3 relationship factors help couples overcome even the biggest challenges.

Healthy relationships are essential for everyone. Certain control, trust, and communication styles are unique to us.

But researchers and psychologists have been studying our basic, universal wants for decades. The basic relational requirements we can't meet ourselves, therefore we ask others for them.

1. Companionship and belonging

We need companionship and belonging to share our lives and feel accepted and affiliated. We need to feel like we're on the same team and belong with someone.

2. Verbal and physical affection

We require affection from others through words and touch. Touch is an essential desire for humans, and a relationship without affection can be disastrous.

3. Emotional support and validation

We need to be heard, validated, and supported when we struggle. We desire emotional affirmation and care at home while we're having personal or professional problems.

Psychoanalytic therapists defined these requirements as “dependency needs,” because we needed others to meet them. Almost every need except oxygen is a dependence need at birth.

Psychoanalytic therapists defined these requirements as “dependency needs,” because we needed others to meet them. Almost every need except oxygen is a dependence need at birth.

An infant needs food, comfort, and attention from caretakers. Because we can meet some of these demands as we age, our needs alter.

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