A Major Sign You're Emotionally Deprived In Your Relationship

Although no relationship is perfect, there are things that are necessary to keep them afloat. For example, trust, intimacy, sharing the same values and ethics, and mutual respect are among those important components. Also on the list is having your emotional needs met. If you're investing your emotions in your partner, as is the case with romantic relationships, then your emotional needs should be met — as should you be meeting your partner's emotional needs. Unfortunately, however, that doesn't always happen.


"In relationships, everyone has the same basic emotional needs to ensure not only the survival of the relationship but their survival as an individual," relationship psychologist Kate Balestrieri, Psy.D., CSAT-S, tells MindBodyGreen. "It is challenging to focus on thriving if someone feels emotionally unseen, unheard, or unimportant in primary relationships."

While we shouldn't be entirely dependent on our partner to fulfill our emotional needs like self-confidence, self-acceptance, and a sense of accomplishment, just to name a few, a healthy partnership does require that there be at least something coming from the other person and that something should be steeped in hearing each other and taking those thoughts and feelings into consideration. If these things aren't being had, then the relationship is lacking in the fulfillment of emotional needs, and deprivation follows. 


If you think you're being emotionally deprived in your relationship, here's the major sign that you are.

Your core belief tells you so

Before we can delve into how one's core belief that they're being emotionally deprived is a sign that they are, it's important to understand schemas. According to Simply Psychology, a schema is an "organized unit of knowledge for a subject or event based on past experience." In other words, one's schema is their core belief of something based on experiences in childhood and grows as we age if it isn't dealt with then. In regards to emotional deprivation in adult relationships, that can look like feeling misunderstood, assumptions of neglectful behavior on the part of your partner, and then you turning cold because of these feelings (via Psychology Today).


"The emotionally deprived person has a core belief that leads to automatic thoughts," clinical psychologist Dr. Avigail Lev tells TRZ. "You'll immediately think things about your partner like 'This person doesn't understand me,' or 'They did that on purpose.' When you get triggered thoughts, feelings of deprivation and longing will come up. You're triggered to do a behavior that creates a self-fulfilling prophecy in which that core belief is inevitably confirmed." If you behave as if what you perceive is already true, the result will ultimately be just that.

What you can do about it

As is the case with all psychological issues, you must become aware and identify what these triggers are that are leading you to feel this way. Are you actually being emotionally deprived, or has your core belief led you astray?


If you're emotionally deprived, you take your feelings and bottle them up, leaning into feelings of loneliness until you can't take it anymore and end up making demands of your partner that stem from anger, resentment, and self-doubt. Feelings that could have been avoided if you recognized your triggers and opened up the lines of communication with your partner. Communication is, after all, one of the most important parts of a relationship. But what's also an essential part of a relationship is having realistic expectations of each other — you can't demand everything from your partner because no one is capable of being everything for someone else, not even their partner. 

"You'll never get your needs met 100 percent," clinical psychologist Dr. Avigail Lev tells TZR. "It's important to know what it is to get to 70 or 80%. Mentally track what needs are being met and use nonviolent communication to make requests and not demands."


Although emotional deprivation is a real issue in relationships, it's also something that, based on awareness of your schema, can be helped. While no one wants to admit to their shortcomings, those parts of us do exist, and as soon as they're identified, we can be better and more open partners. In doing this, feeling deprived is something short-lived because these emotions are discussed at the onset of them.