How To Communicate Your Needs In A Relationship & Get What You Want

Because mind-reading doesn't work.

How To Communicate Your Needs In A Relationship & Get What You Want unsplash/Relevante Design

Do you expect your partner to read your mind? Even if they could read your mind, would you want them to read your thoughts?

Unfortunately, your partner can't read your mind and figure out what you need from them — it is up to you to learn how to communicate effectively and let them know what you want and need for a happy, healthy relationship.

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First things first, you need to discern what you need and desire in your relationship. Then, you need to find the best way to communicate those needs and desires.

And an excellent way to learn what you desire in your relationship is to do some journaling and meditation.

If your partner is open, you could experiment with ideas you both have to see if these are activities you desire to do as a couple in the future.

Most good relationships come from both the willingness of both partners to bring out the best in each other.

Here are 5 ways to better express your desires and get what you want in your relationship.


1. Practice effective communication skills

Each of us learns in diverse ways. Some of us learn more from listening, some from what we see, some from our emotions, and some from our intellect.

Speak directly to your partner in the same space.

It always makes a difference when you can sit with your partner across from each other, giving each other your full attention. You are equals having a discussion together.

Use "I" statements to take responsibility for what you say.

"I" statements are so important — they help you to take responsibility for what you say.

For example, you could say, "I am frustrated that this is the fourth Friday you took a 2-hour lunch break. Every time you make an extended lunch break, I have more work to do than I can accomplish unless I work overtime. Our boss makes me stay even though I have other responsibilities. I am not happy when you take this extended lunch."


Describing your emotional and gut reaction to the offense without blame is much more productive than name-calling. Name-calling leaves no room for transformation.

Listen with your whole body, heart, and mind.

Building healthy relationships requires excellent communication. We learn from each other in many ways and the more we listen with our body, heart, and mind, the better you will be able to understand your partner. Part of listening is paying attention to your intuition and staying curious about what you are hearing.

Say in your own words what you have just heard to make sure you understood.

It is easy to misunderstand what your loved one is telling you. So much of communication depends on our health, our communication skills, language, levels of education, and more. Thus it helps to repeat what you hear to make sure you understand what your partner is saying. It helps you to make sure your partner knows they are understood.


These practical communication skills will get you on the way to saying and getting what you want in a relationship.

2. Walk your talk

Nothing is worse than expecting your partner to do something you would never do.

Please don’t lie to your partner. If you agree to do something, follow through unless an emergency comes up.

Show your partner the real you. Remember, it is your imperfections that make you unique and special.

Do not pretend to be someone else you are not. For example, if you claim to be a great pianist, you better be able to offer a concert. If you claim not to be racist, you better not demean a particular race.

3. Honor and respect yourself and your partner

The more you respect yourself and your partner, the happier you both will be in your relationship.


Here are the ways to respect your partner:

  • Listen attentively to what they say.
  • Stay curious about what is happening in their lives.
  • Practice random acts of kindness.
  • Make time for them in your life.
  • Show them you are listening by saying back in your own words what they said.
  • Be there for them in times of joy and distress.

And here are ways to respect yourself:

  • Make time in your life to care for your own needs.
  • Be able to say no to activities that are not in your best interest.
  • Make time for yourself and your partner.
  • Express your needs, wishes, dreams and hopes to your partner.
  • Be honest with yourself.

There is a flow in any relationship. There will be times when one of you needs more attention than the other.

There is nothing wrong with this as long as both your needs are balanced over time.


RELATED: 5 Communication Hacks To Make Unhealthy Arguments In Your Relationship A Thing Of The Past

4. Stay vulnerable

If you hope to have a healthy relationship, both of you need to be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is all about sharing the ups and downs of your life with your partner. When you are sad and hurting, do not try to be stoic and hold it all in.

Your partner is going to know something is wrong. When you are full of joy, find a way to share your happiness with your partner.

Vulnerability calls upon you to resolve conflict in your relationship. It is finding the courage to confront your partner constructively so you can resolve the issue or issues.


Often you will find the culprit is a simple misunderstanding.

If you do not deal with the conflict close to when it happens, it will fester into a much bigger battle.

5. Take one hundred percent responsibility for yourself

It is essential to remind yourself that the only person you can take responsibility for is yourself.

In any relationship, it is always tempting to blame our partner for any problem. But, blaming the other, leads to more significant conflict and more relationship problems.

An excellent place to start in any conflict with your beloved is to look at yourself.

How might I have contributed to the battle? What can I learn about myself and my relationship? Is there anything I need to apologize for? What might I do differently next time?


If you are one of those people who always think they are guilty. You need to slow down and make sure you are not apologizing for something you did not commit.

If there is a conflict that seems bigger than you can handle, please reach out for help. There are clergy, rabi’s, mullah’s and other religious leaders to talk to if you are part of a faith tradition.

There are excellent professional counselors and coaches like myself who can help you.


Once you become clear about where you are in the conflict, it is time for you to sit down with your partner to work through your concerns.

Hopefully, your partner has done his or her exploration to see how they have contributed to the conflict.

In summary, the only way to have a more satisfying relationship is for you to deal with conflict openly whenever it happens.

If you think you have never had a conflict in your relationship, you are living in denial. Disagreements are expressed in many ways.

Conflict happens every time — there are at least two different opinions in a room, home, or office.

So, practice excellent communication skills, walk your talk, honor and respect yourself and partner, stay vulnerable, and take one hundred percent responsibility for yourself.


If you take this relationship advice to heart, you are in an excellent place to best express your desires and get what you need and want in a healthy relationship.

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Roland Legge is a Life Coach who offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families, and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by sending an email.