What do i need in a relationship

5 essentials for a healthy relationship | Health & Wellness Services

Whether you’ve been in a relationship before or this is your first, here are a few things that are essential for a healthy relationship.

1: Open communication

One hallmark of a healthy relationship is the ability to communicate openly. Significant others should be able to talk about how they’re feeling and empathize with one another.

If it’s difficult to share true feelings with the other person, it may mean more trust needs to be built. Holding back feelings could mean that we aren’t sure how the other person will respond or we’re afraid of being judged. Oftentimes, especially in a new relationship, it means we’re still learning how to communicate effectively with one another.

However, communication can become unhealthy when one partner in the relationship feels the need to influence the other person’s thoughts or behavior. In this situation, it can be helpful to set boundaries. Expressing your needs and naming your limits are just two examples of healthy boundary-setting, and a healthy relationship is one where boundaries are honored.

2: Listening and feeling heard

Having someone listen to us and feeling heard is important. In a healthy relationship, both people should feel relatively comfortable bringing up issues, expressing themselves and listening to one another. While not every conversation is going to be easy, both partners should feel that they will be heard.

When a person’s feelings or needs are ignored or not respected, the relationship can suffer. It’s important for both partners to make space for the other person. Compromise and ongoing communication are key in respecting each other’s feelings, needs and values. But compromise should not always be one way.

If one partner actively disrespects, ignores or demeans the other, this is abusive. Partners who behave this way may also treat someone’s ideas or feelings with contempt. CU’s Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) offers free and confidential support for students who may be experiencing these types of behaviors in their relationship.

3: Working through disagreements

Disagreements and conflict are normal in any relationship. It’s common to have different preferences, beliefs and values from our significant other. In some cases, conflict can be a sign that something needs to change within a relationship. Many times, couples who ignore or avoid conflict risk facing increased tensions and unmet needs. However, the way couples respond to conflict is more important than the conflict itself.

Working through a disagreement in a healthy way by talking respectfully and listening to understand each other is an important component of any relationship, whether it’s with a friend, family member or significant other. We can’t assume that someone can see an issue from our point of view.

If disagreements turn into fights more often than not, it may be time to evaluate how you’re communicating with one another. Try using “I” statements to soften language and use assertive communication. For example, “I would like you to stop doing that,” is a healthier way to say “you need to stop doing that.” You can download a free PDF for examples of active listening and “I” statements from Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (SCCR).

If conflict escalates and feels difficult to resolve, it can sometimes cause us to fear disagreeing with our partners because it may trigger a partner’s anger, abuse or violence. Partners may resort to belittling the other person during disagreements. These are all signs that it may be time to reach out for support. OVA provides confidential support and resources for students who may be experiencing these types of behavior in their relationship.

4: Mutual intimacy

Healthy romantic relationships allow space and mutual respect for intimacy and connection. Partners are able to establish healthy boundaries and talk openly about emotional and physical desires and what that looks like in their relationship. This includes talking about sex, such as what you want and don’t want and what feels good (or doesn’t). This requires attention and ongoing communication in healthy relationships.

If one or both partners feels embarrassed or unwilling to say how they feel because they’re worried their partner may not listen or care, it can make intimacy more stressful than enjoyable. If one partner’s needs and wants are ignored or if they are pushed into situations that are upsetting or unwanted, this is a sign of abusive behavior. OVA provides free and confidential support and resources for students who may be experiencing these types of behaviors in their relationship.

5: Trust

It’s important to maintain relationships outside of our romantic relationships in order to have a strong support system. In healthy relationships, significant others trust one another. Trust is about knowing that someone will do what they say. It also can mean that each person in the relationship feels free to spend time with other people in their life like friends and family.

A relationship can become unhealthy when one person feels jealous every time their partner talks to or spends time with other people in their life.

If one partner is accusing the other of flirting constantly or tells their partner not to talk to or interact with another person in their life, these may be signs of abusive behaviors and mistrust. These types of behavior can lead to feelings of isolation and symptoms of depression or anxiety. OVA provides free and confidential support and resources for students who may be experiencing these types of behavior in their relationship.


