Sometimes the answers to questions which seem difficult are actually quite simple. How do you get what you want in relationships? It’s simple–know what you want, ask for it, and don’t settle for less.
- Know What You Want–The first step is to know what you want. Ask yourself what would make you happy. Don’t think about the other person for a minute. Ask yourself what you want. What type of relationship do you want? What level of commitment do you want? If you struggle with codependency, this can be difficult. Codependent people spend most of their energy on making other people happy and trying to please others. Think about what you want, and then write it down. Admit it to yourself. Sometimes this is the hardest part. Admit to yourself what you want. You have to know what you want before you can receive it. Only you know what will make you happy. When you do this, just think about your wants and needs separate from any other person.
- Ask for It–If you are in a relationship now, find a good time and tell your partner what you want. Say without apology what you are wanting in this relationship. By saying what you want and making it clear, you are giving them permission and space to think about what they want. Too often, the reason we are unhappy is because we are suppressing what we want. We are afraid to ask for what we want because we don’t think we will get it. So we just hide it. In the meantime, we grow bitter and resentful because we don’t have what we want. By expressing it, you will feel a huge sense of relief. Ask for what you want, regardless of the consequences. This takes courage. It is a brave thing to do. Don’t ask for it in a demanding way, but in quiet assurance, knowing that you deserve the type of relationship that will bring you peace and contentment.
- Don’t Settle for Less–Here is where hurt can happen. You have been brave in finding out what you want and asking for it, but the person in front of you cannot always give you what you want. If you are with someone and you tell them what you want, and they can’t or won’t give it to you, accept the reality. If you try to settle for what they want, and it is different than what you want, you will not be happy. Even if you try to be, you will never be happy with less than what you want. If you want different things, then, ultimately, this person is not who you want. You want someone who can give you what you want.
But what if . . .
- They can give me what I want eventually? Be careful here. Sometimes people do, in fact, need time to be ready for that next level or next step. I have a friend, Sam, who is now married to a beautiful, wonderful woman named Kelly. When they first started dating, he asked her for some time before he could commit. He was still hurting badly, from a previous relationship and needed time to heal. He knew that he needed time to let go of a past relationship. So, yes, it happens, that sometimes, now isn’t the right time, but it could be eventually. If your partner thinks they can give you what you want later, ask good questions and listen to their actions. How much time do they think they need? What are they going to do to be ready in that time frame? If they can’t answer those types of questions, then accept the reality that they aren’t going to give you what you want. And if they do not follow through with what they said they would do, that’s also an answer.
- I love him/her? When you know what you want, you have to know regardless of a particular person. If you know you want to be married, for instance, and you are with someone who has told you point blank they don’t want to be married, you are fundamentally incompatible. You are doing nobody a favor by staying in this relationship. You will resent your partner and they will resent you because you are unhappy. You can be attached to someone, but attachment does not equal compatibility. And now that you know what you want, you can speak it clearly to the next guy or gal who auditions for the role of leading man or lady in your life.
- I lose him or her? Listen, you are worth it. Do you choose him or her, or do you choose yourself? Always choose yourself first. By knowing what you want and speaking it clearly, you start the process of getting what you want. Because, ultimately, you do not want someone who does not want what you want.
By doing these three simple things–know what you want, ask for what you want, and don’t settle–you will be able to get what you want in your romantic relationships.