5 Sad Signs You’re Not Giving Your Partner What They Need (& How To Give It To Them)

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Relationship Advice On How To Know What Men & Women Want & Need In Healthy Relationships

Meet their needs and create a happier and healthier relationship.

Relationships are never easy. What men want and what women want in healthy relationships often differ and sometimes, they're a mystery to their partner. Furthermore, the relationship advice available is not one size fits all. 

Being in a relationship with a man is not easy because hey may have a hard time opening up — that’s just not what they do. Meanwhile, being in a relationship with a woman may be difficult because she can be very emotional and often wants to talk through everything.

And yet, your spouse is probably constantly telling you — either openly or subtly — that you aren’t meeting their needs. 

RELATED: You Can't Have A Healthy Relationship Without These 8 Characteristics

You’re tearing your hair out because you think you are doing everything you can to meet your partner's needs, so what’s wrong? Where’s the mismatch?

In order to meet your partner's needs, you need to understand what's going on with them and improve your communication skills (both of you). The ultimate goal is for them to no longer say to you in either subtle or not ways that you aren’t meeting their needs.

Here are 5 signs you are not meeting your partner's needs in your relationship (and relationship advice on how to do it.)

1. You don’t understand their expectations

And how on earth can you? They most likely haven’t expressed these openly to you, not unless they are some sort of super-partner. They have expectations, you know — ones they aren’t expressing yet expecting you to meet.

Exactly what do men want from women? What do women want from men? That’s what’s so frustrating about this. 

How can you possibly meet their expectations if they don’t speak them out loud? Bottom line is: you can't. So, you give up trying.

Solution: Talk to them about their expectations.

That’s right, have that awkward conversation and ask them what expectations they have. Get them to openly speak them out loud. At least, then, you have an idea of what you aren’t doing to meet their needs.

Such a simple thing really and yet we never think about having such a pointed discussion.

Oh, and while you are at it, it’s probably worth speaking your expectations aloud too. That way, you can both discuss this whole relationship thing and where there is a mismatch in expectations and them not being met.

It is likely to clear up a whole lot of stuff that may have been niggling in your relationship, up until now.

2. You focus on what you need and not what they need

Okay, I can hear you yelling at me from here: "Why should I focus on them and not me?"

Well, sometimes it’s valuable to focus on someone else, for a change.

"But what about me?!"

Well, there’s a difference between focus and focus

You might think you are focusing on someone when you are sitting at the dinner table with them but you are also thinking about work tomorrow or the bills that need to be paid or how the dog needs to be taken for a walk. That’s not focusing.

Focusing is about giving your partner 100 percent of your undivided attention. Looking at them and noticing if they look tired or stressed or happy or distracted. You're not really engaging with them.

Solution: Be more open to understanding what they need.

If you give your partner your undivided attention and you ask them what they need you might find out that it is the exact opposite of what you are thinking or doing.

They may just surprise you and ask for a hug. Or a cup of coffee. Or some quiet time alone. In order to fully understand, from their perspective what they need, you have to be open to finding out.

Don’t assume that you know. Stop assuming!

Partners are a lot like small children in that, if you give them your undivided attention, focused attention, then they will be happy with that and not want more from you...for a little while at least.

3. You expect them to initiate sex

How many times have you been frustrated with them for not being the one to initiate sex? You think it’s their responsibility to do that. Why?

Why do they need to be the one to initiate it?

They have needs too. Maybe with their focus on work and their responsibilities of bringing in the financial income for your couple, life seems too full to even think about this need they have very often. And, yet, it’s still there.

Just like your need is there, and you get frustrated when you are wanting sex and they don’t initiate it, what about considering them?

Solution: Have an open and honest conversation about sexual needs.

Being in a partnership is all about give and take, remember. If sex is something you want, then don’t wait for them to initiate it.

What about opening the conversation or begin flirting and see where it takes you.

Your partner might make it clear that it’s not what they need, right now. It's a great time to talk about your sex life and whether it’s working for you or not. Find out what their needs are, and discuss yours too, openly.

That way, you are likely to set up a more two-way situation in which you both get your sexual needs met, in the way that works best for each of you.

Talk, talk, talk about each of your needs and find a mutual play space.

RELATED: People In Healthy Relationships Are Totally Cool With Giving Up These 12 Things

4. You think you know what they need or want

If you think you know what they need and that’s the premise that you are using to do things for them, you're in trouble. No wonder you are having relationship troubles.

Unless you’re some sort of psychic mind reader, you’re barking up the wrong tree. You can’t possibly know what their needs or wants for that matter are.

It’s an impossibility. If you’re like me, you will notice that your own needs and wants change depending on the day, moment, and whatever else is happening in life. So, how can you think you know what they are needing and wanting without asking them? You can’t!

Solution: Ask them.  

It's pretty simple, really. Just ask them. Go and have a conversation about their needs. Find out what they are and be open to knowing that they are likely to change, just like yours do.

Don’t just have one conversation, have an ongoing conversation about needs. This sort of conversation and interaction is going to create a strong bond between you and ultimately make your life so much easier.

And don’t just think this is a one-way thing. Again, it’s about sharing openly your needs too because this is not about just meeting their needs at the expense of yours.

The best outcome is for you to talk and work out how to meet both of your needs.

5. You assume you know what they’re thinking

No matter how close you are to your partner, there is no way you can be sure when you assume what they’re thinking. You're correct.

How many times have you thought you knew what someone was thinking, about you, for example, only to ask them and have them tell you they were thinking of something completely different? It’s a common problem we have.

We tend to assume the worst too. So, you might think that you know what they are needing and that you aren’t able to do it or deliver it. You’re tying yourself in a knot when you don’t need to.

Solution: Check with them.

Bottom line: don’t assume! Ask. Your partner is a human being, a person, an individual with individual thoughts, needs and wants. Go and ask them, openly, what they are thinking about your relationship, what you’re doing, how you’re approaching things, and be open to the feedback.

Turn off the assumptions. Turn off the thinking that you know already what they are thinking.

Catch yourself when you assume and make it the prompt to have the conversation to openly ask what they are needing or wanting.

The more open conversations you have the more honest, trusting, and loving your relationship will be — both with yourself and them. If you are honest, they will be too.

We all have needs. We all have the right to express those needs. And as a partner we can choose to meet the need or not, either is okay.

Be the person in the partnership who is going to turn around where you are currently by realizing these five signs and working on changing them to the more positive approach to getting yours and their needs met.

RELATED: In Romantic Relationships, You’re Either A Spark-Chaser Or A Long-Burner

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Karen Cherrett is a Relationship Coach working to bring more clarity and open communication to partnerships. If you want more clarity and openness talk to Karen about exploring possibilities.