By Zanele Chisholm

When I first got into a relationship, the idea of asking my partner for what I needed felt uneasy. In my previous article, I spoke about how we need to be okay with teaching our boo how to love us. They don’t know everything and shouldn’t be expected to. What’s more important is their willingness to learn. And the same goes for asking more of our partners in our relationships. Constructive critique is essential to any relationship that hopes to maintain a high level of honesty and open dialogue. We can ask our partners for more and still love and appreciate them.

In my current relationship, my boo recently came and expressed a desire for more emotional intimacy, something that had been dwindling due to physical distance and the stress of the pandemic. There are probably a number of people who can relate to a shift in their relationship during a time like this. Just because relationship dynamics change it doesn’t mean that it has to be for the worse. s. This pandemic has brought out levels of adaptability and resilience that I’m sure many of us did not realize we were capable of and that same adaptability can be used to help re-center our relationship with our boo. 

Here’s how :

Be Clear, (With Yourself) About What You Need & Want

Before you talk to your partner about unfulfilled needs in your relationship, you must first be clear on what those needs are and what filling them looks like. No one enjoys going into a stressful situation unprepared. To ensure you have a successful conversation with your boo, take time to reflect on your needs and how your boo can fulfill them. This approach will give you the confidence you need to start the conversation.  

Also, taking the time to reflect on your needs may uncover that they’re unrealistic or unnecessary for your boo to meet. Sometimes we ask things of our boo’s that we should be asking from others. Make sure you’re bringing up needs that should be fulfilled by your romantic relationship and not another.

Ask Yourself: Am I Meeting My Boo’s Needs in This Area?

It’s important to make sure that your relationship is balanced. If you’re constantly asking for more but not pulling your weight in the relationship, it could become problematic. It’ll make it difficult for your boo to see and understand your point of view if they feel like their needs are being neglected.

Do it Face to Face, Whether in Person or Virtually

Having conversations like these are always best when expressed face-to-face. It gives us the opportunity to unpack issues together and alleviate any misunderstandings right away. Unlike through text where the distance and time can allow for unnecessary problems to arise simply due to a misinterpretation of tone or words. In addition, research shows that speaking in person allows you to pick up on non-verbal cues that could build intimacy.


Take Your Time Expressing What You Need

Don’t rush yourself! Sometimes we can speed through a conversation because it’s uncomfortable or we’re nervous and feel awkward. And while that is understandable, it doesn’t make for the most productive conversation. You need to take your time expressing everything you want to say so that your partner has a full understanding of what you need. Try to avoid leaving out important points, make sure you get everything on the table. There’s no need to sacrifice certain elements just to avoid discomfort or make it easier on your partner. Rushing the process may only lead to more issues down the line. If you take your time, in addition to giving your partner the room to process, then you’ll both be able to navigate the conversation in a much more comfortable and fruitful way!

Here are some tips for having tough conversations.

Don’t Gaslight Yourself!

Before, during, and after conversations like these we tend to gaslight our emotions, especially if they’re not particularly comfortable to discuss. Gaslighting describes a situation where you question your sanity, perception of reality or memories. But, what you feel, your past experiences and needs are valid and should not be dismissed! Gaslighting ourselves only leads to more stress and anxiety about the situation and can lead to confusion for both us and our boo. Listen to your heart and reflect on those feelings, if something feels like a problem bring it up and work through it as a team.

How To Ask For More In Your Relationship - Guilt Free

Enter the Conversation With an Appreciation for Your Boo’s Ability to Grow

In having discussions like these, you want to make sure that you are coming to the table with a care-based mindset. It’s okay to be frustrated or angry about the way you feel, however, keep these emotions in check when having this discussion with your boo. If you go on the attack you will not have a productive conversation. Plus, if this is a relationship that you want, give your boo the grace to make the necessary changes. Go into the conversation with a viewpoint of simply expressing your needs with the faith they’ll care enough to change. This approach will create a positive atmosphere which can be the foundation for other conversations in the future.

Be Patient with Your Relationship

Change takes time and as you and your boo figure out how to best support each other, there will be some bumps along the way. Take it slow and be gentle with each other!

Normalize Asking for What You Need by Keeping the Conversation Going Beyond the Initial Discussion

Don’t let the conversation end there! While it may not be necessary to keep bringing up the same point, normalize these kinds of conversations with your boo by checking-in more often about how you can be and do better for each other! This action is a sign of care and dedication for your relationship. It feels good to know that your boo is constantly thinking about ways to strengthen your relationship!

Be Proud of Yourself and Your Boo!

Being in a relationship is not always easy and having these kinds of discussions takes a lot of emotional work. So, be proud of yourselves!

If this article was helpful, feel free to follow us on Instagram and Facebook @wooeternal to discover ways to grow yourself and your relationship.

*Remember if you and your boo aren’t having fun you’re not doing this relationship thing right!

Zanele Chisholm is a 20-something, Ryerson University student living in Toronto, Canada. On her own journey towards love, she has collected thrilling brushes with romance that has propelled her into a deep interest in examining relationships as a young modern woman. With a passion for storytelling through writing, she writes from a unique perspective in hopes of creating meaningful and impactful dialogue around love and relationships in the modern age.

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