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About the author - Deb Melton

A graduate of the Coaching School at the Fearless Living Institute and Relationship Coaching Institute, she is a Certified Fearless Living Coach and a Certified Singles Coach. She has also been an elementary school teacher, workshop and seminar leader, sales trainer, ski instructor and hiking guide for a weigh-loss retreat center for women.

Deb's philosophy is, it's never too late to find the love of your life and live the life you love! After being married for 29 years, Deb is now a happy, energetic single living in Denver.

Deb's website: DenverSinglesCoach.com
deb@denversinglescoach.com (303) 986-2223

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Five Basic Human Needs

"Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings." ~ Miles Franklin

So many of the people I talk with have been married more than once and have had several long term committed relationships too. When they break up it is understandably painful and discouraging. Too often I meet singles who just want to give up. "I just don't know if it's worth it." Or "Maybe I'm just not cut out for a relationship. Maybe I'm better off alone."

Yet they still find that they have an urge to couple, that goes beyond sex and the need for physical closeness. In the movie, Shall We Dance, the character played by Susan Sarandon, when asked a similar question said, "Because we all need someone to witness our lives." But I think it goes deeper than that.

In his book, How To Be An Adult in Relationship, David Richo outlines five needs that all human beings have. The mistake we make is thinking that when we grow up, when we become an adult, we should no longer "need" anyone to fulfill our needs. Yet studies continue to show that the healthiest and happiest people are those in healthy and happy committed relationships. Why is that? I maintain that it is because as human beings we have some needs that are best met by someone else.

The first need Richo talks about is Attention. That means someone else has "engaged focus on you." There is something very validating about that. Something very soothing and nurturing that you cannot really give to yourself.

The next one is Acceptance. When someone accepts you as you are, with all your feelings, choices, personality traits and so on, and doesn't try and change you - that is very seductive. Many people feel loved when they are accepted. It makes us feel that this person is safe enough to risk intimacy.

The third is Appreciation and gives depth to acceptance. Richo says, "I admire you. I delight in you. I prize you. I acknowledge you. I appreciate you as unique." Appreciation includes gratitude and a flow of giving and receiving. Studies have also shown that one critical factor, in whether couples stay together or split, is that there must be at least a 5 to 1 ratio of appreciation to complaints. Appreciation is very important! You can acknowledge yourself and pat yourself on the back, but a word of appreciation from someone you love and admire speaks volumes.

The fourth is Affection. This one is the one that most of the singles I work with find the most challenging and the one they miss the most. Generally we think of affection as physical, and that is important. We know that babies will die without being held and stroked by another human being. Physical affection improves the immune system and has many health and psychological benefits. The word affection comes from affect, which means feeling. So affection refers to the emotional as well as the physical. It includes kindness, thoughtfulness, considerateness, playfulness and romantic gestures. These are all expressions of love and we feel good when we give them to someone else as well as when we receive them.

The last one is Allowing. When someone allows you to be 100% yourself, you feel safe to reveal your deepest wishes, needs and dreams. And it is sharing that with another person, who also shares theirs with you, that makes relationships worth the effort. This is where the richness of life is really found.