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The 17 Minimum Daily Requirements for Your Relationship

Your 17 Minimum Daily Emotional Requirements

Your 17 Minimum Daily Emotional Requirements

Dear Friend,

We all have needs.

Our bodies have needs.

And, on the side of every cereal box, you will see a guide to your “Minimum Daily Requirements” for vitamins, minerals, calories and such.

We are human.  And all humans have these physical requirements to some degree.  Maintaining these needs helps to preserve our physical health.

Understand, these are minimum needs.  For top health, you should do more.  Exercise, organic foods, lots of fiber.  But, if you just want to squeak by in life, these minimums should do the trick.

We also have other needs.

Emotional needs.

And these emotional needs must also be fulfilled each day if we are to maintain our emotional health.

We often go into relationships hoping that our new honey will satisfy those needs.  But what we later discover is that we are ultimately responsible for pursuing our own emotional needs. It’s just nice if we can share that pursuit with someone special.

Nevertheless, there are 17 minimum daily requirements for your emotional health that I consider non-negotiable for maintaining a solid relationship with your partner – or with anyone else for that matter.

The 17 are:

• Good will from your partner.
• Emotional support from your partner.
• Be heard by your partner and to be responded to with respect and acceptance
• Have your own view, even if your partner has a different view.
• Have your feelings and experience acknowledged as real.
• Receive a sincere apology for any jokes or actions you find offensive.
• Clear, honest and informative answers to questions about what affects you.
• Freedom from accusation, interrogation and blame.
• Freedom from criticism and judgment.
• Have your work and your interests respected.
• Receive encouragement.
• Freedom from emotional and physical threat.
• Freedom from angry outburst and rage.
• Freedom from labels which devalue you.
• Be respectfully asked rather than ordered.
• Have your final decisions accepted.
• Privacy at times.

When a relationship lacks one or a few of these minimum daily emotional requirements, problems erupt.  The more that are missing, the bigger the eruption.

Is this all you need?  Well, personally, I want much more.  I want intimacy, closeness, passion, great sex, fun, excitement, fantasy, imagination, discovery, and more.

You probably have your own list of relationship wants.

Still, if these 17 minimum daily emotional requirements are not being met in your relationship, perhaps you need to look for the rest of your wants somewhere else.

All the best,


{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Keith Smith July 13, 2010, 1:09 am

    Hello Hugh,

    Three words. I love this! These 17 MDR's are fantastic. May I have your permission to print them out? I'd like a constant reminder of what I want and what I should also give.

    Thanks for this post. It really is helpful. Keep it up!

  • Hugh DeBurgh July 13, 2010, 3:56 am

    Please! Print them and use them! That's what they are for.
    Thanks for your kind comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

  • Joyce July 13, 2010, 11:05 am

    Maybe we should add these to the bill of rights, haha! 😉 Nice one. I guess the gist is about love and respect for each other.

  • Keithsmith July 13, 2010, 3:29 pm

    Thank you!! Keep those awesome posts coming Hugh!

  • Preeti @ heart and mind July 14, 2010, 8:32 pm


    I really like these, we all get our basic needs in form of food, shelter, clothing etc but our emotional needs are just as important for to feel alive.

    I like freedom to learn and freedom to sit drinking tea! having 2 little ones that is bit tough to come by.

  • Denise Michaels July 19, 2010, 3:33 pm

    Oh boy! Now you've done it. There's gonna be a whole lot of shakin' going on as more and more people get wind of your blog and what you're doing. *smile*

    I read “The 4-hour Work Week” by Ferriss and thought it was great. But like you, thought, “How does this work for a person with commitments?” I'm 52 and I don't have kids. However, I have a husband who's fiercely loyal to his grown sons from a previous marriage and grandkids. He's also 65, gets Social Security and a small pension and my income from my home-based business has to cover the rest. Thank goodness we're both in good health.

    My passion is writing and I've found ways over the years to weave writing into my work. My first job out of college I was an advertising copywriter, for example. The most unhappy years of my life were the five years I spent peddling financial services because I wasn't writing at all. Very lucrative, but I knew I wasn't doing what God put me on the planet to do. I'm the author of a book on marketing for women business owners that's enjoyed some success and resulted in consulting, mentoring and workshops – which is where my income comes from – but it doesn't allow us to take off on the open road.

    Right now I'm looking at how to monetize my writing so I can do it all from my laptop. Others are doing it – why not me? Since starting on what I've dubbed my “excellent adventure” five weeks ago, I've worked harder than ever. (Add to that the fact we live in Las Vegas and this time of year its well over 100 degrees every day.) I think a lot of people want to see me do something dramatic like jump out of a plane. This process is a gradual one.

    Thanks for what you're doing.

    Denise Michaels
    Denise Michaels Excellent Adventure

  • Hugh DeBurgh July 19, 2010, 10:05 pm

    Hey Preeti!
    Yes, the kids are good at totally dominating our lives, aren't they? I have a 6 year old who would monopolize my time 24/7. I know that's a compliment, but we need our own time, too. My post was about relationships (with a partner), but the truth is that our kids factor into our emotional needs too – sometimes more than our partner – and to both good and not too good effect.
    Thanks for commenting!
    Hugh 🙂

  • Hugh DeBurgh July 19, 2010, 10:13 pm

    Hi Denise!

    Just keep on doin' what you are doin'.

    Ferriss' book left me kind of flat and I have now turned that reaction into a dedication to help “the rest of us” achieve the quality lifestyle dream.

    It is a challenge. It's a lifetime effort. But then it's our lives we're talking about – so it's worth the effort!

    I believe that the secret to making this work is persistence. I don't think there is one answer that everyone can use to make their dream lifestyle happen. We are all crafting our own, unique masterpiece. And good art takes time. Give up and we'll deserve what we get.

    But it can be discouraging sometimes when we do everything that we're supposed to do, but we still struggle. That's when people settle for less. Try enough times and we'll make it.

    And I say make sure you are having fun in the process. Because if we die before we succeed, at least we had a good time! 🙂

    Thanks for your very thoughtful words!

    All the best,


  • Hugh DeBurgh July 19, 2010, 10:18 pm

    Hey Joyce!

    Yup. Love and respect about covers it. But for those of us who get so wrapped in ourselves sometimes that we forget about those we care about, these rules can remind us.

    Thank you for your comment!


  • Hugh DeBurgh July 19, 2010, 10:19 pm


  • Joe Wilner - shakeoffthegrind July 21, 2010, 3:14 pm


    You are right on with this article. These are truly prerequisites for a healthy relationship. Two very important areas are communication and boundaries. When there is respect and understanding coming form these areas, a couple is much less likely to have resentment toward each other. Needless to say, resentment is a very bad sing in any relationship.

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