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I cannot understand the exact meaning of this sentence in the following:

Remember, too, that the words "I love you, I like being in a relationship with you. ..." are not demands and need to be said occasionally in any relationship.

In particular, I am ambivalent about the meaning. Does it implies some obligation for saying the words (even occasionally) or it tells the reader to relax and only expect these words to be said occasionally. I appreciate if you provide a grammar hint that would be useful for me in the similar sentences as well (probably something related to need to).

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The writer is saying that the reader should not be afraid to say these words to their significant other, and should make sure to say them at least occasionally. The reader (according to the writer) might be scared that their significant other could interpret these phrases as “demands”- maybe demands to say the same thing back to them, or demands to feel a certain way or put some kind of label on their relationship or do certain things. “Need to” does normally imply an obligation, as you thought with your first interpretation (the second interpretation about the reader relaxing is not correct).

1

In terms of the syntactical structure of the sentence, I think and need to is awkward—and may be causing some confusion.

For example, the following sentence (which follows the same structure as the sentence in the question) is strange and unidiomatic:

The apple is not fresh and it needs to be eaten.

It's not actually ungrammatical, but and isn't normally used in that way.

Because the two ideas are in contrast to each other (where one doesn't logically follow from the other), the more common conjunction is but:

The apple is not fresh, but it needs to be eaten.


Referring back to the original sentence—and putting additional emphasis on the subject of demands:

❔ Remember, too, that the words "I love you, I like being in a relationship with you. ..." are not demands and need to be said occasionally in any relationship.

✔ Remember, too, that the words "I love you, I like being in a relationship with you. ..." are not demands, but [they still do] need to be said occasionally in any relationship.

0

This is a use of passive voice; rather than saying "people need to say these words", the writer says "these words need to be said". Passive voice allows a writer to talk about an action without focusing on the person performing the action; in this case, the writer wants the focus to be on the words that they think should be said, rather than talking about who should say them. This is indeed common for "need to"; often, if something needs to be done, one will want to focus on the thing that needs to be done, rather than getting caught up in who needs to do it.

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