How to know what you want in a relationship

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How to know what you want in a relationship

Everyone has different psychological needs that must be identified and met. The thing is, if we don’t meet our needs, we won’t be satisfied and happy in a relationship.

Even though it’s critical to identifying our needs, it can sometimes be a little puzzling to do. Sometimes we’re not very sure what we want exactly.
This article will help show you how you can discover and identify them confidently.

What do you really want

Many have actually gone through this step already.
Which is writing down what you think you want in a relationship.
If you haven’t yet, you must know that it’s an essential thing to start with in order to understand what you want.

While you write your list, it’s important that you make sure you separate between what is vital for you to have (what you can’t go without) from the rest of the list. Maybe you would want to have this in a different color as you them write down. (see also This is why you should write a plan)

The reason for this is that this way you at least know what you absolutely shouldn’t go without in a relationship. Many people don’t do this step of taking the time to specify in details because it could be a bit of an effort to them, and as a result, understanding themselves and the relationship becomes very confusing.

Make sure your list includes the following categories:

-Characteristics that you want in a partner.
-Certain physical appearance that you want.
-Certain behaviors that you wish were existent in the relationship. (Example: spend time with you, respectful communication, talk things through to find solutions, etc…)
-Social standard or background
-Values that he/she should have

If you absolutely don’t know what to write, one way to do it is to think of what you absolutely don’t want and write the opposite. By finding out what you don’t want, you figure out what you need in a relationship to avoid it. (see also How messed up relationships affect mate choice)

Let your list evolve
Now that you’ve done this list, is that it?
No. Think how we’ve advanced with transportation over time, now we have planes and it takes us a few hours to travel from one continent to another.

So my point here is, after you have created your list keep adjusting it from what you see happening around you and from what you personally experience.

Sometimes you watch a couple that you like and see something that they do that you would definitely want in your relationship as well, add that. Sometimes you would watch other people do things to each other that you dislike, or even experience something that happens to you and you realize you should avoid, write that as well. (see also Why some people never learn from their mistakes)

Never stop tweaking your list. It’s exactly like finding out what your favorite color is. You see many colors and suddenly at some point you see one color and realize how much you like it. The primary list that you have created in step 1 will be an infrastructure that you should continue to build on and fine-tune.

Match the choices with the needs
How do you use this list once you find a person that you like?
Well, if you are very lucky, and hope you will be, you will find someone who you can achieve with all the things you both want in a relationship.

But what if this person doesn’t have exactly what you want, do you let this person go?
No, but depends. Remember in step 1 when I told you to separate your vital needs from your wants in a different color? (see also The difference between wanting someone and needing someone)

Now, this will come in handy. You need to make sure that these things you wrote in color are met, because if they are not and you are not meeting your needs, you won’t be satisfied in the relationship later on.

Never compromise your needs. You can compromise your wants for a wonderful person, but never your needs. If you need to work on yourself a bit more to attract this sort of person, start now. Otherwise follow your list, especially the ones in color.

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