All relationships are not created equal, but for most couples, there are some basic emotional needs in a relationship that need to be met for it to prosper.
All romantic and even non-romantic relationships are built on emotions. When these emotional needs in a relationship are met, you feel a connection with someone and that grows to develop into a relationship.
From there, those emotions grow from like to love and to trust. These things then become a part of your daily life. You respect each other and listen to each other and those things are needed for you to be happy together.
When you or your partner are incapable of meeting those emotional needs in a relationship, things can go south very fast. Distrust, resentment, and disrespect are just some of the things that can arise when a couples’ emotional needs aren’t met.
What are emotional needs in a relationship?
Emotional needs differ for everyone. What some people need, others may not and vice versa. Emotional needs in a relationship are not just things you need from your partner, but what you give each other.
These are not just things like trust, respect, and communication. They are not things you want, like your partner to be home for dinner every night.
Emotional needs are essential requirements for you in order to feel fulfilled and satisfied with your relationship. And these will be different for everyone.
For someone that is confident in their self-esteem, they may not need reassurance in a relationship but rather independence and trust. Someone who does struggle with trust issues though, might need verbal reassurance and appreciation.
For instance, I couldn’t be happy in a relationship without feeling safe with my partner. My #1 emotional need is safety and security when we are together. I need to know I can have a panic attack or get sick and still have them be there for me. ??These emotional needs are often created from past relationships or even childhood. I have been left when showing an ex what my anxiety can be like, so in order to feel secure in a relationship I need to know I can have those moments and still rely on my partner.
If you were abandoned by a parent at a young age, one of your emotional needs may be independence. You may need a relationship that thrives when you’re together but doesn’t let your entire life and self-worth depend on your partner.
Emotional needs in a relationship are what keep both partners happy together, even if each individual partner has their own unique needs.
The most important emotional needs in a relationship
Some people put a lot of pressure on their relationship to meet all of their emotional needs. The thing is, all of our emotional needs cannot be met by one person. That is why we have family and friends and jobs outside of our relationships.
These relationships offer us accomplishment, loyalty, and pride separate from our romantic relationships. But, when you are in a relationship, certain emotional needs do need to be met in order for that relationship to add to your life instead of draining it.
Although these may not be true for every person and every couple, these are some of the most important one, and are common emotional needs in a relationship.
#1 Trust. Every relationship requires trust to function healthily. Trust is not something that just happens in a relationship. It needs to be nurtured and taken care of. Trust is an emotional need because without it both partners can feel resentful, jealous, skeptical, and suspicious.
These things lead a relationship to become stressful rather than a means to deal with outside stress.
#2 Comfort. Comfort in a relationship is similar to security or safety. In most relationships, or I should say, healthy relationships, both partners need to be able to be themselves in order to be fulfilled.
Emotional needs like comfort come with time. You should be able to relax and turn off around your partner without fear of judgment.
#3 Power. I know that power is an iffy word when it comes to relationships. People talk about who has the most power, but when I say power, I mean a balance of it. The emotional need of power means you feel you have a say in decisions.
Most people need to feel that their opinion matters and that they have some control over what they do together. Without that, relationships can easily become one-sided and dysfunctional.
#4 Intimacy. Of course, all relationships are different, but a certain level of intimacy comes with all of them. Whether it means cuddling on the sofa, having sex, or just sharing a hug, this is something most romantic relationships need, to last.
When you see an elderly couple that has been together for 50+ years still flirting and holding hands, that is intimacy. When you crawl out of bed in the morning and your boyfriend pulls you back just for one more kiss, that is intimacy. These are the things that keep the spark alive.
#5 Attention. As humans, we all seek attention. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, we all seek attention, especially in a romantic relationship. You want to know that your partner is giving you undivided attention. This shows that they care about you and are making you a priority.
Without attention, the emotional needs in a relationship can become overwhelmed by external things like work, friends, and stress.
#6 Privacy. Even with trust and transparency, an emotional need of most relationships is privacy. In most cases, you cannot have privacy without trust and vice versa. The thing about trust is that it isn’t all about communication but it thrives on faith.
Privacy is a part of independence and individuality in a relationship and you need privacy for that.
#7 Companionship. Yes, even romantic relationships require companionship. It isn’t all about passion and sparks. A lot of relationships are built on shared and enjoyed company. Even with intimacy and comfort, companionship is a human need we all crave.
You want to have human interaction whether it is deep insightful conversations, crude jokes, or silently sitting together watching TV.
#8 Commitment. Commitment means something different to everyone. Some commit while keeping things open and others believe in monogamy. There is no wrong way to commit, but commitment is usually something all relationships need.
It can be considered an obligation but mostly, commitment is an equal level of agreed-upon dedication to each other. Commitment is an emotional need in a relationship, and without it, most couples are not on the same page.
#9 Value. Knowing you matter to your partner is so vital. You know how you feel about them, but it is an emotional need in a relationship to understand your value. You have to know your place is important to them.
This can be offered with a simple thank you for some and others need more. Most of us need to know our partner appreciates us for what we do and that we are there. Without that, we are stuck in relationship limbo.
These emotional needs in a relationship are vital to the health and happiness of everyone involved. If you can make sure these 9 fundamentals are met and prioritized, a relationship can be an unending source of joy.