Do you get what you want from your partner? Some of the time . . . most of the time . . . all of the time? Most people I listen to complain that they don’t get what they want from their partner—at least not enough of the time to be deeply satisfied.
There’s a reason why. And there’s a simple and effective solution.
When I ask, “Are you getting what you want,” I’m not asking about material things; I’m asking you about being treated the ways you want to be treated? Does your partner treat you the way you want to be treated?
And, to begin, you need to know how you want to be treated.
In a small group survey, I asked twenty people, “Does your partner treat you the way you want to be treated?” People didn’t answer with a simple “yes” or “no.” They told me stories. Seventeen out of twenty stories were about what people weren’t getting.
“My partner doesn’t say ‘I love you’ nearly as often as I’d like to hear it.”
“He lapses into periods of being unconscious or unaware and when that happens I certainly don’t get what I want.”
“My partner doesn’t like to initiate sexual relations, which is really a drag for me.”
“What I really want is acceptance, and my partner seldom gives that to me, because she’s focused on what’s not good enough.”
“He can’t seem to acknowledge me for the way I do things because I always do things in ways that are very different from how he would do them. He’s never satisfied with what I do.”
Take a look at the comments above and see if you notice anything.
Do you notice that what people talk about is what they don’t get. And this is incredibly common. People complain about what they don’t get instead of asking for what they want. If you do this, if you complain about what you don’t get—I have two things to say to you:
- You’re really stupid to keep complaining about what you don’t get.
Notice how you respond to that comment. Because I’m doing to you what a lot of people do with their partners. I’m just complaining. And notice how you respond to this. Most people get defensive, shut down, step back, or argue. None of which help you get what you want.
The second thing I want to say is:
- I wish you would just ask for what you want.
My second response is me making a simple request. Notice how you feel when you hear that. Very different isn’t it?
So why don’t people just ask for what they want instead of complaining about what they don’t get?
- We want to believe the other person can read our minds, and if they could we wouldn’t haven’t to ask for what we want.
- We want to punish the other person for not giving us what we want. Hard to admit, but it’s true.
- We want to avoid being vulnerable, opening up and asking for what we want.
But, these are nothing more than self-justifications for why we complain about what we don’t get instead of asking for what we want.
Try it this weekend. The next time your partner does something you don’t like, instead of complaining about it, just ask your partner for what you want.
And the next time your partner doesn’t do something you wish he or she would do, instead of pointing out that they didn’t do it, just ask them if they would do what you want now.
Notice what happens. Notice your tendency and habit—maybe even desire—to be critical of your partner. What’s that get you? Maybe you get to be right, but do you get to be close or to connect? And, which do you want more?
To learn more about how to get what you want, look at our Dating ∞ Relating ∞ Mating course, which is now available for half price at Amazon.