If you or someone you know is currently experiencing unhealthy or abusive behaviors from a significant other or family member, there are resources that can help.

10 Big Ones in Relationships

Everyone has emotional needs.

Consider basic survival needs like water, air, food, and shelter. Meeting these physical needs means you can stay alive, but it takes more to give life meaning.

You can’t see or touch things like companionship, affection, security, or appreciation, but they’re just as valuable. The same goes for feeling heard or valued.

In a relationship, the strength of your bond can make a big difference in whether you both get your needs met.

Although every relationship looks a little different, these 10 emotional needs are a good starting point for considering whether you and your partner are each getting what you need from the relationship.

Most relationships involve different kinds of affection:

  • physical touch
  • sexual intimacy
  • loving words
  • kind gestures

Affection helps you bond and increase closeness.

Not everyone shows affection in the same ways, but partners generally get used to each other’s unique approaches toward fulfilling this need.

Someone who doesn’t say “I love you” might show their regard through their actions, for example.

If the level of affection in your relationship suddenly changes, you might start to worry. Many relationship issues stem from a lack of affection, and it’s pretty understandable to wonder why a once-affectionate partner seems distant or avoidant of touch.

If they seem less affectionate than usual, a conversation is a good place to start. Remember, you don’t know what’s happening without asking.

Try a nonconfrontational approach:

  • “I’ve noticed some distance lately. When we can’t connect through touch, I feel lonely. I wonder if there’s a way we could connect with words instead, if you don’t feel up to physical affection right now.”

Knowing your partner accepts you as you are can help create a sense of belonging in the relationship.

Acceptance doesn’t just mean they accept you, though. It also means you feel as if you fit in with their loved ones and belong in their life.

This sense of belonging might increase when they:

  • introduce you to family and friends
  • plan activities to do together
  • share dreams and goals for the future
  • ask for advice when making decisions

If you don’t feel accepted, you might feel as if you’re hovering on the edges of their life. This isn’t a comfortable place to be.

Some people don’t open up easily, and they might have other reasons for not including you in certain parts of their life. All the same, feeling like you don’t belong can make it difficult for you to see yourself in the relationship long term.

Here’s one strategy to try: If you haven’t already, invite them to meet your friends and family. Use this to open a conversation about how you’d like to be more involved in their life.

Even the closest partners don’t always see eye to eye, and that’s OK. When you don’t completely agree, though, you still want to know they’ve heard your concerns and understand where you’re coming from.

According to research from 2016, most couples find it important to operate on the same wavelength. When your partner completely fails to see your perspective, you might feel misunderstood. If they dismiss your feelings entirely, you might feel ignored or disrespected.

If you generally feel validated, but this happens once or twice, it’s possible they had an off day. It doesn’t hurt to have a conversation, regardless, to share how you feel.

But if you consistently feel unheard or invalidated, you might start to build up some resentment, so it’s best to address the issue sooner rather than later.


  • “I haven’t felt heard lately when I bring up important issues. Could we find a good time to have serious conversations, when we can both listen without distractions?”

As a relationship deepens, partners often begin sharing interests, activities, and other aspects of daily life. You might notice you’re becoming more of a unit as you grow closer.

But no matter how strong your relationship becomes, it’s essential to maintain your sense of self. While you might have plenty of things in common, you’re two separate people with unique goals, hobbies, friends, and values — and that’s a good thing.

If your identity has started to blur into theirs, take a step back to examine the situation. This blending of selves can happen naturally as you grow close, but it can also happen when you believe you need to become more like them for the relationship to succeed.

In reality, maintaining individual interests can fuel curiosity about each other, which can strengthen your relationship and keep it fun. If you’re losing sight of yourself before the relationship, set aside some time to reconnect with friends or restart an old hobby.

A healthy relationship should feel secure, but security can mean many things.

If you feel secure in your relationship, you generally:

  • know they respect your boundaries
  • feel safe to share your feelings
  • feel physically safe with them
  • believe they support your choices
  • feel able to share your feelings

Setting clear boundaries can help boost your sense of security:

  • “I don’t want to be shouted at, so I won’t respond if you raise your voice.”

