“You’re so lucky.”
Chances are you’ve been on the giving and receiving end of this familiar phrase more than once. You’re lucky to receive an opportunity. For a job. For a travel experience. For your relationship. Why do we give luck all the credit? Luck has nothing to do with any of it.
Take our basic needs in a relationship, for example. Maybe the movies portray falling in love being as easy as walking down the street and locking eyes with someone, but that’s far from the reality of what it takes to make a relationship work. Extraordinary relationships don’t come to people because they are lucky. Long-lasting, quality partnerships happen when our relationship needs are met through mutual respect, passion and commitment.
What’s the secret? How do you create a relationship so passionate, so fulfilling that everyone is telling you how lucky you are? It starts with fulfilling your partner’s relationship needs.
Every single one of us has Six Human Needs that are fundamental to our happiness in relationships and in life. We all require each of these needs to be met at varying levels. Whatever your top needs are, it’s important you’re meeting them. And when you’re in a relationship, it’s important you’re also meeting the needs of your partner.
Once you are able to meet your partner’s relationship needs, it will become a place of deep and meaningful joy and fulfillment. Listen to what Tony has to say about how it all works:
Love is not about fulfilling your partner’s relationship needs only after they’ve fulfilled yours. Tony tells us: “The only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to get.” Love is not a trade. Put your partner first by fulfilling these 10 basic needs in a relationship, which are made up of your Six Human Needs and four additional needs that apply to romantic partnerships. And when they do the same, that’s when the magic happens.
What is the number one thing that everyone is looking for in a relationship? Certainty. Certainty that you’re going to avoid pain, certainty that you can trust your partner and certainty that you can feel comfortable being vulnerable in your relationship. When you think of “comfort,” don’t think of stagnation. Certainty and comfort are not synonymous with boredom. Having certainty in your relationship means that you’ve developed a bond with your partner that you are 100% certain about. You have no doubts about your love for them and trust that they wouldn’t do anything intentionally to bring you suffering.
The next human need is uncertainty, or variety. Variety can come in many different forms; it doesn’t necessarily mean jumping from partner to partner. Variety can be learning a new skill, participating in a stimulating conversation, eating at a new restaurant or being thrilled when your partner surprises you with a bouquet of flowers. We need certainty to feel safe, but we also need uncertainty to feel captivated by our relationship.
Why is it that you tell your partner things you don’t tell anyone else? Why do you rely on this one person to make you feel romantically fulfilled? Because they make you feel significant. One of the most crucial relationship needs is feeling significant. You want someone who makes you feel special and important. You can fulfill this for yourself by going after a goal or helping out in your community, but you also need to feel significant in the eyes of your partner. And to have a successful relationship, you need to make your partner feel significant as well.
The fourth thing a relationship needs is connection and love. You’ve already established that you want to feel significant in the eyes of your partner, but you also need to form a deep connection and develop an intense love. Connection can happen instantaneously in relationships – you meet someone and have great conversations, share interests or are immediately attracted to each other. Love takes more time to form, but it’s what sustains a strong relationship long after that initial spark of attraction.
The first four relationship needs are essential for your personality, and the next two are fundamental for your spirit. The fifth relationship need is growth. If you’re not growing, you’re dying – that’s why growth is addictive. As long as you’re growing you can feel fulfilled with yourself and confident in your relationship with your partner. The fifth need, or the need to grow, ties directly to the following need. That’s because we want to grow so we have something to give, or contribute.
As Tony Robbins has said before, “The secret to living is giving.” When something good happens to you, what’s the first thing you want to do? Tell someone you love. Life is about creating meaning, and a huge part of that is contributing to the world around us. This also applies directly to your relationships: What are you contributing? How are you providing for your partner mentally, emotionally, physically and financially? How are they contributing to your well-being and happiness?
Time for some real talk: Without romance – and yes, sex – you and your partner are just friends at best and roommates at worst. Intimacy and affection are among the fundamental basic needs in a relationship, yet we often make the mistake of thinking that when the “spark” is gone, we can’t get it back. Remember how you felt on your first date with your partner? The butterflies in your stomach and the feeling of falling in love? You can keep that spark alive. Plan a surprise romantic date. Take a day off work together and do something spontaneous. Have a deep conversation. Reignite that new love feeling and watch the passion return.
Life can be stressful. That stress seeps into our relationships, causing imbalance in our polarity, lack of communication, fighting and more. Sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and appreciate that the moment is just that – a moment, in a lifetime of togetherness. Rather than turning a routine argument into the end-all fight of the century, or letting a minor act – like socks on the floor – get to you after a long day at work, inject some humor. When you know that your relationship is worth it, no matter what, humor is the perfect way to defuse a situation and get a new perspective. It’s just what your relationship needs in a stressful time.
Your partner is the most wonderful, amazing and incredible human being you know. Have you told them that lately? Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s obvious. Your partner needs to feel that you respect them and want to be with them, and a quick kiss before work and an “I love you” before bed often isn’t enough. Make a point to tell your partner what you like about them. Talk about your dreams and goals together and let them know that you support them. When your partner feels supported and their relationship needs are being met, they will have much more energy to give back to you.
No one is perfect. You can still believe your partner is remarkable and fantastic while accepting their flaws. True partnership means seeing your partner for who they really are and loving them anyway. Because you know their true essence, you can forgive their human errors – like those messy quirks or even something bigger. (Never stay in an unhealthy relationship, however). But the willingness to forgive goes above and beyond basic needs in a relationship and takes your partnership into a new realm of loyalty and trust.