Everyone has different priorities when it comes to relationships.
Whether you want someone who can give you great advice or make you laugh during tough moments, you have expectations. Once you get to know someone who meets those expectations, you might think you’ve got it all.
And while your partner’s qualities may look great on paper, it’s important to recognize that there’s more to a relationship.
The ability to meet your emotional needs is an essential trait that your significant other must possess.
Most human beings tend to gravitate to the same basic necessities in relationships – such as attention, volition, connection, security, and independence – to name a few.
However, each individual has different emotional needs and unique values, and every person also has their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to meeting those needs for their partners.
Expecting your partner to fulfill every single one of your emotional needs is unrealistic – especially if the relationship is new.
But your partner should support you in the ways that matter most to you. If you’re experiencing issues in your relationship, you might chalk it up to behavioral problems and move on.
However, these problematic interactions are often triggered by unmet emotional needs. Here are 6 signs to watch out for:
1. You Daydream Often.
It’s normal to daydream about the future.
You might think about the adventures you want to plan, the places you’d like to live, the experiences that are yet to come. When you’re happy in your relationship, your partner will be in those daydreams.
And when you’re not so happy, your plans for the future will start to branch off from the life you have with your significant other.
If your emotional needs – whatever they may be – aren’t being met, then your mind will escape reality by daydreaming more and more.
If you frequently fantasize about life apart from your partner, your dreams may include experiences where you do feel emotionally fulfilled.
If you feel more satisfied in your imagination than in reality, your relationship is not meeting your most important emotional needs.
2. Your Relationship Lacks Affection.
When you think of affection, your mind may turn to physical intimacy. And yes, that’s a part of it – but it’s only a part.
Most of a couple’s affection should be more innocent. Think of comforting gestures like long hugs, cuddling in front of the TV, or holding hands.
If your relationship used to be full of those affectionate acts but isn’t anymore, a lack of physical touch could be a sign that your emotional needs aren’t being met. It could even be a cause.
Intimate interactions release oxytocin in the brain, which helps strengthen emotional bonds.
When you cuddle with your partner, your mind experiences greater emotional wellbeing. Without this form of attention, you – and your relationship – can suffer.
3. You Don’t Communicate.
Communication is essential for any relationship. When you can’t talk about your problems and emotions openly in a relationship, it creates even bigger issues.
Your partner (most likely) can’t read your mind. And you shouldn’t expect them to. If there’s an issue, you can work it out with clear communication.
When you and your significant other can (and do) express your emotions and try to understand each other, you’ll find solutions to your problems together.
Talking to each other isn’t always easy – even in a healthy and fulfilling relationship. But you have to do it.
Without clear communication, you’ll never reach resolutions to your issues. If you and your partner don’t talk about the important issues, then one of your most basic emotional needs is not being met.
This is a huge red flag that your relationship is unsustainable. Without communication, your relationship will fill with bitterness – and, ultimately, fail.
4. You Usually Feel Resentment.
When you feel resentment, you might identify it as irritability, bitterness, anger, or another disgruntled emotion.
Whatever you choose to call this level of negativity, if you feel this way most of the time, it’s a sign that your partner isn’t meeting your emotional needs. Do you feel lonely or unseen?
Then, the source of resentment could come from feeling neglected. You might need to ask your partner for more support or validation.
No matter what the source of the problem is, if you don’t keep your bitterness in check, it will transform into hatred and destroy your relationship.
If you’re not entirely sure of where you stand on this matter, pay attention to your instinctual responses to your partner.
Do you usually respond with patience and kindness, or do you treat them harshly?
Try to notice these small behaviors – because they can reveal how you really feel in your relationship.
5. You Avoid People.
If you’ve started to withdraw from the people you care about the most, then you might be feeling stuck inside of an unfulfilling relationship.
This avoidance could stretch from your partner to your friends and family – and even to ordinary interactions with strangers.
You might find yourself unwilling to engage in social activities. This could include light-hearted conversations, making plans with friends, and even basic exchanges regarding errands.
As time goes on and your relationship problems go unresolved, you’ll begin living in your own world. Isolated from those you used to be close to, you’re more likely to start chronically daydreaming.
6. You Often Confide in Others.
And Not Your Partner The last red flag that your relationship isn’t meeting your emotional needs is that you frequently confide in other people about your intimate problems.
It’s completely normal and healthy to seek out the advice of your trusted friends regarding big decisions or difficult emotions in your life. However, this becomes an issue when you vent to your friends all the time.
You can also spot this problem when you’d rather talk about your issues with people you don’t know very well than your significant other.
It’s another sign that your emotional needs aren’t being met, and it signals a serious roadblock for your relationship.
If you’re determined to maintain a healthy relationship, you can’t downplay the importance of your emotional needs. Your relationship must meet more than your physical desires. It needs to be emotionally fulfilling to give you a sense of wellbeing.
Don’t lose hope if you’ve realized that your relationship isn’t meeting your needs – most of the time, you can work through your issues with your partner.
Now, that being said, it is important to realize when you’re with someone who isn’t willing to solve problems with you. If your partner doesn’t want to put the work in, you can’t force them to.
But you can, and should, establish communication before giving up. The most important aspect of talking through your problems – especially regarding your emotional needs in the relationship – is being calm when you do it.
If one or both of you starts to feel irritated during the conversation, it’s time for a break. Criticism isn’t always easy to digest, and if you’re both angry, you’ll struggle to make progress.
Avoid attacking or accusing your partner, and don’t frame the conversation in terms of their failure.
Instead, you should focus on how you feel and how they can help you feel better.
Keep in mind that your partner is likely trying their best. They may not know how to support you because no one ever taught them how to.
The best way to approach this situation is by looking at it from an outside perspective. Rather than taking their actions as personal offenses, observe their behaviors, and think about why they act that way.
Then, you can approach them with a deeper understanding when you discuss your specific needs. If your partner shuts you out at first, it may be because they feel overwhelmed. You can help them by focusing on only one concern at a time.
Preface the conversation by explaining the importance of both your feelings and theirs. You can also emphasise how being more supportive of one another can help you create a closer connection.
Have you experienced any of these warning signs in a relationship that didn’t meet your emotional needs?