Michele O'Mara

Relationship Success: The Essential Ingredients

Filed By Michele O'Mara | October 23, 2007 11:28 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: lesbian, love

What do you think is the most important ingredient for a successful relationship?

~ Seeking Relationship Success

Great question!

The essential ingredient to relationship success can be found in the answer to two simple questions.

  1. What emotional needs do you need satisfied by your relationship?
  2. What emotional needs does your partner need to be satisfied by your relationship?
What makes each relationship satisfying varies from person to person. What I need, and what you need is likely different.

What do you need? The answer to this question is 50% of the recipe for your particular relationship's success. We all partner to meet our needs. If you don't know what your needs are, or what needs your partner has, then it's time to get busy figuring this out!

Whatever your needs, there is one thing that I know to be true; your happiness in love depends on your ability to get these core, emotional needs met. If unmet, most of us will ineffectively attempt to pacify ourselves with excessive sleeping, eating, working, drinking, or we may turn to others to meet our needs. I say "ineffectively attempt to pacify," because trying to feel loved by drinking, or trying to feel safe by sleeping, is akin to scratching my nose to ease the itch on my knee. It doesn't matter how many times I scratch my nose, if it is my knee that itches, then it is my knee that I must tend to.

We all want to feel emotionally safe, secure and loved. How we arrive at these feelings is different for each of us.

According to Gary Chapman, there are five key love languages, (he is author of The Five Languages of Love). My wife, for example, likes acts of service, whereas I prefer quality time. I feel connected when I experience quality time (that's Chapman's word for what I call authentic connectedness), and this allows me to feel valued and safe. Teresa feels valued and safe when I clean the house, get the oil in her car changed, or do the laundry.

Ask yourself these questions, and you too, can uncover the essential ingredients for your relationship success:

1) What are your core emotional needs and how are these needs best met?
2) What are the core emotional needs of your partner, and how are these needs best met?

by Michele O'Mara, LCSW

Recent Entries Filed under Living:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.