Picking up from where we left in the last blog — For most romantic relationships to start, the first thing that kicks in is hormones. Next is a need that is being met (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual). The third step is understanding and appreciating the good in the other person, respecting them — when we reach the third stage in a relation, it gets more beautiful, productive, and lasting. So, we move from a state of pleasure to a state of dependence, to a state of enablement.

There’s one common cause however, that hinders relationships at times. In the initial stages, relationships fulfill some needs. In time, we move on to other things and might miss out on fulfilling those needs. We might move to fulfill wants. All in good faith and best intentions. But that’s when dissatisfaction creeps in. For example, your spouse might need a specific object, let’s say a functional item for everyday use. You don’t agree with that. You feel it is not required. And you instead get them something much bigger, better and more expensive. However, you might not get the reaction you hoped for. They might not jump out of joy. They might go on the reverse and question your judgment as to what made you buy such a thing and create a waste when you could’ve done with something much smaller and more functional.

Two things happen then – you may get a sense of not being appreciated for your larger than life gesture. The other person might get a sense of not being understood well. Over time, with growing instances, dissatisfaction grows, unless both make a conscious effort to explain their understanding and clarify. And also, learn to respect the needs before progressing to wants. If you do a great job or taking care of needs, there won’t be much to complain even if you don’t fulfill wants — because there will be a level of understanding in the relationship that you are always giving your best.

Most people who complain, do so because their basic needs haven’t been met. And that unconsciously plays on their mind and makes them shoot out in all other directions. An awareness of what are your needs will greatly help. Most of us aren’t even aware of what we need. Hence we get frustrated and can’t communicate our frustration in a manner that is easily understood by others. So, it is important to understand what are the basic needs that absolutely matter. Communicate that to your partner and help them understand what’s important about it. Don’t blame them or hold them responsible, however. State your needs without saying that they have to fulfill all of it. And more importantly, first, seek to understand what are their needs and how can you meet them. Once you help people understand, (in a non-threatening and kind way), they are more likely to respond appropriately. And even if they don’t, you will be more aware of what exactly is bothering you and will be able to communicate that in the right way.

Needs are necessities that help us function. Wants are nice to have but don’t prevent our capacity to function. To have a beautiful relationship with yourself too, understand what are your needs and how can you fulfill your needs. Self-love and care begin there.

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