“What is the one thing you would desire from a relationship in your wildest dreams?” That’s one of the first questions I ask my friends if they ever come to me for advice. Their replies rang from things like better communication to fewer fights to more help with the household chores or to simple friendship.
However, in the rare instances when I decided to dig deeper, every single one of my friends eventually realized that these smaller wants and needs were actually part of a bigger whole. They were part of the need to feel safe, protected, and cared for by their significant other.
This result isn’t exactly a surprise. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, every individual in the world requires love and safety in order to truly thrive and reach an ultimate point of self-actualization. All of us have this innate need to feel cherished and adored by our partners. So what actually holds back most couples from fulfilling this need?
Every relationship in the world is unique. Only you can identify what your relationship is truly about so I’m not going to try to pretend that I have the exact answer to this question. However, there are still some universal factors that might be keeping you and your partner back from truly feeling loved and cherished in this relationship.
1. You are holding on to some form of resentment.
When you start resenting your partner, your entire relationship gets surrounded by fear, anger, or even disgust. And this is exactly where it becomes impossible for you to actually sustain a close and intimate bond with your partner.
Resentment often stems from a feeling of being helpless or trapped. Step back and take a closer look at any resentment you might be holding towards your partner, and try to understand your own part in this situation.
For example, if you have started to feel like your partner’s life is more fun or easier than yours and you can’t help but resent him for it, then question yourself on the choices you have made in life- the ones that led you to this! And then think about all the choices you still have to reverse them.
2. You have a lack of self-love.
It’s extremely important to learn to meet your own needs before expecting someone else to meet them for you. Expecting a partner to fulfill all of your emotional and psychological needs will place an undue pressure on the entire relationship, on you and on your partner. Fortunately, the minute you learn to love yourself deeply, your partner’s love will start feeling like a bonus and not a necessity.
3. You keep withholding gratitude, grace, or forgiveness.
All of us are ‘perfectly imperfect’. This is why it is so important at times to show some grace by either offering or accepting a partner’s forgiveness. Always remember one thing: it is more important for you to build a bond with your life partner than it is for you to be right in a fight or an argument. Each time you give a bit of gratitude and appreciation to your significant other, you also provide them with the strength they require to protect, cherish and love you.
4. You haven’t been communicating openly.
Communication is never the only problem, in the same way that it isn’t the only solution to save your relationship. However, it is an extremely crucial means of building a strong connection with your partner.
The key towards becoming a good communicator is to truly understand your own true feelings and then find the courage to express them to your significant other. When you start expressing your feelings, you foster a feeling of trust and safety in your relationship, which (as you may have guessed) will lead to feeling loved and cherished.
5. You don’t have clarity about your own wants and needs.
No human in this world is capable of being a mind-reader, and your partner is no exception to this rule. However, even if they can’t exactly read your mind, they do still wish to understand you better.
And the only way you can make them know and understand what you want is if you have complete clarity about it. Understand your core values in life. Solidify and maintain you long-term goals. And truly identify the kind of support you would require from a partner.
6. You placed your relationship on the back burner.
It’s almost impossible to build an actual bond or connection with a person, or even feel cherished by them, if you’re not even spending any time together. Make sure that your partner and your relationships is one of the top priorities in life.
Take some time out every week to just connect with your partner, talk about your dreams and goals, discover something new about them, and support them through all their challenges and triumphs.
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