navigating differences in needs
The deeper two (or more) people go into learning about each other in the context of a romantic relationship, the more they begin to see the intricacies of individual needs. Beyond the facades lie emotional necessities that allow each individual to feel and do their best on an everyday basis. Upon beginning a relationship, many of these needs may not lie on the surface, and may not be communicated.
One person may need a certain amount of evenings to themselves, while another may feel content in constant company. Some may prefer to attend to hobbies and interests on weekday evenings and only spend time with the loved one(s) on the weekends.
Inherently, while individuals in a relationship sync up to each other's needs to a certain extent, they may still face the challenges of truly understanding and catering to each other's needs. These challenges come up at any point in a relationship and require a lot of energy to address.
Sometimes these needs can revolve around personal time, love languages, hobbies, living arrangements, and anything that concerns individual lives and is impacted by the romantic relationship.
What's important to acknowledge is that these challenges do not go away on their own. They are often negotiated between partners, addressed in detail, and probably revisited over time. While these conversations can get either easier or harder to have as time goes by, there are ways in which the couple can navigate this terrain without exacerbating stress or fueling an argument. There are ways to enable healthy and productive conversations.
That being said, it is okay for these conversations to feel uncomfortable and challenging. The more each person learns about one another, the better they understand how to communicate their feelings, address points of tension, and truly support their partner(s) in being vulnerable when communicating their needs.
“The most important thing in all human relationships is conversation, but people don’t talk anymore, they don’t sit down to talk and listen. They go to the theatre, the cinema, watch television, listen to the radio, read books, but they almost never talk. If we want to change the world, we have to go back to a time when warriors would gather around a fire and tell stories.”
― Paulo Coelho