Learn and practice how you and your partner express various needs and react emotionally when they are met or unmet. Some needs, such as survival, safety, understanding, freedom, belonging, acceptance and love are universal. Others are more unique and personal. When our needs are not met, our body and mind signal to us through negative feelings and emotions that something is wrong. When our needs are met, we have positive feelings. The universal and primary feelings are fear, anger, sadness, disgust, shame, joy and surprise. There are hundreds or even thousands of more subtle feelings, such as tense, encouraged, jubilant, bored, astonished, etc. For a healthy relationship it is essential that we know about and communicate our needs clearly with our partner. We can then express our feelings and emotions when our needs are not met without blaming or shaming our partner and make doable requests without being needy. This creates the space for our partner to share his needs and feelings as well. Love is experienced when two people happily meet each other’s needs. It also opens the door to finding solutions to meeting divergent needs through making compromises without compromising our values.

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