Core Relationship Needs
In every couple, there are fundamental needs and practices that take place in order to nourish a growing and connected relationship. Without these practices, couples face challenges in communication, connection and intimacy, ultimately affecting the health and wellness of their relationships.
Below are some of the core needs a relationship thrives on that sets the stage for a long and fulfilled relationship.
Need #1: Safety
Safety is the foundation for a relationship. It provides the space to challenge, grow and thrive not only as individuals but as a couple. Safety however, goes beyond the essentials of trust and love and focuses on the integral need for honesty, vulnerability and validation. Safety comes in the form of being able to genuinely and authentically express yourself with your person. Partners nourish connection and intimacy when they can express themselves honestly without fear that their partners will judge them, violate their vulnerability, or lead to conflict. Safety creates a reciprocal cycle of expression and compassion.
Need #2: Compassion and grace
When safety is established and strong, in a likely event that a misstep or accident happens, couples have the ability to move through obstacles with grace and compassion. Partners can make mistakes without fearing judgment or critisicm which nourishes honesty and vulnerability. “If I can make a mistake and you don’t hold it over me or ridicule me for it, I can be more authentically honest with you.”
Need #3: Shame free feedback
When compassion is present and vulnerability is respected, partners can expect shame free feedback. Feedback that is encouraging, supportive, and constructive verusus shaming, blaming, and contemptuous. “I can make a mistake and not be made to feel like the mistake, or feel criticized or blamed.”
Need #4: Threat-less conflit
When mistakes or conflicts arise, another need involves the ability to have conflict without it threatening the relationship. Every couple will see low’s and struggles. Being able to move through the struggle with compassion, honesty and safety removes the fear that each fight or argument will lead to the end of the relationship. Safety gives space for partners to know they can have differing opinions, differing beliefs, and make mistakes all the while knowing their relationship is not on its last thread.
Need #5: Atunement
Atunement is the curiousity couples bring towards each others emotions, thoughts and needs. When someone feels like their partner is interested in their thoughts, emotions, life goals etc., it feeds intimacy and creates deeper connection all while providing the undivided attention every individual craves and needs in their relationships.
Need #6: Supporting the dreams
Through atunement, you may uncover deeper dreams and aspirations in your partner. When safety as mentioned above, is strong in a couple, an individual can dream and aspire towards different goals. Dreams that are supported and encouraged highlight the strength between partners as well as boosts individuals’ confidence, self-esteem and independence.
These core needs speak to the complex nature of a thriving relationship. Some go hand in hand while others form the foundations for which to grow on. Which “core needs” are present in your relationship? Which areas need some attention?
Understading that some areas may need some attention does not mean your relationship is lacking but rather has room for potential and growth.
If you are in need of counseling for relationships and are in the Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Alliance, Texas areas, reach out today.