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Old 04-04-2012, 01:05 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 1,467

I've talked about this before, and even blogged about it, so apologies to those who remember for this familiar territory, but I think that it's really important for each of you to work out the things that are important in a relationship and to categorize them into what I call Needs, wants and likes.

Needs are non-negotiables - things that must be in place (or not be in place in the case of boundaries) for the relationship to stand a chance of working. If a need cannot be met, then that is a show-stopper.

Wants are things that are important, but could be given up as part of a negotiation.

Likes are "nice-to-haves".

If you and he have needs that are not compatible, then asking him to give that up under the guise of "expanding his comfort zone" starts to get into the area of not respecting his limits and needs. If this idea is a Want of his, then it is certainly something that you can negotiate, but you need to do it on the basis of making things work for the both of you, not him unilaterally giving up something that he regards as important.

And now, just to be provocative - you are asking him to expand his comfort zone in order to give you what you need - how about you expanding your comfort zone to give him what he needs? Why does this have to be one-sided?

In my opinion, so much of this sort of this relationship negotiation comes down to understanding how important each of our Needs, Wants and Likes are, and communicating them to each other in an effective way so that all the win-wins can be explored. if there are conflicting needs that are by their nature non-negotiable, then no amount of discussion, cajoling or arguing is going to make it work in a positive way.

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
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