What are my needs in relationships? Are they attached to specific people? That is, do I need these things generally, or do I need them just from certain people?
In all relationships I need:
- Affection. Touch and words showing me that you care about me, even if just in a sexual/romantic/kinky/familial/platonic (or whatever combination) way.
- Communication. I need you to talk to me and I need to be able to talk to you. This does not mean constant conversation, just that there is a line there if something comes up, or either of us is just looking to reinforce our connection.
- Intellectual challenge/stimulation. I don’t mean that I need you to be a genius or constantly challenge my intellect. In fact, I might even say that I would prefer that that isn’t the case, because that can be exhausting and I might start feeling stupid after awhile (and that feels like crap). I just need someone who is passionate about something and is willing to share their knowledge about it. I enjoy situations in which I am forced to expand what I know or what I think in order to grow and thrive. But I also need you to respect my intelligence.
- Time together. How much and what kind does depend on the nature of the relationship we have, but I find it very hard to sustain a relationship without having time together. Time alone together is easiest and best, but sometimes can be hard to do for a number of reasons.
- Space. I am an introvert and a highly sensitive person. As much as I may care about someone, I need space to be me and to do my internal processing without interference.
For romantic relationships I also need:
- Confirmation that you love me, at least semi-regularly (if we have reached that point in the relationship).
- Time alone together.
- Affectionate touch. Show me that you still want me in your life, that you still value my physical presence. Bonus if it is in public or when we are out with a group of friends.
For sexual (not necessarily kink – slightly separate categories for me) relationships I also need:
- Respect for my sexual boundaries. If I say no, it means no, not convince me. However, I tend to prefer to offer alternatives on top of nos.
- Communication about safer sex practices. I need to know what goes on in that regard so I can offer informed consent to however we decide to fuck.
- Respect for my kinks. Even if they are not your kinks and our sex will probably be vanilla or some variation thereof, I need to know that you don’t think less of me because of what I like.
Anything that tends to be attached to a particularly person is usually more of a want than a need, or is only a need that comes up because of how that particularly person is or does something. In those cases, boundaries tend to be an effective way of communicating this.