If your partner becomes abusive, seek professional support. Physical abuse is often easy to recognize, but emotional abuse can make you feel unsafe, too, even if you can’t put your finger on why.

If you’re looking for help, our guide to domestic violence resources can help.

Trust and security often go hand in hand. It’s hard to feel physically or emotionally safe with someone you can’t trust. When you trust someone, you know they’re looking out for you as well as themselves.

If you start to doubt them, try bringing up specific behaviors, such as staying out late without explanation. This helps you get to the bottom of what’s going on while touching base on communication needs.

In general, trust doesn’t happen immediately. You cultivate it over time, but you can also lose it in an instant. Broken trust can sometimes be repaired, but this requires effort from both partners and often, support from a therapist.

Be upfront about how you’ll handle breaches of trust in the relationship. While your specific response might vary based on the context of a given situation, you probably have a good idea about behaviors you can’t accept, such as infidelity or lying. Don’t feel guilty about making those deal breakers known to your partner.

Having empathy means you can imagine how someone else feels. This ability is essential to romantic relationships since it helps people understand each other and build deeper bonds.

Say they forget your birthday. You feel angry and hurt. After 5 years together, how could they? You’ve never forgotten their birthday.

But after your initial rush of disappointment and anger, you start to consider their side. They’ve been struggling at work lately, and that anxiety has started affecting their sleep. Most of their emotional energy has gone into planning a big project that could help turn things around.

With all that on their mind, you reason, it’s more understandable how they completely blanked on your birthday. You know it wasn’t an intentional slight, and you also know they feel terrible.

Your understanding of their situation helps you accept what happened and offer them compassion and forgiveness, which can bring you closer. Continuing to stew, on the other hand, might lead to an argument or drive you apart in other ways.

It’s pretty normal to want your partner to make you a priority. You want to know you come first and that after they meet their own needs, yours are next in line.

Of course, most people have a few (or more) significant relationships. From time to time, someone else in their life might need to come first, such as a friend going through a crisis or a family member experiencing a rough patch.

In general, though, if you don’t feel like a priority in their life, you probably feel as if they don’t really value your presence. This can make you wonder why they even bother with the relationship.

A conversation can often help. First, mention why you don’t feel prioritized — try an I-statement to avoid sounding judgmental. Maybe they don’t reply to your texts for a day or so, or consistently reschedule date night to catch up with friends.

Then suggest a possible solution, like replying to texts each evening or with a phone call, or choosing a regular date night.

It’s OK not to do everything together. In fact, maintaining separate interests and friendships can be good for individual mental health, as well as the health of your relationship (see autonomy above).

But you probably want to feel connected at the same time. That’s perfectly understandable. What are relationships for, if not sharing your life?

Without connection, you can feel lonely even when you spend most of your time together. It might seem as if you’re just two people who happen to share a living space or spend time together sometimes. Chances are good that’s not how you want your relationship to proceed.

Here’s the good news: If you lack this sense of connection, it’s completely possible to reconnect and engage with them again.

Some helpful tips:

  • Ask questions about an aspect of their daily life you’ve never really thought about before.
  • Suggest a new activity to try together.
  • Break out of your usual routine by taking a day or weekend trip.
  • Bond over shared memories or swap individual ones from your childhood.

Connection is important, but so is space.

Space within a relationship means you both have the freedom to do your own thing when you want to. You feel supported but know you can make your own choices.

It also means you still enjoy some privacy. This privacy can mean separate spaces to work or relax at home, but it also means emotional privacy.

Being honest doesn’t mean you need to share every thought that crosses your mind. If you feel annoyed, for example, getting some physical and emotional space can help you work through these thoughts in healthy ways and avoid taking things out on your partner.

When it comes to space, asking for what you need is key.


  • carving out a bit of alone time each day
  • creating a private space for yourself at home, whether that’s a separate room or a little nook
  • spending more time outside

Before we dive into some key emotional needs in a relationship, it’s important to consider a few things.

