Understanding You: Tuning Into Your Wants When It Comes to Relationships

Needless to say, being in tune with your partner is crucial to relationship success. But what about being in tune with yourself? Time and time again — in research studies and in everyday life — being able to identify your own wants and needs translates into more emotional stability. Of course, you want to make your partner happy. How often do you ask yourself what makes you happy?

This journey typically requires some alone time. Recognize what you enjoy doing on your own. What brings you joy and makes you lose track of time? Bring this knowledge into your contemplations about how to feel valued and fulfilled as part of a partnership.

How to Tune Into Your Wants When It Comes to Relationships

A great place to start is to get in touch with your physical sensations. When you feel tired, cold, overheated, or thirsty for no apparent reason, it could be your body’s way of communicating with you. Tune into these somatic signs and pay close attention to when they happen. It could be the first step toward identifying when your needs are not being met. From there:

Tune Into How You Feel Around Others

Practice naming your emotions as they pertain to other people. What type of person tends to make you comfortable? Who gets you stressed? This is especially important if you’re currently dating someone. Lust, passion, and attraction are clearly important. But what else is stirred up in you when you spend time with your partner?

Keep a Journal

Diligently match up your feelings — positive and negative — with what’s going on in your life. More specifically, discern if they line up with relationship events or moments. Do you feel distant from your partner? Does your connection feel strong and equal? This is not a case of looking for trouble where it doesn’t exist. Instead, you’re doing the hard work of digging deep to figure out how you really feel.

Next, use this journal to start listing your needs — especially those that feel neglected. You may feel selfish at first, but over time, you’ll recognize that you have every right to set boundaries, express needs, and live a full, rich life. You can make this list even if you’re not currently in a relationship. It’ll be very useful when you meet someone you’re interested in.

Contemplate Your Dealbreakers

All relationships involve some measure of compromise and sacrifice. With healthy communication, this can be accomplished in an equitable manner. However, both partners must be free to set their own dealbreakers. You have your own unique beliefs and values. To deny them is to set yourself up for frustration and resentment. For example, in a long-term relationship, it is crucial that both partners see eye to eye on something as fundamental as having or not having kids.

Five-Year Plan

Okay, the length is up to you, but the point is that you need to seriously consider where you see yourself in the future. Do you want to travel, own a home, start a family, create a business, or perhaps relocate to a quiet locale? Make your list and then decide if any of them are dealbreakers when it comes to choosing a partner.

This Does Not Have to Be a Solo Act

In a society of manufactured needs, it can be tricky to figure out how you truly feel. The content you consume is manipulating you, and cultural expectations can lead you astray. This is why so many folks opt for therapy. Meeting regularly with a skilled, unbiased guide is an ideal way to attain clarity of thought. Let’s talk about all of this soon.

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