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How to Tell if Your Partner Meets Your Needs

SeniorwomanAre you wondering if your partner can or will meet your needs? Well, there is a way to find out.

Conduct an experiment. Collect data.

Of course, you’re not a lab assistant and your partner isn’t a rat. Still, don’t you want to make relationship decisions based on accurate information?

Then, don’t trust your feelings on this one. Trust the data.

And make sure your expectations are in line with what one adult can reasonably expect from another.

First, the data you need….

You want to know if your partner can or will meet your needs. So, make 20 requests of your partner, based on your needs and desires.

For example:

I really could use your help with the dishes. Will you help me?
I am feeling lonely. Can we talk?
I’m running short on time. Can you stop by the store for me on the way home?
I am feeling insecure. Can you stay close to me at the party tonite?
That really bothers me. Can you stop biting your fork when you eat?

And so on. We’re all full of these kinds of needs and desires, every single day.

The thing to do is write down your partner’s reaction and follow-through for 20 requests over a period of time. Then, you’ll have real data!

Now, if you’re not able to make requests, then you’ve got to stop right there and consider this issue priority number one. Not asking for what you need when you need it is a form of self-deprivation – or self-sabotage.

Now, let’s assume you’ve got your list of 20, with 20 recorded responses.

What percentage of the time should your partner be willing or able to meet your needs?

If you are seriously thinking “100%” then you’ve got another thing coming. Consider this: infants don’t get their needs met 100% of the time, even with the most attentive mothers. Nobody gets 100%. Nobody could ever deliver 100%  – even the perfect partner. Forget 100%.

Expecting 100% is – you guessed it – a form of self-sabotage. This unrealistic expectation is a set up to feel unnecessarily deprived or rejected.

If not 100%, then what is a good number? Honestly, I’d be making it up if I told you I knew. I think somewhere around 50% would be fine. That would show a consistent effort and caring, and also account for the fact that sometimes we aren’t available to do what other people need us to do.

But, perhaps you’d be satisfied with more or less than that. It’s a call only you can make.
Beyond the sheer numbers, of course, you may also learn your partner’s patterns with this little experiment. Perhaps he or she is good at meeting physical needs, but not so hot at meeting emotional needs, or vice-versa.

This is all good to know. The right information can lead to productive conversations. It all starts with the knowing. Don’t guess or rely on your impressions. These can be extraordinarily skewed.

Final thought, if your partner is lacking – perhaps the way you ask for what you need factors into the problem. It’s worth considering.

Can you handle the truth?

You’ll need to be prepared to deal with knowing. Perhaps you’ll need to address the problem if your partner is slacking. Perhaps you’ll need to adjust your own attitude if your partner does better than you expect.

Hmm. What if your partner had been conducting this little experiment or the past two weeks? How would you score?

FYI the very best program for determining deep compatibility is – in my experience, the Dating, Relating and Mating online couple’s education course.

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How to Tell if Your Partner Meets Your Needs

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2015). How to Tell if Your Partner Meets Your Needs. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Aug 2015
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