Relationships: The Concept of N3C’s

Have you ever thought why do you want to be in relationships? What are your needs?

In any relationship, we often have expectations, and desire certain things from our partner, but have we ever thought where those needs arise from? Some may want attachment, affiliation or even financial security whether others may need more intimacy. All of these come under the needs that arise in any relationship. Our relationships are also highly influenced by the 3C’s, these are Capacity, Characteristics and Circumstances.

Human beings often get into relationships to satisfy their own needs. Needs can be in various forms, one may want something physical, while another may want something spiritual. In order to maintain our relationships successfully it is important to identify our own needs. They can also be intrinsic and extrinsic. One may get into a relationship for affiliation, attachment or intimacy also known as intrinsic needs while others might get involved in any relationship in order to achieve something. Understanding of needs is a really important constituent of any relationship, and successful understanding leads to mutual gratification, helps understand concepts like compatibility and security. One may not be able to contribute in a relationship as much as the partner wants that person to, to understand one’s capacity within a relationship it is important to understand how much a person can give in and what other circumstances are surrounding the bonding. Along with it, it is necessary to analyse the characteristics of the nature of a relationship.

All of the relationships bring its own share of differences and in that context capacity matters. Your capacity for differences refers to the ability to deal with those differences in a constructive manner. Your partner may discover certain traits of your personality as the relationship grows. Similarly, you will but instead of tolerating those differences, it is important to realise that one can inbuilt develop the ability to become curious and know more about the certain different traits your partner possesses. In other words dealing with differences in a constructive manner, such as being more aware and responsive to those differences.

A successful relationship is one where both of the partners understand the similarities and differences and work towards them in a constructive manner so that instead of tolerating them one could create a win-win situation where both partners are satisfied. Some people may have a greater capacity of maintaining compatibility in a relationship. For example, if you are open to change, flexible and motivated to work hard for your relationship, all these characteristics help to build a strong relationship and will even influence sustained compatibility. If you are insecure, stubborn, argumentative, jealous, or easily frustrated by your partner, it will be more challenging for you and your partner’s N3Cs to jive overtime.

Few ways to understand your and your partner’s N3Cs more effectively:

Very effective communication along with self-monitoring is necessary. It is necessary for you to understand your needs and then to be able to communicate them effectively.
Communicate different ways and alternatives in which you as a couple can work towards meeting each other’s needs.
Using language and metaphors that are easily understood can help understand N3Cs. Along with this being creative and flexible throughout the whole communication process.
Seek and foster relationships that permit you to feel safe exploring different aspects of life together. Consider different strategies that allow you to work towards meeting those needs. Journaling or documenting what you desire gives you a sense of control over your life, & helps you understand your N3Cs.

Maintain your own personhood or personality & instead of getting ’enmeshed’ in a relationship, create a ‘safe space’.

If differences in the relationship are increasing it is generally advised to sit down and talk about those and gain a greater empathetic understanding of your partner’s underlying needs that in future will help you see more similarities than you initially thought to have.

It is also imperative to gain a deeper understanding of you & your partner’s N3Cs, along with the goals of the relationship.


In the end, you should not feel overly deterministic or predictable – your relationship should be more empowering!


stay up to date

Don’t miss out on our latest events