Jackie Schwartz, LMFT
Be What You Need in Your Relationship
As a couple's therapist, I constantly hear about men and women not getting what they want, need or desire in their relationships. I hear people say things like “I wish we were playful like we used to be "or “I miss the sexual/ passionate relationship that we used to have''.
It’s very easy to get lost in one’s daily rituals and routines where we focus on careers, kids, bills, and various activities of daily living where we lose the parts of ourselves that promoted love and sexual attraction. When we stop doing the things that promote love and attraction, we may come to believe that these parts of the relationship are lost.
The following is a formula that seems to plague many relationships: Absence of a behavior (being playful and initiating sex) + lack of vulnerability + time = loss of connection/loss of hope. I think this confuses people into believing their partner has changed for the worst when in fact, their partner is likely missing those very same things that are missing.
So, what is a couple to do!?
Well, the first step to take is to think about what is missing in your relationship; take an inventory of what you want or need by making a list. Identify which of those wants/needs you prioritize over others; this will inform you of your core needs versus more flexible needs. Our core needs are likely things that we need met because they are a part of our deeper self and connected to our value and belief system.
Once you become aware of your prioritized needs, be sure to tell your partner. Remember to be clear and specific in stating your needs and don’t expect your partner to be a mind reader. When your partner is aware of what you want and need you have a higher likelihood of getting your needs met.
In addition to stating your needs, it’s just as important TO BE WHAT YOU NEED.
For example, if being playful and silly is something that you identified as a core need, then this is likely an inherent part of your personality. If so, go ahead and be that part of yourself!
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable to put yourself out there regardless of what you partner may or may not say. Now of course you want to stay within reason regarding your timing but go on and be authentic to this part of yourself and model what you need; set the standard and BE WHAT YOU NEED. Not only are you honoring yourself by emulating what's important to you but you are also setting your partner up for success because you are demonstrating a behavior that your partner likely values and misses as well.
Sometimes we need to see our partner be what’s missing in the relationship to gain a sense of permission to access that part of ourselves as well. The conclusion is to recognize what you need, state your needs and to be what you need so that connection can be restored or improved.
For more help with your relationship visit my page at Jackie Schwartz, LMFT. If you're ready to invest in your relationship, contact me at 954-391-5305.
I offer sessions at our beautiful offices in east Fort Lauderdale location as well as phone and video sessions through a secure platform HIPAA compliant platform.