Communicating Needs

One thing we know from the research on the science of love, is communicating our needs to our partner is really important. It’s not just any needs though, it’s attachment – love bond – needs. Attachment needs come from a different level – a deep emotional level. When we communicate attachment needs from the deep emotional level it moves partners towards us.

These 3 steps will help you learn how to communicate your attachment/love-bond needs to your partner:

1.Take a few deep breaths and get in touch with your emotion that lets you know you need something. Are you sad, lonely, afraid, feeling insecure…? Ex. I’ve asked my partner over and over to help me in the kitchen. I realize I’m about to do it again. I stop, take some deep breaths and see what I’m feeling at a deeper level.  I notice that I feel alone and afraid my partner doesn’t need me as much as I need him.

2.  While focusing on the feeling begin to wonder what I need when I’m feeling this way? Ex. continued. I realize that at a deeper level I feel alone and afraid my partner doesn’t need me, I become aware that what I really need is some comfort and reassurance.

3. Communicate your need from the softer level to your partner. Ex. continued. I go to my partner and say, “honey, you know how I nag you about helping out with the dishes, well I figured out that what that’s about is that I’ve been feeling alone or lonely lately and afraid that I’m not that important to you anymore. Will you hold me? Can you reassure me that I’m still the one – you’re still here for me?

Your partner may be initially surprised, especially if you’re not use to talking at this level (which most of us aren’t). Even though your partner may be surprised, opening up and sharing more of yourself will begin to bring the romance and confidence back into your relationship.

Keep at it – it’s worth learning how to share at this deeper level. Being emotionally close will make you and your relationship stronger.

Here Sue Johnson talks with Marlo Thomas about how to get a partner to respond and sharing from the deeper level.



Have you ever tried communicating your needs from a soft and vulnerable level? Most of us don’t know how. If you’ve successfully shared your needs in a way that pulled your partner emotionally close, do share your experience with us by commenting below.