5 Reasons Why They’re Not Meeting Your Emotional Needs

Photo by Kiera Burton from Pexels

Today, people want what they want — and they want it fast. The desire to quickly outrun feelings of loneliness often makes singles rush into relationships. Whether they’re built to last is a different story.

Overlooking the things I’m about to share with you may lead you into a situation(ship) that is heavy on the sex; light on the substance. I don’t want that for you! Since you’re here, I’m going to assume you don’t want that for yourself either; so here are five reasons why he or she may not be meeting your emotional needs. It’s up to you to decide how to proceed from there.

1. They lacked solid examples as a child.

Parents, or whoever your primary caretaker(s) are from birth, are the first example of what it means to relate to another human. If that connection lacked security in any way, future relationships will almost inevitably reflect similar insecurities. A person’s unique attachment style reveals a great deal of information about how they navigate all connection into and throughout adulthood. Thus, it’s important to learn your own and theirs. Familiarize yourselves with each other’s upbringing in a constructive, nonjudgmental way.

Again, if they lacked examples of what a healthy, emotionally stable relationship looked like as a child, it’s unlikely they’re going to magically turn into an emotionally developed partner simply because your patience is running thin. They won’t develop proper communication skills, empathy, or reciprocity just because you demand these things. A person has to want it for themselves, first and foremost. Only then can real progress be made for oneself and others. Get curious and commit to the inner work.

2. You haven’t held them accountable.

There are few feelings people hate more than rejection. It triggers something inside all of us that makes us feel less than — maybe even abandoned. Even if it’s just for a brief moment until you bring yourself back to reality. Which is…you’re the prize.

Yet, what the fear of rejection does is convince you that you need not hold your partner fully accountable…even when they fall short of treating you like the prize that you are.

Think about it. It’s easier to let the ones closest to us slide on things we would never let others get away with. Women in particular are repeat offenders. She’ll let her own man get away with things she’d never forgive her best friend’s man for doing. Admit it: it’s annoyingly easier to forgive the people you love for the actions you hate.

Who wants to have to deal with the aftermath of telling someone their actions left your hurt or annoyed?

Someone who’s in a healthy relationship — that’s who. Why? Because healthy relationships are built on two-way communication. The type that prioritizes both partner’s needs and desires without taking from one another. Confronting what may be lacking in your relationship gives your partner the opportunity to address your dissatisfaction and grow, in hopes of not repeating the same behavior again.

It’s your job to hold anyone taking up space in your life accountable for their actions.

Too much compromise is not a good thing. It’s a sign of loose boundaries. One that may cause you to avoid confrontation because you don’t want to push your partner away.

But the type of people you want to allow and keep in your life are the ones who can handle constructive criticism from you, especially because you’re coming from a good place (I hope). In the name of self-respect, speak up!

What does all this mean? It means that apologies and forgiveness should be followed by changed behavior. The key here is to communicate the consequences, and actually carry them out if your partner repeats the same behavior. The actions they take and decisions they make that result in you feeling anything less than safe, seen, and respected.

Without clear consequences, anyone who violates a boundary once will likely do it again — because there’s nothing in place to discourage them from doing otherwise.

Communicating a consequence can and should be done respectfully.

Photo by Kiera Burton from Pexels

If someone you love hurts you, fails to meet your emotional needs, or carries out an action that falls below your standards…it’s up to you to form a response that communicates:

  1. Here’s what you did (or did not do).
  2. Here’s how what you chose to do (or not do) affected me/made me feel.
  3. Here’s what will happen if we find ourselves here again.

#3 is all about communicating your self-worth, and establishing a boundary around that. From there, consistently enforcing that boundary with your words and actions is up to you.

3. They don’t know what you need.

Your perspective is your perspective. Theirs is theirs. We get into these head spaces where we assume others should just know. It’s common sense, right?

Wrong! Because common sense… is not common. Yes, there are cultural and societal norms that people follow in relationships, but what makes sense to you won’t always be the same for others; and vice versa. This goes back to the first point that all of us have our own unique upbringing, thus approach relationships differently based on what we saw and learned from birth.

That means it’s up to you to communicate what you really want and need in terms of emotional intimacy from your partner.

There’s a fine line between communicating what you want or need in a graceful way, versus coming off as a self-entitled brat who thinks others should move at the snap of your fingers.

You also want to give people that love you the room to learn how. In their own way, and at the pace that’s comfortable for them.

But if you start to feel like “maybe they just don’t see what I need here,” don’t be afraid to let them know what’s missing.

Lastly, don’t ever think communicating your needs in a respectful way is off-putting. A person who truly cares for you won’t give you the bare minimum, then make you feel like you’re asking for too much when you request more.

A person who values you won’t want to be the source of emotional chaos and confusion, either. The person for you will want to know your needs and preferences, and do everything in their power to be the person who fulfills them. The thought of giving someone else that opportunity will make them sick.

Choose the person that contributes to your self-worth, not the one who makes you feel like a problem for knowing you have it.

4. Emotional exposure hurt them in the past.

Ladies, believe it or not…men hurt too. While I’m an advocate for people healing from past pain before they enter a new situation, that’s pretty ideal and not always realistic. Sometimes it takes interacting with new people for old wounds to even be exposed.

That means grace, patience, and understanding are required when dealing with someone who has been hurt in the past.

Anyone still healing from an emotional wound would probably prefer to chew broken glass for a year than allow themselves to be vulnerable again.

It’s up to you, as a partner on their healing journey, to be a consistent source of confirmation that they are safe in your presence. Overtime, walls will fall brick by brick. Rely on communication, commitment, and consistency to get you two there.

5. They’re just not that into you.

People form opinions about you in a split-second. Which means they also decide the role they want to keep you in very early on.

Many people aren’t ready to build authentic emotional intimacy — but they still crave connection in the ways that benefit them.

If these types can get what they want from you without ever needing to fully open up or let you get too close, they will.

Recognize when someone is just using you as a teddy bear to soothe their loneliness or boredom. You deserve all of someone. Which includes their heart and mind — not just a body.



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Britney A. Stephenson, MCC

Britney A. Stephenson, MCC

Faith-fueled life coach. Here’s what happens when I get my thoughts out of my head & make them make sense on paper.