What does it take to make you feel significant in your relationship?
Do you need gifts from your guy, words of encouragement and praise from your gal, or do you need to spend most of your free time with your special someone? What does it take to make you feel significant, important, loved, and cared for? When do you feel you bring a meaningful component to the relationship and that you matter? Just what do you need from your partner that will convey the message that you are significant to them?
Those are the questions I’ve found myself asking my clients lately, since many of them have complaints of not being made to feel important enough.
They gripe about not being given the proper amount of recognition for the role they play in their relationship. Some say they don't get enough attention or are being taken for granted. Some want to be acknowledged for the things they do for the ones they love. A few of the squabbles arise from the lack of public displays of affection and feeling as if they don’t come first.
The list goes on.
There are certain things we all need while in a relationship to feel significant. But those things differ for everyone. You must ask yourself what it is that makes you feel important to the one you are with. But with that, I’d like to make sure you feel significant to yourself, before you expect another person to give you such a feeling.
In the book, "The Mastery Of Love," Don Miguel Ruiz writes, “You cannot change other people. You love them the way they are or you don’t. To try to change them to fit what you want them to be is like trying to change a dog for a cat, or a cat for a horse. That is a fact. They are what they are; you are what you are. You dance or you don’t dance.”
Yes, we want to feel loved and respected by our mate. Yet we all have different ways of demonstrating to someone that we feel they are significant to us. Because our backstories all differ, how we show affection, the way we exhibit our love for another, and what we do to help our special someone feel special may not be aligned with what they are expecting.
So how do we handle this dilemma? I have some tips for you.
Tell your partner what it is you need from them that will help you feel significant. Ask your partner what they need to feel special. Be patient, since it takes time to make changes (it’s a process).
Dr. Lateefah Wielenga works as a life and relationship coach and is also an ordained minister. She has a private practice in Long Beach. Call 895-0516 or visit www.thecounselingkitchen.com for details.