Posted by: Banta | February 22, 2013


A very wise young woman recently shared with me the eight items on her list of “What I Need in a Relationship.” I want to put those needs in writing here, because they do a remarkable job of articulating the qualities that make for a healthy partnership, whether that partnership is a brand new connection or a life long love. Honest communication, emotional availability, play/fun/spontaneity, great sex, compromise and balance, challenge and inspiration, intimacy to grow in love with someone who wants to grow in love with me, commitment and trust.

Clarity about one’s needs does not come easily. I just sat with a client who stopped dead in his voluble tracks when I interrupted the anxious rant about his partner to ask, “What do you need?” He was quiet for a time, then shook his head, “I have no idea.” The shocking realization that he did not know his own needs helped him refocus his energy and engage more fully in this exploration. When we are not clear about what we need, we risk allowing someone else to define that for us, or project their needs onto us, or run roughshod over us in their eagerness to get their own needs met. Lacking clarity about what we need, we lose track of our personal boundaries. Perhaps we fall into bad habits: letting our partner make all the decisions, call all the shots in the relationship – from the bank to the bedroom to the restaurant or movie choice. Perhaps we withdraw from potential conflicts, choosing instead to cede ground to avoid an unpleasant argument. Perhaps, in not knowing our needs, we give up too much of ourselves.


  1. Banta, you’re a writer! xo Brian

    Sent from my iPhone

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