“I would like to spend some time just you and I tonight, without the kids. I would like to cuddle/spoon on the couch and watch Big Bang Theory and then maybe turn off the TV and just cuddle. How about you?” You clearly know if you have done the above. You have taken the initiative of knowing your needs, communicating them directly and not demanding that they get met. You are open to your partner’s influence and negotiating a different outcome if that is preferable.
“I would really like to connect with you” is not a clear expectation. We cannot easily measure whether “connection” happened or not. “Let’s spend some time together.” One partner often thinks they meet the other’s need and did not. Let’s try again.
Frustrated needs are the usual cause for a fight/disagreement and hurt feelings.
Here are commonly stated needs
I would like:
- To Emotionally Connect (This is not nearly specific enough. I have spent countless hours with guys helping them understand how to meet this need for their spouse. Please be specific.)
- Alone time (How much space and time is enough? “If you won’t leave me alone, I will find someone who will” is the refrain of a country song, I am told.)
- To cuddle (How long? All night, an hour, five minutes? Where? Which type of cuddle? Cuddle, leading to intimacy or not?)
- To be physically intimate (Not specific enough for some people. You have the right to ask for what you want. Please be specific.)
PS Don't wait for next Valentine's Day to try this