Having had girlfriends and been married, I have come to see that I need 6 things in a relationship if it is to work for me.
Namely, I need to be respected, valued and appreciated. I also need for us to be a couple, I need her to express an interest in me, and I want us to be friends.
Now, while these things are important to me, they may not be important to you. And that's ok!
My point is that we need to know what we want in a relationship if we are to be happy in one.
Please understand, that there is a difference between needs and wants. And I don't necessarily advocate that a relationship should meet all our needs and wants, as some be just be baggage from our past.
In my last relationship, I did not have much of these 6 things and I became increasingly miserable.
In practical terms, I will outline below what I mean through the use of questions. Some of these questions will overlap between sections and that's ok.
In case you are wondering, these 6 things are things I expect of myself in an intimate relationship. If I cannot respect her, value her and appreciate her, then I am in the wrong relationship. It goes both ways as far as I am concerned.
While I speak as a man here, it shouldn't come as a surprise that women also want to be respected, valued and appreciated. They also want to be a couple, want someone who takes an interest in them, and want a friend in their partner. It does go both ways.
The problem is that we may not both agree on what it means to be respected, valued and appreciated.
And this is where communication is vital in a relationship. Communication that is not dismissive, judmental, over-reactive... but open, honest and supportive.
In other words, a communication that enables the relationship to work in that you are able to resolve issues together.
Does she see you both as a couple?
Does she see both of you as a couple?
Does she want both of you to do things together?
Does she invite you to her family functions?
Does she invite you to things she is involved in?
Are you a part of her whole life or just a limited part of it?
Are you in her outer circle or her inner circle?
Is the relationship about her or both of you?
Has she opened up all aspects of her life to you?
Does she appreciate you?
Is she grateful for who you are?
Is she grateful for what you bring to the relationship?
When you do something nice for her, does she start talking about herself?
Does she say 'thank you' when you do something?
Does she say 'thank you' when you give her a compliment?
Does she get annoyed by who you are and what you do?
Does she try to change you (your ways and your opinions)?
Does she express disapproval of the things you do or say?
Does she listen to you attentively, with her mind and heart?
Is she interested in who you are?
Does she take an interest in the things you say?
Does she take an interest in how your day was?
Does she listen to you just so she can take over the conversation?
Is she interested in all aspects of your life?
When you share something, does she ask follow up questions?
Does she value you?
Does she ask for your opinion?
Does she value your opinion?
Is she prepared to make changes to her attitude(s) for your benefit?
Does she have time for you?
Does she make time for you?
Does she consider your feelings?
Does she make allowances for you?
Does she apologize when she has done something wrong?
Does she always talk to you as if she knows better than you?
Does she allow you to be right when you are right?
Does she usually excuse herself (or blame you) when she has done something that has hurt you?
Does she let you watch the shows you want to watch on TV?
Does she want to spend time with you?
Does she see you as equally important as she is?
Does she care about your emotional needs?
Does she care about your physical needs?
Does she have double standards with you?
Is the relationship almost always about her?
Is she happy to make compromises for your benefit?
Is she demanding?
Does she talk down to you?
Does she think that she is better than you?
Is the relationship primarily about having her needs met?
Does she decide the terms of the relationship?
Does she treat others better than you?
Does she wholeheartedly support you when you have a problem?
Does she belittle or ridicule you when you raise issues about your relationship?
Does she remember everything you have ever done wrong?
Does she frequently bring up the things you have done wrong in the relationship?
Are you free to express your feelings?
Are you afraid of her? Afraid of her reactions? Afraid of being judged?
Does she see you as her friend?
Does she see you and treat you as a friend?
Does she share with you things about her day?
Does she ask your advice?
Does she value your advice?
Does she treat others better than she treats you?
Does she make all the decisions in the relationship?
Is she happy to do things you want to do?
Does she try to understand you?
Does she support you emotionally?
When you go out together, does she spend all her time with her friends?
Does she confide in you?
Does she turn to you for comfort and support?
Is she happy to comfort and support you?
Does she respect you?
Does she listen to you when you talk?
Does she take an interest in the things you say?
Does she respect your feelings?
Does she say 'please' and 'thank you'?
Does she speak for you?
Are you free to have your own opinion?
Does she yell at you?
Is she impatient with you?
Is she critical of you?
Is she intolerant of you?
Does she cut you off when you are talking?
Does she contradict you in public?
Does she embarrass you in public?
Does she correct you continously?
Are you free to have your own friends?
Are you free to have your own likes and dislikes?
Do you have to ask her permission before you can do something?
Does she judge you?
Does she decide for you?
Does she involve you in decisions that affect you?
So, to answer the question that is the title of this CheatSheet, YES you do need to know what you want in a relationship. Otherwise, you may end up in a relationship that does not work for you, as has happened to me.
Liking/loving someone is not enough because we both are imperfect beings. We need to be able to live with them day-by -day and accept them unconditionally.
We all have needs. And when it comes to an intimate relationship, we need our needs to be met if we are to be happy in that relationship.
It has taken me a long time to finally know what I need in a relationship.
I will add one more thing I need in a relationship: being able to work with her to make it work.
For me, that means that I need someone who is gracious, approachable, patient, understanding, supportive and forgiving. And again, I expect myself to be the same with her. Otherwise, I am in the wrong relationship.
Unfortunately for me, I seem to be attracted to the wrong type of women: strong-willed, self-willed, very independent and stubborn who think they know better than me.
While it may be argued that there is nothing wrong with women (or men) being that way, they are not the type of women I feel I can work with to make a relationship work.
But, that's me!
I have a very sensitive nature and my 6 things are my 6 things.
You may very well have 6 different things based on who you are and what you have been through.
And that's ok! I do not intend for my 6 things to be your 6 things.
We all need to determine what is important for us in a relationship.
What 6 things are important to you in a relationship?
Are these 6 things deal breakers if they don't exist in the relationship? YES / NO
Can you explain in practical terms what each of the 6 things are? (same as I did with the questions above)