Jermaine Ulinwa

How To Feel Confident Asking For What You Want In A Relationship

1. Check your motives

Years into my dating and relationship coaching practice and still to this day, the No. 1 struggle I see women stuck in is how to feel confident expressing their desires and asking for what they want—often in the context of intimate relationships but also in other areas of life, too.

I wholeheartedly get it.

I’ve done an immense amount of work on myself, learning more and more about communication each day, and it’s still vulnerable for me too.

Here’s the truth: Relationships cannot move forward without clear communication and without letting a partner or future partner into the inner workings of your mind.

If we want to succeed in our love life and have fulfilling relationships where we feel fully self expressed and like our needs are being met and taken care of, we must learn the art of confidently communicating our desires.

Here are some ways to feel more empowered sticking the landing and having others show up to serve what we desire most.

2. Build internal trust

One of my favorite content creators is personal branding expert Amelia Sordell. A few weeks ago, she posted a wonderful short-form piece detailing how to build confidence expressing yourself online.

If you lack the confidence to post online content, do this:

1. Ask for a free extra shot of coffee when ordering your morning brew.

2. Ask for a round on the house the next time you’re out with friends.

3. Ask for 10% off the total when you’re shopping in store

It’s not the YES or NO that builds your confidence, it’s the constant exposure to new experiences.

AKA if you want to be confident online, you’ve got to get confident in real life first.

The same ideology could easily be applied to your dating life and personal relationships, too.

You have to create opportunities to trust yourself, to take a bit of a risk and have it go well. Or to take a bit of a risk and not have it go as expected to learn that you didn’t die or shrivel into complete humiliation.

Especially in dating, a relationship can only move forward when desires are expressed and connection is continuing to be built.

Quality relationships are a long game. Communication is a skill always worth investing in and seeking to improve.

Practice being a little more honest than usual.

Clearly state what you’re looking for upfront.

Ask an edgier question than you normally might.

Express the desire for a second date instead of getting stuck in the dreaded, awkward talking zone that feels stagnant.

Start to take micro risks in your dating life that teach you to trust yourself. That your communications get received and are welcomed. That the right people want to explore connection more deeply and that you aren’t leaving anything in question or withheld.

When you can build up a store of internal trust, confidence in your communication will be a natural byproduct.

3. Be unattached to the outcome

So often rejection hurts and stings most because we attach a lot of meaning to it. We can’t help but take things personally. We fixate on an outcome for a sense of security or certainty and live in fear of anything but that result happening.

Relationships are the absolute perfect vehicles for developing greater self-awareness, and ultimately, for our growth.

I love the idea of ‘testing’ in early dating. Either expressing a desire directly, sharing a truth authentically, or making an adjustment to a behavior or action that didn’t feel good or you would have preferred to go a different way.

Why I love opportunities to ‘test out the waters’ is because it will show you very clearly who someone is.

Are they someone that is receptive and wants to learn more about you when you reveal something? Or do they disappear at the introduction of honesty and vulnerability?

Are they someone that takes the lead and likes to do the handling in a relationship or are they forgetful and passive?

Are they someone that can take personal responsibility and show up differently or are they defensive and inattentive?

Either way you have your answer.

That’s why being unattached to a result can be so freeing.

No matter what, you will either get an opportunity to practice communication in a resonant way and experience the outcome you were desiring or you will get an opportunity to select a more quality partner.

4. Check your motive

A lot of times, our relationships exist at the level of ego.

We want partnership to feel of a certain status to fit in.

We want someone that looks a certain way to validate we’re worthy of being with someone incredibly attractive or accomplished.

We want someone that will slay the biggest dragons in all the land to prove we’re worthy being fought for and unconditionally chosen.

When we’re existing at the level of ego, or personality, it’s almost damn near impossible to have real, purpose driven, deeply-connected relationships.

For most of my relationship history, I chose partners to validate me, that looked a certain way, or were within a certain set of preferences. I asked things of them to test them in a manipulative way, where if they completed the task I was good enough, worthy, chosen in their eyes.

Not shockingly, those relationships didn’t last. I wasn’t actually connected to the real desire, to the truth, and to the level of connection that would have brought out mine and a partner’s best.

Before expressing a desire or asking for something you want, check in with yourself. Check your motive.

Am I seeking more connection to this person in a genuine way because I want to get to know more of them?

Am I hoping to expand my capacity to receive and let a partner be of service to a real desire I have?

Am I letting myself be seen in a way that will unlock more intimacy in our connection?

If the desire you want to express or thing you want to ask for isn’t making either of you more brilliant in the pursuit of   a new skill or level of resourcefulness achieved or a new level of confidence or new way of being different from patterns you’ve played out in relationships prior, there’s a good chance it’s an ego-based desire.

Check your motive. A real desire is compelling to fulfill and deepens the connection between two people.

By getting clear about what’s underneath the desire by building a sense of internal safety and trust, and by being unattached to a specific result and believing exactly what’s meant to be revealed about a relationship, we can slowly become more confident in asking for what we want.

There’s no losing when it comes to communication. Desires, boundaries, and intimacy are all fulfilled and established through quality communication and the willingness to be open, honest, and vulnerable.

Most relationship problems exist because of withheld information, and usually it’s love and gratitude that are withheld the most.

Communication will always be a skill worth investing in and seeking out improvement in. Your relationships will thrive and feel fulfilling and exciting as a result.