How Many Should’s Do You Have On Your List?


How Many Should’s Do You Have On Your List?
Go Ahead, Make a List of Should's, But Keep It Short and Check it Twice

We’ve all got things that we love about our partner, and then there are those things we’d love to change about our partners. Now, we don’t live in a perfect world, and most of the time we are aware of this, so intuitively we also know that some things cannot be perfect, some things we have to let slide, some stuff we need to let go, ignore or better yet accept.

Acceptance is my favorite of the bunch. It suggests we allow each other to exist as we are, organically, as we were, before we hooked up with our partner. We let our partners live their lives, on their individual path, their journey and love them unconditionally, and they us. But, this is so hard to do for so many, because once we become involved with someone, it’s hard to imagine that their day-to-day doings don’t effect our lives. Truth of the matter is they do. Their behaviors are now intrinsically tied to our lives. I’ve been there, so I know. We want our partners to meet all of our needs, and fit in gracefully with our lives, which doesn’t always happen. So acceptance isn’t always easy.


Growth is another part of a relationship. Learning to maneuver the waters, with the new set of life experiences, rituals, and the like of our partner combined with ours. Sometimes we get to reinvent ourselves in a positive way with a new partner, and other times we lose part of ourselves that we much loved. In this way, relationships are a give and take. If we lose too much of who we are, however, I always say it’s time to readdress, reassess, refocus and revisit our goals, our needs, our desires, and our life.

But, still aside from acceptance and growth there are certain things that sometimes we feel we could live without, or some things that we feel are lacking. How many of these things do you have in your relationship? And how many have you verbalized to your partner? How many should’s do you have for your partner in your current relationship?

Here is my rule of thumb: You can have a list but your ‘list of should’s’ should be no longer than TWO at any given time. Your list can have two very specific items on it that you’ll be able verbalize to your partner. Anymore than two is disastrous, and I’ll tell you why. When the list gets too long, our partners begin to live in fear, in doubt, in guilt and in shame. Never being able to live up to our expectations, always trying to prove that they are ‘good enough.’ I know, I have been there. On both ends, in fact. It’s a terrible, unbalanced, lonely place to be and it does not breed happiness and satisfaction in a relationship, in fact it does the opposite, it builds a wall.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Moushumi Ghose

Sex Therapist

Moushumi Ghose, MFT specializes in sex and relationships, offers online and phone sessions, with offices in

NYC and Los Angeles.

Mou is the host of The Sex Talk, a web-series dedicated to raising awarenes about sex, and sexuality, and has made several TV and media appearances including Hollywood Today The Girl Spot, Durex Condoms and Investigation Discoveries as a sex expert. 

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Listen to podcasts at Sex, Love and Rock 'N' Roll Radio.

Mou is the author of Marriage, Money and Porn, and Love, Lust and Lube - both books available on Amazon, and is currently writing her third book on sex and relationships.


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Location: New York, NY
Credentials: LMFT, MA, MFT
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