TABLE OF CONTENTS
The word “know” can mean being in a relationship with a person and being knowledgeable.
These two distinct meanings suggest that when we are in a relationship, our partner must understand us profoundly and that we are supposed to know everything about them as well.
Thus, according to this line of thought, we expect our partners to be able to identify and satisfy our needs because of their love for us.
How can this be when we all have difficulty knowing ourselves, and some obvious things are not necessarily evident to the other person?
When we first meet someone and try to connect, we ask each other many questions. We open ourselves up to the other person, sharing who we are and what we’re about. And in the excitement of new feelings and intimacy, we often prioritize pleasing and seducing our partner, not wanting to let them go.
It is what I refer to as the “honeymoon period,” where everything feels new and exciting. But this period of meeting, seduction, and curiosity for the other does not last. With time, the routine that settles in, the certainty of a well-established relationship, and the feeling of not having to prove anything to the other person for them to love us, we forget to ask questions.
Once we feel that a relationship is established, we can sometimes stop being curious about our partner and begin to expect everything from them. And as we continue to grow and evolve, our needs change too. It can lead to misunderstandings, frustrations, disappointments, unmet expectations, and other challenges that can create conflicts and widen the gap between partners, potentially leading to a loss of love and connection.
Just because we love someone doesn’t mean we become psychic and can read their minds. While being sensitive to them can help us understand their feelings, when our own emotions overwhelm us and we get caught up in our daily lives, we can lose the ability to know what is going on, not only for them but also for ourselves.
To avoid the painful consequences of believing that our partner should know what we need or how we feel, we must take responsibility for our well-being and the relationship’s health. Here are some tips to help you do that.
Get rid of your limiting beliefs.
Sometimes we hold limiting beliefs that can hurt our relationships, like the belief that our partner should know what we need or want if they love us. It creates unrealistic expectations and puts unnecessary pressure on the relationship.
To combat this limiting belief, we can turn it into a resource belief that empowers us and strengthens our relationship. For example, instead of assuming our partner should know, we can reframe it to something like, “My partner loves me and will be happy to know what’s important to me.”
This shift in perspective helps us take responsibility for our well-being and communicate more clearly and openly with our partner.
Take stock of your needs.
It’s helpful to identify your underlying needs to understand your frustrations in a relationship better and address it. For instance, if you’re upset with your partner for leaving their things lying around, it may indicate that your need for harmony is unmet. However, other needs could be involved, such as a desire for attention or feeling loved and valued.
By exploring and articulating the fundamental needs that are not met, you and your partner can work together to find a mutually satisfactory solution. It can lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying relationship overall.
Communicate your feelings and needs to your partner.
Communication is key in any relationship, but it can also be delicate. When expressing your feelings and needs to your partner, it’s important to avoid blaming or judging them for what you’re experiencing, and this can lead to defensiveness and hurt feelings.
Instead, approach the conversation from a place of vulnerability and openness. Share your feelings about the situation and what you need to feel better. A helpful tool for this is Nonviolent Communication (NVC), which emphasizes compassionate and empathetic communication.
Remember, your partner wants to hear what you say and understand your perspective. By sharing your thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental way, you increase the chances of being listened to and finding a mutually satisfactory solution. So don’t be afraid to speak up and express yourself; your relationship will thank you.
Cultivate the spirit of the early days.
It’s easy to expect your partner to be in tune with your needs, but how about you also showing interest in their feelings and needs? Even if they need to be made aware of what’s going on for you, you must remember that you might also neglect some of their essential needs.
To foster a deeper connection, try getting into the habit of asking your partner questions every day. By doing this, you can better understand their thoughts and feelings, and they can do the same for you. This exercise can lead to more intimacy and enthusiasm for nurturing your relationship.
Remember, a healthy relationship is a two-way street. Creating a solid and fulfilling bond takes effort and communication from both partners. By taking an active interest in each other’s needs, you can deepen your connection and create a more loving and supportive relationship. When is the last time you ask your partner a genuine, curious question?
Cultivate your spirit of gratitude.
Don’t wait for your partner to make you happy before expressing gratitude. Even misunderstandings, differences, and frustrations can be opportunities for growth and evolution in your relationship. These challenges are trials that can lead to positive changes and new possibilities, so it’s essential to be grateful for them.
Expressing gratitude for the little things that your partner does can help you see the best in even the most challenging situations. By focusing on the positive aspects of your relationship, you can transform your outlook and improve your connection.
Remember, gratitude is a powerful tool for cultivating a healthy and fulfilling relationship. By appreciating the good things in your partner and your relationship, you can create a more positive and loving dynamic that will benefit you both.
Everything I’ve just said applies whether it’s a friendly, professional, family, or romantic relationship. Even if no one can read our minds, we expect our loved ones to understand us. But again, we are all driven by different and complex needs that are often difficult to understand for others.
It’s unrealistic to expect someone to automatically know what you need at any given time, even if they know you well. To ensure your needs are met, communicate them clearly and directly to the people in your life and update them as needed. Your needs can change daily, and what you needed yesterday may differ from what you need today or tomorrow. By regularly expressing your needs and keeping your loved ones informed, you can work together to feel deeply understood, seen, and heard.
One final tip! When expressing your needs, please keep it straightforward. Overcomplicating things can lead to misunderstandings and confusion. Also, avoid blaming your partner, friend, or colleague for dissatisfaction. Instead, focus on communicating your needs and how they could help you meet them.
Taking responsibility for your own needs and communicating them in a clear and non-judgmental way allows you to feel more confident and connected with your loved ones. It opens the door to greater intimacy and understanding to create a stronger and more fulfilling relationship.