Developing Your Relationship - The Key to Success and Getting Your Relationship Needs Met

Submitted by: Lucy O'Brien

Whether you are dating or have been together for a while, your relationship should be developing over time. How do you ensure a healthy relationship that is growing in a positive direction? There is one factor which is essential in any healthy relationship and is key to success and getting your needs met in dating and relationships. Read on to find out what you must know to create a loving and close connection with your man.

When I first discovered that it was both essential and attractive for a woman to be vulnerable in a relationship, I have to admit that I was completely confused and had absolutely no idea what was meant by being vulnerable in a relationship. As a strong, independent woman, vulnerability conjured up pictures of physical and mental abuse. Later on, I came to realise that, had I known how to be vulnerable in a relationship, my relationships would have turned out very differently and probably been much more successful.

In relationships, as well as in life, many people are terrified of being hurt by others and establish all kinds of elaborate behaviours and boundaries to stop this happening and protect themselves. This can include blaming and criticising our partner rather than taking responsibility for our own actions and reactions. It may include withdrawing in times of crisis rather than being honest about how much someone's behaviour hurts us and even steering clear of dating and relationships altogether so that we don't ever have to face up to the pain of rejection again.

Often in developing relationships we fear to let our partner know our needs and preferences because we fear his reaction or rejection. Perhaps this comes from our previous experience in relationships or it may go even further back to how our parents treated us when we were young. However, if we let our fears get in the way of letting our partner know what is important to us, then how on earth are we going to get our needs met? How are we ever going to have a relationship that satisfies us and makes us feel happy and loved? Our partner is unlikely to know what pleases us if we are unable to express our needs and preferences.

This is where our vulnerability comes in. We cannot have a satisfactory relationship without allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is about having the courage to express our needs, preferences and desires. It is about being honest about how we feel and about taking responsibility for those feelings and for getting our needs met. Yes, we have to open ourselves up. Yes, we risk getting hurt. Yes, we may have our needs rejected by our partner and we may even expose ourselves to his ridicule.

However, once we have expressed our needs, preferences or hurts, then they are out in the open. Our partner is now aware of our feelings. It is now up to him to meet our needs or reject them or perhaps we need to come to some sort of compromise. He may even reject us completely if he can't meet our needs. However, isn't this preferable to wasting months or years in a relationship with a man who can never meet your needs? Letting go of a relationship that is not developing in the right direction may be essential if you are ever to get your needs met.

Whilst I would never advocate bombarding a man with your list of needs and relationship requirements in the very early dating stages, as you are getting to know a man, you should feel able to open up to him little by little about your hopes for the future. This is the only way that you can hope to get your needs met. If you are in a long term relationship, you must take responsibility for getting your needs met by communicating them in a mature fashion. Whatever your situation, make sure that you are prepared to handle his response maturely and consider his needs alongside your own. In this way, you can make vulnerability your key to success in developing your relationships.

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