Before we get down to brass tacks on how to ask for what you want in a relationship, let’s make sure you’ve done the important psychological groundwork to ensure your ask is coming from a position of health, maturity and strength. First, let’s distinguish between needs and wants.
I completely understand why women might get caught up in a pattern in their relationship of trying to prove their worth or trying to “keep a man.” However, this is concerning to me particularly as a therapist who believes that relationships function best when they have equal standing of the partners. When one partner feels that they need to “keep” or “prove” their worth to the other, it sets things up to be inherently unequal in terms of power and who has a voice in the relationship.
Do you remember the iconic yellow umbrella? In, How I Met Your Mother the image of the yellow umbrella is entrenched in Ted’s thoughts, he longs to find to whom it belongs, and as a result it becomes a karmic symbol of the ‘one that got away.’ We all want our love story, filled with desire, romance, and intrigue. We glamourize the ‘chase’ – this concept that a man should pursue a woman in a romantic chess match.
In relationships, emotional and physical connection go hand in hand. That is why it can feel frustrating and confusing when you feel close to your partner yet still encounter sexual issues. The question of whether you are sexually compatible with your partner is more nuanced than you might think, and it goes beyond a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Rather, you can begin by gaining a fuller understanding of how your own sexual desire and arousal system works.
We’ve all been there unfortunately… that precarious moment after you and your partner have fought and probably end up in some form of retreating to your separate corners/lives. There is often a raw emotionality to this moment that can be truly difficult to navigate and might even lead us to sweep whatever issues we were discussing before the argument under the rug just to keep the peace and make things better…
This can be such a tough situation where women feel so much conflict about what to do, particularly if the relationship ended in a negative way or where they were hurt in the process of it ending.
This situation can be made even more difficult by family members or friends who may hold biased opinions about this person and encourage you to not even give them the time of day.