The other day, I was speaking with a girlfriend and she was complaining about how her partner, who adores her, doesn’t like to give her shoulder or foot massages when she was tired from working-when she tried to confront hime about it, he just said it “isn’t his thing-he doesn’t like feet.”
Regardless of whether or not her partner was interested in giving her massages, I could tell they were totally in love with each other otherwise.
Was all hope lost? she asked me.
It just highlighted a very important value for her-physical touch.
No one person can meet every single need-that’s not realistic, nor is it healthy to expect that.
So, I invited her to explore options-was there something else that would give her the same feeling of receiving a massage from her partner?
At first, she was resistant to the idea, and then she got quiet and said-“You know, I really just want to feel his body near me-not necessarily in a sexual way but it makes me feel calm and connected.”
So, really it wasn’t even the massage itself tat was the most important-it was the feeling of…calm and connection.
She got creative and saw different ways she could feel that way with him that didn’t require him to give her feet a rub and also ways she could give that to herself.
Some of the things she came up with?
- asking for him to hold her hand while she was taking a bath (not every time but once in awhile). He agreed right away!
- for herself: turning off her electronics an hour before bed and getting a weighted blanket
- listening to sounds of the ocean as she wrapped up her work day and slipping into fuzzy socks
- touching feet under the dinner table while talking about their day. Another easy win for him and her!
The fun part was hearing about how much more intimate their relationship felt even after a week of just making a few tweaks.
And what made me laugh out loud was that he bought her a foot and leg assuage thing to use whenever she wanted! (and I’m sure would agree to hold her hand while she used it!)
The takeaway here is two-fold:
- When you get creative with discovering the feeling you are desiring behind a need, it’s way easier to come up with ways to get those needs met.
- When you take ownership of your needs and stop assuming one person to be your need–machine, they are more likely to step up to want to make you happy!
Q: What is one need that has been calling to you to address? What is one creative way you could get the same feeling? Share with us!