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RELATIONSHIPS & COUPLES: The unmet emotional needs worksheet

Updated: Jan 22

The Unmet Emotional Needs Worksheet is a walkthrough of the 6 emotional needs we have accompanied by reflective questions for you and your partner.

In the realm of intimate relationships, understanding and addressing emotional needs is paramount. Unmet emotional needs can have far-reaching consequences, affecting our well-being and the dynamics of our relationships. In this blog post, we'll delve into the significance of these core emotional needs and explore the six fundamental emotional needs that govern our connections with others.

I'm a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with nearly a decade of experience working with couples and families. In addiction to that, I'm a professor of The clients that I work with

unmet emotional needs worksheet

Why Do Our Emotional Needs Matter?

Just as unmet physical needs lead to suffering, unmet emotional needs can result in dissatisfaction, loneliness, and resentment in a relationship. On an individual level, if you don't know what your emotional needs are, you're more likey to have physical symptoms or manifestations - a friend of mine just lost three friends in a row, but insisted he was 'fine', only to get diagnosed with IBS a week later. The form of therapy or approach to therapy that I take, I'm big on digging into feelings.

Recognizing the importance of emotional needs in a relationship is slightly different. It is so important for emotional fulfillment, a sense of intimacy, and overall satisfaction in both personal and professional relationships. When we're not aware of our needs we are more likely to engage in unwanted behaviors to get them met; these can be seen by most as dysfunctional behavior patterns that get in the way of having a harmonious relationship. 

How Do You Know What Your Emotional Needs Are?

In the Unmet Needs Worksheet, we'll explore the six basic emotional needs: Certainty/Comfort, Uncertainty/Variety, Significance, Love/Connection, Growth, and Contribution. These needs provide a comprehensive framework for understanding human behavior in various relationships, emphasizing their universal nature across cultures.

The Six Unmet Needs in a Romantic Relationship


  • Certainty/Comfort:The need for a predictable, secure environment.

  • Uncertainty/Variety:The desire for change, challenges, and new experiences.

  • Significance:Feeling important, unique, and valued, sometimes a drive for attention. 

  • Love/Connection: Craving emotional closeness and bonding, a sense of intimacy.

  • Growth: The need for personal development and self-improvement.

  • Contribution: Giving back and making a positive impact.

unmet emotional needs worksheet


How We Get These Needs Met in Relationships

In a healthy relationship, individuals employ strategies to fulfill these emotional needs. Understanding how these needs are met, whether individually or with a partner, plays a crucial role in relationship dynamics and satisfaction.

The Unhealthy Ways We Can Get These Needs Met in Relationships

Recognizing that we can pursue these needs in unhealthy ways using unwanted behaviors is equally important to acknowledge.. Unhealthy approaches can lead to toxic dynamics, undermining the foundation of our relationships.

Our Two Primary Needs In The UNMET EMOTIONAL NEEDS Worksheet

Most people prioritize two out of the six basic human needs in relationships, which become their primary driving force. Understanding your primary needs and those of your partner is key to building a harmonious and fulfilling relationship. The two primary needs that you identify really say a lot about the psychological experiences you have with your partner in everyday life. You might be able to understand why they take a certain direction in life when you choose not to, you understand their emotional schemas and what motivates and drives them. The worksheet will help you think about your own primary needs and those of your partner; this is designed to help you develop a strong understanding of each other's emotional responses and give you options to develop alternative responses that might be more beneficial to you both. 

The Plan

Addressing unmet emotional needs is crucial for building healthy, fulfilling relationships. In therapy, intervention can redirect attention to ways in which each partner can contribute to fulfilling their partner's needs, fostering growth, connection, and contribution.

In conclusion, recognizing and addressing emotional needs is essential for nurturing healthy relationships. By understanding these needs and working together to meet them in positive ways, couples can strive for greater satisfaction and long-lasting connections.


Download Free Worksheets here - and check out MyPeoplePatterns for more customizable worksheets. 

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