Unveiling your emotions to your partner can be the scariest thing in the world or it can be a mighty train wreck. Having the courage and self-respect to communicate your emotions in a way that is constructive and encouraging is the key to getting your emotional needs met.
When your partner is emotionally unavailable there may be a number of different reasons, some of which, have nothing to do with you. Be careful not to be too quick to interpret and place meaning to his or her actions before you really know what is going on. With this said, one way to begin talking about your emotional needs with your partner is to first begin with your partners needs. You may ask them how’s it been going? What has been the highlight of your week? Conversational starters are the easiest questions to ask that encourage intimacy and friendship.
When your partner is emotionally available and you can’t bring yourself to present your emotional needs to your partner, you can practice expressing yourself through writing letters or expressing a simple sentence that showcases a single emotion, even giving and receiving gifts is a form of emotional expression. You may need to explore opening up a conversation simply by giving a gift, or expressing yourself a bit differently.
It isn’t uncommon for women and men to simply “not feel” all the time. It is okay to not have emotional needs that need immediate attention. But if you are further curious and would like to feel more, explore what brings you the most pleasure in your life. What are some things that make you so incredibly happy? You may find that some emotions are easier to tap into than others. Using the found emotion as a starting point, you can then ask what else is there? What does my partner do that helps me feel incredibly happy? What can I do that helps him or her fell this way?
Being clear and assertive is the more direct approach. For some though, being direct can be a turn-off and put pressure on them in wrong ways. When it comes to satisfying emotional needs and being direct, make sure you are clear and are asking something of your partner they can realistically help you to do or help you achieve. It is equally important to ensure that you are meeting your own emotional needs where your partner isn't able to assist. For example, you may find that shopping with girlfriends who will talk with you is a more satisfying experience rather than stringing him along and watching him text on the phone.
Dove-tailing off of the last example, make sure your emotional needs are within an appropriate context. Use as much of your own resources as possible to meet the emotional demands that you have, rather than depend solely on your partner. When talking about your emotional needs, broaden your awareness of what you are capable of satisfying with the resources that you have. Determine ahead of time, what could be possible for your partner to help you fulfill. Then bring them up in a way that encourages him and motivates him to request the same of you.
Being direct takes courage, exploring new expressions of communicating emotions (possibly for the first time for some) requires imagination, and communicating with self-respect so that you can give respect are all key factors for requesting satisfaction of emotional needs and even apart of the journey to becoming able to satisfy many of those needs on your own.