Emotional needs aren’t set in stone

You might have different needs throughout your life, and your needs can also shift within one relationship. This might happen as you learn more about yourself through personal growth or in relation to your partner and your development as a couple.

It’s perfectly normal to adapt over time, even to discover needs you never considered before. Past experiences can have an impact, too. Your experience in a previous relationship may have taught you just how important communication really is, for example.

People can have different needs

Again, emotional needs vary from person to person. Some people might value belonging over love, or trust over desire, for example.

While you might prioritize certain things, such as attention and connectedness, your partner might place more importance on privacy and independence.

This doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed, but you may need to put some extra effort into communicating needs and discussing ways to meet in the middle.

No one

has to meet your needs

Emotional needs play an important part in relationship satisfaction. If they’re fulfilled, you might feel contented, excited, or joyful. When they go unmet, on the other hand, you might feel frustrated, hurt, or confused.

That said, your partner does not have a responsibility to meet all of your needs.

Some needs, such as trust and communication, do affect relationship success. Without trust and openness, relationships typically don’t work out long term.

But they can’t fulfill every need, and you shouldn’t expect them to. Even within a romantic relationship, it’s essential to explore other avenues of getting needs met, whether by yourself or through meaningful relationships with others.

As you may have noticed, getting needs met usually involves some collaborative problem-solving. And what does collaboration depend on? Good communication.

Discussing your needs with your partner is typically the best place to begin. If you can’t communicate, you probably can’t explore needs fulfillment together.

Struggling to get started? Couple’s therapy can offer a safe, judgment-free space to begin talking through your concerns.

Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.

What do I want from a relationship and what do I really need?

Each of us has a certain unconscious matrix, according to which we choose a mate.

There are many different points of view on this subject. Psychoanalysts talk about the Oedipus or Electra complex, Bernese talk about the different kinds of games people play, and neuroscientists talk about biological comparability that starts with how much we like the smell of another person.

Our Basic Needs

In the previous article, I shared my vision of what couple relationships are created for today.

Attention, Appreciation, Challenge and Support are those Basic needs that accompany a person throughout life and are fundamental to the creation and development of relationships. At the same time, it is important to understand that the imbalance of these values ​​leads to what we call cooling, disappointment and, in the end, the destruction of ties between partners (and I am now talking about a wider context than romantic relationships, I observe the same trends in business partnership). nine0003

Working with people and watching the ups and downs of my acquaintances and clients, I notice that in their lives with enviable regularity, the following story happens: a person is looking for his soul mate, looking for, looking for, choosing for a long time and, finally, he finds. They liked each other, began to live together, and here it turns out that, despite the compliance with all external, social parameters and even intellectual characteristics, what a person feels when he or she is next to such a partner is not quite what he or she aspired to . How does this work and what can be done about it? nine0003

Nothing is as valuable as Attention

The first step to creating a relationship is Attention. Or rather, the same Exceptional attention, which, like the rays of a warm and gentle sun, we direct to a partner at the beginning of a relationship. In these rays, a person wants to reveal his best sides, demonstrate his most outstanding abilities, in general, Become the Best Version of Himself.

Many of us are familiar with this feeling, it comes at the very first stage of a relationship, when we are in love and when we struggle to get our partner's love in return. This is a delightful feeling - the eyes are burning, the extra pounds are melting before our eyes, the energy is gushing out and we see only the best manifestations in the partner. And this is how we experience being in love on an emotional level. nine0003

Falling in love on an MRI

Neurobiologically speaking, we are in a hormonal storm at this moment with an incredible cocktail of dopamine, adrenaline, endorphin and oxytocin (responsible for feelings of anticipation, excitability, pleasure and connection).

The combination of these hormones, raging in the blood at the mere mention of a lover, manifests itself on dynamic MRI in the form of flashes of brain activity comparable to the northern lights. Added to this are endogenous (formed in the body itself) opiates, which make us insensitive to physical discomfort. At this moment, the most delightful epithets are born in relation to each other, the need for hugs, kisses, sex, just time spent together increases dramatically. People at this moment strive for Merging (You’re my heart, You’re my soul / You are my heart. You are my soul) and see only that:

a) what they like, admire, appreciate,

b) how they are similar.

