Here is a list of the most important emotional needs with brief information about each.
1) Sexual fulfillment – We often confuse sex with affection. Affection is an act of love that is nonsexual and can be received from friends, relatives, children and even pets. However, acts that can show affection, such as hugging and kissing, that are done with a sexual motive are actually sex, not affection.
2) Conversation – Conversation is not a need that can only be met exclusively in marriage. Our need for conversation can be ethically met by almost anyone. But it is one of your most important emotional needs, romantically speaking, whoever meets it best you will likely fall in love with.
3) Recreational Companionship – This combines two needs into one. The need to engage in recreational activities and the need to have a companion. During your courtship, you and your partner were probably each others favorite recreational companions. It’s not uncommon for women to join men in hunting, fishing, watching football, or other activities the would never choose on their own. The same is true for men. Shopping centers are not unfamiliar to men in love. Unless your like me, I hate shopping and love to fish, camp, hike and watch football.
4) Honesty and Openness – Most of us want an honest relationship with our partner. But some of us have a need for such a relationship because honesty and openness give us a sense of security. To feel secure we want accurate information about our partners thoughts, feelings, habits, likes, dislikes, personal history, daily activities and plans for the future.
5) An attractive spouse – For many people, physical appearance can become one of the greatest sources of love and pain. If you have this need, an attractive person will not only get your attention, but may distract you from whatever you’re doing. (this is actually called womanly power, which is covered in my book.) Be cautious if you have this need and it seems stronger than others, as this is a superficial need, it is the attractor but to have a firm and solid relationship there must be more.
6) Financial support – Part of the reason some people marry is for money. Yes, even men do it! So what constitutes financial support? Having enough money to buy anything and everything you want on a whim or having just enough to pay the bills and get buy? Different couples will tell you different things as this need is different for everyone. Your own analysis will help you determine if you have a need for financial support.
7) Domestic support – The need for domestic support is a time bomb. At first it seems irrelevant, a throwback to more primitive times. But for many couples, the need explodes after a few years of marriage, surprising both people in the relationship. In earlier generations it was assumed that the man would work and provide for the family and the women would be in charge of the house and rearing of the children. Times have changed, and needs have changed along with them. Now many men stay home and women are the providers. The key to success here is that both partners have the willingness to do what it takes to balance work and home. Discuss what needs to be done and who is to handle it.
8) Family commitment – In addition to a greater need for income and domestic responsibilities, the arrival of children creates in many people the need for family commitment. Again, if you don’t have children yet or your children are grown, you may not sense this need or may not be to worried about it. Family commitment is not just child care, feeding, clothing or watching. It is a responsibility for the development of the children, teaching them the values of life.
8) Admiration – If you have the need for admiration, you may have fallen in love with your partner partly because of his or her attention and compliments to you. Some people just love to be told that they are appreciated. Your partner may also have been careful not to criticize you. If you have a need for admiration, criticism may hurt you deeply. Many of us have a deep desire to be respected, valued and appreciated by our partners. Appreciation is one of the easiest needs to meet.
Monday I will provide you with the Emotional needs questionnaire. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact me here.
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Till next time,