Relationships are about giving your significant other both what they want, and more importantly, what they need.
What they want is style. What they need, is substance.
"I gave you everything you wanted! How could you?!"
"Oh honey, you gave me everything I wanted, but nothing I needed."
I imagine the above scenario in a medieval cartoon where it's pouring rain outside, and the husband is screaming at his wife who, weeping in the rain, orders him to be gone forever.
A sad scene indeed, but I think it touches upon something I'm learning to be very true in relationships.
You have to give your significant other both what they want, and what they need.
They may want nice things, or lots of kisses, or for you to cook for them - and those are all wonderful things - but what they really need is someone to love them unconditionally.
For someone to support their dreams and desires, no matter how crazy.
For someone to make them laugh and cry.
For someone who knows when to extend their shoulder to cry on, and when to walk away to give some space.
I'll be honest, I struggle with knowing when to give space, but luckily I've become more aware of this. I'm now working on being more of a leader with myself in tense situations, demanding I focus on what she needs, rather than what I want.
If you're currently in a relationship, I invite you to explore whether or not you're currently giving your partner what they need.
To know what they need requires really getting to know someone. And to do that, we must spend quality time. We must be willing to fail, provided we have the right intentions with our partner.
So, don't be hard on yourself if you feel like you haven't given your partner what they need. Keep trying. Keep learning. Keep going. If you fight for your relationship together, that's what matters most. You're on the same team!
Focus on getting to know the real them, discovering what they really need, and then lighting them up with it every single day!
Live with substance!
P.S. If you've recently experienced an argument, or any kind of tension, with your loved one, check out my thoughts on "Getting Through That Post-Fight Feeling With Your Significant Other"