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Why Our Relationships Fall Apart - PART 1

Updated on March 13, 2012

Lack of Certainty

After our basic physical needs (food, water, air, shelter, medicine, etc..), we have specific psychological needs that have to be met, in order for us to be blissful and fulfilled. In relationships, one of the strongest needs we have to fill, is CERTAINTY.

The certainty that you can be comfortable in your relationship, the certainty of a strong commitment to each other and the certainty that you will be able to avoid pain in your relationship, from either side.

If we don't find that our relationship fulfills our need for certainty in a positive way, then we will start to seek that certainty in negative ways, such as through addictions like eating, drinking or drugs. In other cases, we might simply stop seeking the certainty of love from our partners and rely on our children, parents, siblings or friends for that certainty and acceptance. When this happens, we stop needing our partners, which causes them to feel less significant or important to us, and to start seeking their own certainty in places other then us (their partner).

A Drive For Variety

Often times, when a relationship starts to be less exciting, we start to wonder if we have fallen out of love with one another, when really, the problem isn't that we love our partners any less. The problem is that we need variety in our lives, and we expect a large part of that variety to come from our relationship, or at least to involve our partners.

Variety, or Uncertainty, is another psychological human need that we have to fill, and we will fill one way or another. Often times, a relationship starts to fall apart because we misinterpret our need for variety and start to seek it in the form of new intimate relationships, instead of finding ways to positively fill the void through individual activities or activities that get our partners more involved.

Lack of Proximity

By far, the part of the relationship that almost everyone holds on to the most and the longest, is the honeymoon phase of their relationship, usually that first three to six months of divine intimacy and passionate physical attraction. You know what I'm talking about, when you couldn't keep your hands off your lover and you wanted nothing more than to be less than an inch away from them at all times.

Then slowly... you start to stand a little farther apart.. or stopped holding hands... or that passionate kiss when you came home from work turned into a little peck only on your way out the door. Basically, your proximity got further and further away until you slept on opposite sides of the bed and you fought from separate sides of the room.

In strong relationships, each partner remembers to reignite the proximity flame. They remember to grab that swaying hand, or stick it in their partners pocket. They remember to hug each other in the middle of a heated argument, to dance for no reason, to laugh at their own silliness, to kiss passionately and to grab hold of their mate when they climb into or get out of bed every night.


Your never going to find a relationship that suffers from significance. Though you will find at least that three out of five relationships suffer from insignificance.

As said above, one way that insignificance is created, is through a lack of certainty that the other person needs you. It's a lot more important than many couples consider - the need to feel significant, important and special to your partner. The need to feel you deserve their attention and that they want you as much as you want them. It's often the need that drives us to cheat or prematurely end the relationship much faster than any lack of variety.

One thing that many people fail to realize, is that when your partner is upset with you, it's often because you've made them feel insignificant in one way or another, and that has rocked their certainty level. When you're partner doesn't feel significant to you, they become uncertain (in a negative way) about whether or not you love them any more. That in turn, makes them feel insignificant to themselves and unconnected with themselves, which begins to effect their confidence and make them question - do I really love them any more either?

Misunderstanding The Sexes

Although every person has different leading needs, they also have certain similar traits according to gender. Men tend to favor significance and love, while women to seek certainty and connection.

There is a reason for this though, as each set of dominate needs in the sexes, are there to fulfill what the other lacks. Men really need to feel significant, important and worthy of being loved in their lives, and those all happen to be things that (most) woman are especially good at giving. Women truly need to feel that certainty of commitment and that intimate connection with their partner, in order to feel certain and connected with themselves. Two needs that (most) men are awesome at giving.

Sadly, because human needs psychology is not a very common subject to be browsing, especially in the context of relationships, neither partner is usually aware that these needs need to be fulfilled, or that they have all the power they need to fill them up. So it's either that they naturally know how to fill these needs, they stumble upon it through trial and error, or the relationship falls apart because one side or the other is not getting their needs met.

An example might be something:

*A man comes home from his hectic day job, to a messy house and partner who is busy taking care of the kids, and whom is to tired to be concerned with him or his day, starts to feel insignificant. Though because he knows his partner works her butt of with the kids and other responsibilities, he bottles up his need to feel important, significant and special (even above the kids sometimes), and goes to find something else to fill his need for significance. It might be through drinking, online gaming, a band or something else that makes him feel special. Then, after this has happened for maybe a day or two, and his partner starts to feel disconnected from him, because she's been so busy, and he works all the time then goes off to do his own thing when he gets home, she goes to seek his attention and try to fill her need for connection, love and the certainty that they are doing okay as a couple. Though when she finds him, he is deeply involved in his own world (feeling significant) that he forgets why he found that alternative route in the first place, and stops breaking away from it to spend time with his mate. She, seeing that he appears to be happy in his world, and knowing that he works hard and deserves some time to himself, decides to back off and do her own thing, though she can't deny how much she wonders if he still wants to be with her. Soon they are both bottling up their needs, or filling them with sources outside of intimacy, and even though they originally tried to love each other by not interrupting the surrogate patterns, they soon start to feel bitter, because they have now formed a cycle where neither one of them is getting their needs fulfilled from each other, and neither one of them know what to do about it. Subconsciously, they know what's wrong, but on a conscious level they can't figure it out, which then leads to arguments about less important issues and even more distance between the two.

Change any of the key parts in this example, and you'll have a sitemap of many relationships that have fallen apart, not because either partner meant for it to happen, or didn't try hard enough. Simply because their inner needs were not met, and they were not aware of just what they needed. Everything else seemed like it was the real problem.


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      jackie 5 years ago

      A relationship really has to do with communication in order for it to prosper proper i think that u has to be a real grown person to be in a relationship to know what to except and what to don't.

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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I read through your hub and discovered many truths about relationships. You example is right on. Many times we assume things are fine by what we see. Communication is so needed to make a relationship solid. Great hub.