The key to creating and maintaining a happy relationship can be summed up in one word: Balance. There needs to be balance in all things and one couple’s picture of balance will look different from another’s based on the strength of each individual’s needs. Each couple’s fulcrum will be placed at a different point on the balance beam. Knowing the Difference: Healthy Or Dysfunctional [EXPERT]
The first step to achieving balance is for each of the people in the relationship to recognize their personal needs—to know thyself, so to speak. Everybody is born with five basic psychological needs—the need for connection, significance, survival, freedom and enjoyment. At different points in our life, and sometimes even in our day, different needs will become more important to us, however, we have a general overarching need-strength profile which stays relatively constant throughout our lives. How Compatible Are You And Your Partner [EXPERT]
More from YourTango: Forgiveness
When two people with a high connection need get together, their balance will look different from a couple that both have high freedom needs, or a couple with one high connection and one high freedom person. This will dictate the balance of time—how much time is spent together as a couple and how much time is spent apart, either alone or with friends and family. This balance encompasses both the connection and the opposite freedom need. Why You Aren't Happily Ever After Anymore [EXPERT]
More from YourTango: 10 Relationship Lessons From Dr. William Glasser
The survival need is one that also requires balance. A person high in survival doesn’t like risk, is more of a saver than a spender, places a high value on health and safety, and spends a lot of time planning for the future. On the contrary, a person with a low survival need is a big risk taker, a spender rather than a saver, isn’t overly concerned about health and safety, and lives for the moment. Having a happy relationship when one partner is high and the other low in the survival need requires some negotiation to find the balance in health, safety and finances. Will Money Ruin Your Relationship? [EXPERT]
Another area to balance is the area for significance. When two people in a relationship have a high need for significance, sometimes it can mean they find themselves in competition with each other. This, in and of itself, isn’t necessary a bad thing, depending on how they choose to compete with each other. You might be able to see how two people high in significance would have to balance how they meet their need so they are not stepping on each other to get to the “prize.” People high in significance tend to like power, control, being in the spotlight, making a difference and leaving a legacy.