Roughly speaking, the limbic brain, which is responsible for social connections and the emotions that these connections form and strengthen, takes power in its hands, and the neocortex, which is responsible for logic and critical thinking, nervously smokes in the corridor.

The first stage is the foundation of relationships

The first stage is incredibly important for the entire subsequent history of relationships. It is at this time that the very connection is created that makes the relationship with this particular person exclusive, fundamentally different from all others. It is very curious how the free-form biblical text “leave yourselves from your father and mother and cleave to your wife your husband” describes this. nine0003

I can't!

People who have difficulty making unique bonds tend to have traumatic events in their personal history, such as the loss of a parent in early childhood, or have been institutionalized, or have been placed in a situation where their parents' undivided love and attention were unavailable for various reasons, for example, due to a serious illness or the loss of someone close.

For people with a similar life history, on the one hand, it is very difficult to trust someone and show love, on the other hand, having trusted, they quite often fall into co-dependent relationships, in an unconscious attempt to compensate for what was not received in childhood . nine0003

When entering into a relationship, it is very important to be aware of what kind of baggage of family stories you come into it with. What do you want in a relationship for yourself and what do you really need. It is also important to be aware of what you want to offer your partner. And this is fundamentally different from the wish-list I sometimes hear in client work.

He must be…

She must be…

At the same time, people rarely realize what true needs are behind these wishes. What they really need. nine0003

For example, girls often express their desire to have a strong and reliable person by their side. What could this really mean?

Option 1: I was not loved as a child.

If a young woman experienced emotional rejection as a child at such a request, she will become attached to any man who is persistent enough to hold her on his knees and hug her, falling asleep, often showing insensitive or even abusive treatment of her at other times. Her inner child wants so much "on the handles" that for a long time she is not able to appreciate the real emotional or even physical threat posed by such a partner. nine0003

The true need for this girl is that she can be in a relationship where the partner is ready to take on quite a lot of the functions of a caring parent: be careful, affectionate, predictable and be able to form clear boundaries and be very emotionally sensitive in order to to do it very consistently but gently. The unconscious leading emotional need for such a person is Peace. And most often she will project this need in relation to a partner who may need something completely different. nine0003

Result: if she gets enough of this emotion, she will have the opportunity to “overgrow” this white spot in her personal history and grow emotionally for more mature partnerships.

Option 2: I need a sparring partner.

The same request (“I want a strong and reliable partner”) can be a socially successful and independent girl, who by this means a kind of sparring partner for her social achievements. Without realizing it, she will pay very little attention to finding and cultivating connection and commonality and will very quickly move on to the next stage of the relationship - Differentiation - seeing differences and managing them. nine0003

The true need in this case is to find a partner in life who can be challenged or given an impartial Estimate in person and who is ready to do it in response, since she sincerely believes that this is what close people are needed for - "saying unpleasant things to each other the truth, because others don't care."

Such a message is very often associated with the early maturation of a child, when life created such conditions where responsibility had to be taken and carried and there was no opportunity to complain or ask for help from loved ones. nine0003

Result. If a woman is not aware of this peculiarity of hers, he will be sincerely surprised that the relationship begins very violently, but then quickly stops. The leading emotional need for such a person, as a rule, is Interest and internal Drive. That is, she needs constant new intellectual or physical stimuli, and for this, the partner must develop an openness to new experience and a desire to constantly develop, learn and improve herself, you see, this is somewhat different than “strong and reliable”. nine0003

I gave these two examples in order to indicate the scale within which true requests can vary, which at the “want” level look quite similar. And of course, in reality, there are many more options.

For me, as a person and a specialist, it is important that people have a chance not just to fall in love, but to create relationships that have a much higher probability of success than 50/50. And yes, for this you need to learn to understand yourself and your true needs. By the way, this is no less important not only when choosing a partner, but also for choosing your life's work 😉 Different methods are good for this: from reading books and attending seminars to personal work with a coach. The main thing is that the result of this work should not be just a wow effect, but real changes at the level of beliefs and behavior, so that later it would not be "excruciatingly painful, for aimlessly lived years . .."

