Needs are a hot topic in the dating world because many people are being made to feel like their perfectly healthy needs aren't okay.
If you've ever wondered if you asked for too much or were called "needy" by your partners, then you know what I'm talking about.
Is a "need" ever too "needy?" First, let's eradicate the idea of "needy" because no person should be shamed for struggling.
But can someone ask their partner for too much? Absolutely. If a need is driven by deep fear and feels like it can never be satiated, then your partner can't possibly meet that need. If someone's needs impede their partner from being able to work, have friends, and have needs of their own, then there's a deeper issue at hand.
That doesn't mean that person should feel ashamed; it just means they should seek professional help. There's nothing wrong with that!
But most people who wonder if they're being "needy" have perfectly reasonable asks. After all, having needs is part of being human. It's impossible for someone to experience happiness in life if their needs aren't met.
While every relationship you experience will look different, there are common relationship needs that are perfectly healthy to ask for (just make sure to communicate them and be open to how the need can be met).
1. Wanting to talk to them every day.
When you're in a relationship or newly dating someone, it's normal to want to talk with the every day! I once had a client who was told she asked for too much because she texted the guy she was dating every day. He told her he preferred a couple of times a week.
To each their own, but my client definitely wasn't asking for too much!
Of course, how often you talk a day and whether it's through text or on the phone, is up to each couple. There are also exceptions to this, like someone who works for days straight without access to their phone.
Those exceptions are few and far between, so just know that wanting to talk to someone you like every day is totally normal.
Too often, I hear people say they've been called "too sensitive" because they wanted respect in their relationship. Usually, it's that one person has a different sense of humor than the other.
Some people thrive in relationships where they make fun of each other, but plenty of people don't. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, then let the person know.
Respect is a need that, if ignored, can build resentment in any relationship.
3. Alone time throughout the week.
My fiance and I very much value our alone time. I love watching TV and reading books by myself. He thoroughly enjoys playing video games with his friends.
Without our alone time, we wouldn't feel like our best selves. That's why I added time alone to this list. It's a reasonable need to have!
Of course, the way you communicate matters: try to frame it as a positive for your relationship rather than needing to get away from your partner. Help them see the benefits of time they can have all to themselves.
Reassurance gets a bad reputation in relationships, yet it's a sign you care about the other person and want to know it's reciprocated.
Imagine if, at your job, no one ever told you that you're doing great work. You'd feel unappreciated and unsure if things are going well. That's exactly how reassurance in a relationship works!
If you feel like you constantly need reassurance and no amount is ever good enough, then that's a different issue. You could have abandonment fears, attachment problems, or trauma from past relationships. If that's the case, working with a professional can help.
Feeling connected in a relationship is a non-negotiable need for just about everyone. After all, what's the point of being in a relationship if you don't feel a connection?
How you meet your need for connection is up to you. You can consider what your love languages are and how you prefer to give/recieve love. You can also prioritize things like date nights or bedtime chats without your phones.
It's up to you!
6. Open Communication
Feeling safe to bring up just about any topic and trusting your partner will do the same is a need for open communication. For my relationship, it's one thing my partner and I value most.
If you feel your need for open communication isn't being met, pinpoint the reason. Is it that you're scared to speak up, or are you met with judgment whenever you do? By understanding the underlying obstacle to this need, you can better communicate what kind of changes need to be made.
If you struggle with feeling insecure and overthinking when you date, check out my free dating anxiety journal prompts.
If you want to move towards feeling confident and secure when looking for love, grab your copy of my 30-day dating guide, "From Anxious to Secure."