place of openness and understanding with your partner.  If you find that healthy communication is extremely difficult with your partner, or if you believe that safety or health is being compromised in your relationship, contacting a mental health professional is advised.

As always, I’m here to help!

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