In life, you may not always be able to get what you want…but does that mean you should just give up trying to get what you want when it comes to relationships?
It can be easy to fall into the pattern of setting aside your needs, settling for less than what you truly want, and minimizing your desires in order to please your partner in a relationship. But where does that leave you?
It could leave you in a number of places, none of which are good. If you’re constantly behaving from a place of fear—fear that your partner might leave you, might yell at you, might belittle you—then you’re not being true to yourself and your needs or desires. If you feel like you are always dodging or walking on eggshells in order to avoid conflict, that still means you’re acting out of fear.
Truthfully, it is possible to get what you want in a relationship. There is one big thing you can do as well as a few things to avoid in order to reach a place where you’re getting what you want from a relationship.
If you feel you’re not currently getting what you want, starting with what not to do may help you understand where you are—and where to go from there.
How to Have a Mediocre Relationship
Chances are, no one has ever begun a relationship aiming for mediocrity. “I think I’ll enter this relationship to demean myself, stifle my voice, and diminish my needs,” said no one ever. So why would we allow ourselves to get to that place? Further, how do we find ourselves in that place to begin with?
The greatest way to get a relationship that consists of mere scraps is to deny your desires and change your behavior, interests, etc. based on what you believe your partner wants. In doing this, you compromise not only your needs, but your core as an individual.
You most likely know someone who’s a classic example of this. Maybe you have a friend whose personality seems to change based on the person they’re dating at the moment. You find yourself wondering when that person you’ve known for years decided to take up hunting, became a pro wrestling fan, or shifted from being someone who talked nonstop to someone who barely says three words to you. Typically, it’s easier to recognize in another person, although once you notice it, you may want to do some self-reflection, too.
Changing any aspect of your personality to conform to someone else’s is definitely the way to achieve mediocrity in a relationship. When you get down to the nitty-gritty, you’ll realize the reason you’re doing this is to avoid conflict with your partner.
Avoiding conflict and trying not to “rock the boat” aren’t necessarily bad things in themselves—until they cause you to compromise your voice and your needs. So how, then, do you get out of this cycle?
Telling the Truth Is Crucial
If you want a healthy two-way relationship where you both get what you want, the biggest thing you can do is tell the truth.
It seems simple, sure. But when you think about it, your partner can’t possibly know your needs, wants, feelings, etc. unless you are truthful about them. Stifling your thoughts and desires leads to unhappiness, but truth-telling leads to freedom.
Before you can tell your partner the truth, it’s imperative you tell yourself the truth. You might try to convince yourself you love skiing, for example, but if you truly don’t, it makes things worse for yourself and for the relationship if you’re dishonest about it.
Expressing yourself freely is vital to getting what you want, because you want to feel that your relationship is a safe place to do that. You want to be assured that you can speak your truth, even if it means getting upset, and have your partner stick by you and learn more about you from the experience. You want to feel comfortable sharing your innermost thoughts—and you want to know that your partner has a desire to discover how you tick and what it takes to help you share your truth.
Telling the truth about your feelings and thoughts needs to be mutual for both partners to be happy in a relationship. So remember to be truthful with yourself, be honest with your partner, and encourage your partner to do the same with you.
Here’s a short video on the subject:
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for What You Want and Claim It
If you’re afraid to be vulnerable in your relationship, your partner will never know the real you. You’ll feel stifled, and your wants will become invalidated—but in this case, by you and not by your partner. Your partner can’t possibly fulfill your needs if they are unaware of them, now, can they?
Instead, let go of that fear. Recognize that you are an amazing person just as you are; it’s essential for you to believe that. When you speak truth and ask for what you want from a place of that belief, it changes the relationship dynamic.
Think about what you want in your relationship. It could be a deeper connection, more sex, a better conflict resolution process; your wants are unique to you. Don’t diminish them! Your desires and needs are valid and don’t belong on a shelf just to make your partner happy. Claim them—honestly—and communicate them to your partner. Ask your partner to meet you in that place.
After all, if you’re willing to meet your partner in that place as well, then you deserve to have that reciprocated.
It’s not too much to ask for what you want, so let go of that belief. Be truthful with yourself, claim your feelings, and share them honestly. It is possible to get what you want in a relationship.
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