When you’re in a relationship, it’s crucial to know and understand your partner’s needs — and how to fulfill them. But why? Your partner is an adult, shouldn’t they know how to do this themselves?
Not so fast.
Knowing your partner’s needs and also how to fulfill them is vital for building communication and trust between the two of you. It’s a bridge that helps bring the two of you closer together.
What happens is that you become less like two individuals hanging out together, and more like a team. That’s a powerful concept, enabling both of you to take on life together as a couple.
The Mortar for Your Relationship
Think about the foundation and walls for a house. The smaller pieces that make up this framework need something to bind everything together. Otherwise, the house collapses in on itself.
The same can be said for the importance of understanding and filling your partner’s needs. It’s those moments, both big and small, that cement the two of you together in this relationship.
These moments are mortar because when you help your partner, you are sending a powerful message. You are saying, “I’m here for you and support you.” That’s what makes being in a relationship so unique! It’s that positive reinforcement that, no matter what, you have someone to rely on.
How to Understand Your Partner’s Needs
That sounds great, but how do you understand your partner’s needs in the first place? The short answer is through constant communication. That may seem simplistic, but it isn’t.
However, there are several things that you can do to promote communication between the two of you.
Start early in the relationship with learning who your partner is, their likes and dislikes, etc. This approach is part of the fun in dating!
Ask what you can do to help. Merely offering helps to break down barriers and jump-start the communication process.
Be attentive. Listen to your partner and what their needs are.
Check-in often as your relationship grows and evolves. It might be that their needs change over time.
Filling Those Needs
The next step is to take action toward fulfilling your partner’s needs. For example, your partner has talked recently about how they would like you to cook more meals. It takes a significant burden off of them as their work demands have vamped up, which is zapping their energy in the evenings. So, what do you do next? Here are some ideas:
Break down the need into manageable pieces. For instance, making it a goal to cook a meal Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Talk to your partner to verify that this is acceptable.
Do your research. Consider both you and your partner’s tastes and available ingredients. Then, go online and search for recipes. Select ones that are simple yet tasty (important if you don’t consider yourself the world’s best chef).
Cook the meal. And while doing so, imagine how excited your partner will feel.
Share the experience with your partner. Sit down together for dinner and savor it. Ask what they think and how you did. If they have feedback, listen. Remember, even though you might not be the best cook, there is always room for improvement.
You can apply these steps to other areas as well, not just cooking a meal.
When to Reach Out for Support
If your efforts to forge communication and develop an understanding of your partner’s needs seem to be stalling, ask for help. Couples therapy is an excellent opportunity to clear the air between the two of you and get to the heart of the issue.
Remember, it might be that your partner doesn’t genuinely know how to communicate those needs to you. Working with a therapist will help to clarify those needs and get you both on the same page.
It feels good to know that you are fulfilling the needs of your partner and that they are doing the same for you. This mutual support is essential for building a healthy relationship. If you and your partner are struggling with this, ask for help from a therapist experienced in couples counseling.
Please feel free to contact me to learn more about how I can help.