But he NEVER meets my needs!
This is an important topic for many, many women. As the nurturers of society, we tend to put others first. Our relationships, our children if we have them, the project we are working on for our boss, even our dog.
One of the most important things I learned while becoming a counsellor, and even more important, in becoming a wife, was having equal consideration for myself and others.
For some, this would mean to learn to be more considerate of how we impact other people in our lives, for all of us, there are certainly areas we can improve. For many, many women I find it most often that we need to learn to consider ourselves in equal measure to everything and everyone else in our lives.
This doesn’t just mean doing the usual things that you think of when you hear people talk about self care. With those things, I think about taking a bubble bath, getting a massage or sitting and reading a good book.
What I’m talking about is different. What I’m talking about is when you are in a relationship (this applies to all relationships, not just romantic ones), and you are the one that tends to give more than the other person. You make dinners, you always make the plans for date night, you spend your time the way the other person wants more than the way you want, if you share your money-he always gets what he wants and you don’t, you essentially make most of the effort or sacrifice in the relationship.
The catch is, after a while, when your efforts aren’t reciprocated, you resent it. And then you become the victim to your inconsiderate bad boyfriend.
The catch is, we set ourselves up for disappointment. We don’t sit back long enough for the other person to realize there is no date night planned so they can step in. We also don’t ask for what we want.
The things we don’t say are:
“You know, I’d love it if you would plan date night this week and surprise me by just letting me know the date and time and I’ll be ready to go.
I really don’t want to watch hockey on Saturday night, and I know the game is important to you. I’m going to go out with my girlfriends and I’ll be home later.
I know that you really want to spend that money on a __________, but what we really need is a ___________. Can we talk about this and make the decision together?
It seems like you’re really having fun at this party, but I’m just exhausted. I’m going to head home and I’ll see you there later.
I remember the first time an old roommate of mine came home early from a date with her guy. She said they had been out with his friends and she wasn’t having much fun, so she came home. My jaw dropped to the floor. Never in my life would it have occurred to me to do that. I would either have bugged him until he took me home, or I would have sacrificed myself by putting a smile on my face and pretending I was having a good time, but seething about it later and making sure he paid for it.
No wonder men get confused about why we are mad at them sometimes.
Asking for our needs to be met can be challenging, especially when it feels uncomfortable because we’re not used to doing it and we may not know what our mates’ reaction will be. Sometimes, because we are so used to denying our own needs, we don’t even know what they are anymore.
Here’s a tip: whenever you find yourself upset in your relationship it’s because you want something or have a need that isn’t being met. So, ask yourself the question, what is it that I want right now? This will start getting you in touch with what your needs are.
For me, just knowing that I had the option to go home if I wasn’t having a good time with my guy was enough. It gave me the wherewithal to stay longer, knowing I could leave at any time.
This is a long, involved process and not one you will change overnight. As I say with everything, the more you take steps toward these kinds of changes, the more you learn to love yourself, which, ultimately, is the real goal in the first place.
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