Four questions for realizing "What do I really need in a relationship?":

1) When a relationship is formed and developed in the most favorable way for me, what is it like?

2) In order for relationships to develop in the most favorable way for me, what should I be?

3) What Attention and Support from a partner do I need in order to become the person I want to be?

4) What Score, Challenge from a partner will be the most developing for me in our relationship? nine0003

Good luck in understanding yourself and what you really NEED!

Author Sabina Kulieva

4.9 7 votes

Article rating

Help the project - share the article in social networks! Thank you! :-)

12 signs of a healthy relationship | PSYCHOLOGIES


Man and woman Sex Relationship crisis

1. Love and care

The most important thing in a healthy relationship is sincere mutual love. Partners take care of each other both in words and in deeds, constantly demonstrating that they value and love each other.

2. Honesty

In a healthy relationship, partners do not lie to each other and do not hide the truth. Such relationships are transparent, there is no place for deceit in them.

3. Willingness to accept a partner as he is

You must have heard that you should not start a relationship hoping to change your partner over time. Whether it's a very serious problem like a drug addiction or something small like not washing the dishes all the time, if you expect him or her to behave differently, you're likely to be disappointed. nine0003

Yes, people can and do change, but they themselves must want it. You cannot force your partner to change, no matter how much you love them.

4. Respect

Mutual respect means that partners consider each other's feelings and treat their partner the way they would like to be treated. Respect allows you to exclude situations when it seems to one of the partners that the second one puts pressure on him or tries to manipulate him. They are ready to listen to each other and respect the point of view of their partner. nine0003

5. Mutual assistance

Partners have common goals. They don't try to put spokes in each other's wheels, they don't compete, they don't try to "beat" each other. Instead, mutual assistance and mutual support reign in the relationship.

6. Physical and emotional security

Partners do not feel wary or tense in each other's presence. They know that they can rely on a partner in any situation. They do not have to fear that their partner can hit them, yell at them, force them to do something they do not want, manipulate them, humiliate them or shame them. nine0003

7. Mutual openness

A sense of security allows you to fully open up to your partner, which, in turn, makes the relationship of partners deeper. They know they can share their deepest thoughts and secrets without fear of judgment.

8. Support for the partner's individuality

Healthy attachment of partners to each other does not prevent them from setting their own goals in life and achieving them. They have personal time and personal space. They support each other, are proud of each other, and are interested in each other's hobbies and passions. nine0003

9. Coincidence of expectations

When the expectations of partners differ greatly in terms of relationships, very often one of them is disappointed. It is important that the expectations of both are realistic and close to each other.

This concerns a variety of issues: how often they have sex, how they celebrate holidays, how much time they spend together, how they share household chores, and so on. If the views of partners on these and other issues differ greatly, it is very important to discuss the differences and find a compromise. nine0003

10. Willingness to forgive

In any relationship, partners sometimes misunderstand each other and hurt each other - this is inevitable. If the “guilty” partner sincerely regrets what happened and really changes his behavior, he should be forgiven. If partners do not know how to forgive, over time, relationships will collapse under the weight of accumulated grievances.

11. Willingness to discuss any conflicts and contradictions

It is easy to talk with your partner when everything is going well, but it is much more important to be able to constructively discuss any conflicts and grievances. In healthy relationships, partners always have the opportunity to tell each other what they are unhappy with or offended or disagree with - but in a respectful way. nine0003

They do not avoid conflicts and pretend that nothing has happened, but discuss and resolve conflicts.

12. The ability to enjoy each other and life

Yes, building relationships is work, but they should also bring joy. Why do we need a relationship if the partners are not happy with each other's company, if they cannot laugh together, have fun and generally have a good time?

Remember that in a relationship each of the partners not only takes something, but also gives. You have the right to expect your partner to comply with all of these rules, but you yourself must comply.

Learn more