OK. Gender differences make this one of the most hotly contested and ickiest issues in heterosexual marriages. And while the gender differences are real, the human differences are pretty real too, because I’ve never had a same-sex couple who was immune to the eye-rolling or grumpiness about differing emotional needs of partners and partners’ ability to meet them.
So as far as I can see, there are three appropriate places to be getting your emotional needs yet. Once you identify your style and your beloved’s you can begin the balancing act.
- You. Where and how do you deal with your emotional needs? Identifying the answers to these questions will be very helpful. Then take a good look. What part of your needs do you need to supply yourself? Do you need some coaching or some counseling on this? Boundaries are fabulous things!
- Your community. What do you share with your girlfriends or guy friends. How does that change as you marry? Don’t turn your beloved into your only friend.
- Your beloved. What needs does your partner fill easily? What needs do you need him or her to stretch to? How realistic are you being? What if you can’t get everything you want from your beloved? (Hint: Go back to #1!). Learning non-judgemental support, desiring, offering, receiving, may be the sweetest part of having a relationship. Develop an open-hearted, supportive relationship.
Tip: Relationship is all about finding the balance! Make this your marital goal! You cannot believe how much it will deepen your marriage. It will also make planning that wedding a lot easier, when you take your frets and worries to the right audience! (Do remember the shrinks!)