15 Things That Are Most Important In a Relationship

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Have you ever wondered what the most important thing in a relationship is? Is it love, respect, or something else? Most of the time, we think that when two people are in love, that is good enough to make the relationship work, but that is not the case.

With only love, the relationship will start to wither even with the smallest of troubles. A few other essential things are required in a relationship to work out successfully. To know more about these, look at our list of vital elements in a relationship that can make your relationship successful.

1. Trust

If love is what makes a relationship exciting, trust is what keeps it going strong. When there is trust, peace prevails in the relationship. But if the partners do not trust each other enough, they spend their whole life doubting the other’s every action. No one deserves a love that needs them to keep tabs or constantly worry about what the partner might be doing behind their back.

Trust cannot be gained overnight. It is a goal and will get better with time. When you have nothing to hide from your partner, your partner has no reason to doubt whenever you are with others.

2. Loyalty 

When you and your partner have agreed on a monogamous relationship, then loyalty becomes a key aspect. But what is loyalty?

It is the resistance to unhealthy thoughts about a beautiful colleague; it is refusing to flirt back with an old flame. Love with loyalty is probably more important than just love. So when your partner cannot stay loyal but says ‘I love you,’ will you be able to believe those words?

Probably not. Love, combined with loyalty, is pure and long-lasting. Your partner may not be as attractive as your colleague, or as soft-spoken as your old flame, but you chose them each time. And when you are loyal to the one you love, that is one thing you would not change for the rest of your life.

3. Happiness

You may not always be happy in a relationship, but when you look back, the happy times must outweigh the sad ones. Happiness is an essential ingredient for a lasting relationship, so how do you be happy? Is it your partner’s job? No! Your happiness should be in your hands; you cannot expect your partner to be the keeper of your happiness.

The health of the relationship depends on both partners. If you are happy and content with yourself, you will be able to enjoy being in a relationship. Also, you can bring in positive vibes into the relationship. So, always make yourself a priority and do things which can make you happy. This will surely resonate into your relationship.

4. Respect

Respect is as important as love in a relationship. When you truly love someone, you love them for who they are. And such love automatically brings in respect for your partner. Also, a relationship is a bond between two adults with different opinions and views. Respecting each other is the basic foundation you need for a healthy relationship.

Appreciating your partner for who they are, choosing words carefully, maintaining boundaries, and refraining from doing things that can hurt your partner is how you show respect.

5. Emotional support

A relationship can take you on a roller coaster of emotions. But what makes it worthy is having your partner right next to you, holding your hand, through all that. In a loving relationship, you’d want that. When you hear happy news, you long to share it with your partner. And when you are feeling down and depressed, you’d want your partner to hold you and tell you that it’ll be okay.

Partners who are there for each other emotionally stick together as a team, dealing with whatever life throws at them. They create a safe place in their relationship where one partner can be vulnerable without the fear of being judged by the other. And when necessary, they are always there to lend a shoulder to cry on for the partner.

6. Humor 

Everyday life can get your relationship in a slump, so a little fun and excitement are vital to keeping things exciting. If you and your partner can laugh in the face of a problem, then dealing with it head-on is going to be less difficult.

Once in a while, ditch all your inhibitions, pack all your worries and have fun like kids. Do something silly, watch a comedy movie or go to a stand-up event. Humor is a way to keep things light, and those who can laugh together can live together in happiness. Laughter is one thing that can bring you and your partner closer to each other.

7. Compromise

When you love someone, you will not think twice before giving up something you like to make them happy. In a relationship, both the partners should give and take to keep the love alive. A healthy relationship is one where you do not mind letting go of some of needs to accommodate those of your partner.

But it must be mutual. If only one partner ends up compromising all the time, negativity could brew in the relationship and drift you apart.

8. Freedom/ independence

Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to lose yourself. Individual freedom is essential for the relationship to thrive. A healthy relationship will help you become the best version of yourself. It gives you the needed space to think and express your thoughts and take your decisions in life.

Although you can include your partner in your decisions, you don’t have to let them take them for you. Life won’t be the same when you are in a relationship, but you do not have to change who you are for your partner. Retain your unique personality to keep the relationship exciting.

9. Safety

No amount of love can quantify abuse! If you cannot feel safe in your relationship, then no matter how much love you have, the relationship will not work. The feeling of being safe in your partner’s arms is vital in a relationship, as a committed relationship works on vows to protect and love each other forever.

Love is not always enough to stop the abuse, especially if it is one partner’s way of expressing love towards the other. No one deserves to live in a relationship where they constantly fear harm.

10. Friendship

This is probably the most underrated, yet one of the important things in a relationship. Blessed are those couples who can be partners as well as best friends. Friendship is said to be one of the characteristics of a happy and lasting marriage. When you are friends with your partner, you will have shared interests that enhance your time together.

Friendship also helps in building an emotional connection between people, who then feel safe enough to be more open with each other. It also is a faster way to get to know each other. When you can see a friend in your spouse, you will be able to treat each other equally.

11. Honesty

It feels good when your partner trusts you, right? Well then to establish trust in your relationship, all you have to do is be honest with your partner. White lies and deception can fetch you short-term happiness, but if you are looking for a lasting and strong relationship, then try to be honest with your partner. The truth could hurt your partner for a while, but dishonesty could break their trust and your relationship too.

No matter how hard it may get, try to always be honest in your relationship. If you do mess up, sincerely accept your mistake and apologize. Your partner might get mad, but they may appreciate your honesty.

12. Forgiveness

If you are in a relationship, then the first and foremost fact to understand is that no one is perfect. You could have a foot-long list of ideal partner qualities, but at the end of the day, we are all humans and make mistakes. You need to have the ability to forgive and forget (if the apology is sincere).

There could be unforgivable things (cheating) in a relationship, which you might not wish to forget. But there could be a few genuine mistakes that your partner regrets making, and needs you to forgive and forget.

13. Communication

If there is one thing that can make all the above things possible in a relationship, it is communication. The ability to talk in a language that your partner understands is golden. Be it happiness, anger, or grief, the right words can carry your intentions straight to your partner’s heart. Not being able to speak your heart or share your thoughts openly can be a killer in a relationship.

When communication goes wrong, everything tumbles because suppressing your desires, thoughts, and dreams can lead to regret and remorse that could eventually end the relationship.

14. Quality time

How does a couple move on from being strangers to being inseparable? Well, the answer is simple: they make their relationship a priority and spend quality time together. When you spend time with each other, you can know your partner better and understand who they are.

Quality time together will also improve your communication, thus helping in building trust and friendship between the couple. Be it going to a movie or walking in the park, spend some time with your significant other. It will do good to your relationship.

15. Random Acts Of Kindness

The small things you do for your partner may seem insignificant but will stay in your partner’s heart forever. Your partner will never forget how you made them a cup of coffee when they were burning the midnight oil to work on an important presentation, or how you always ask them about their day or tell that you love them even when you’re in a rush to get to work.

It is through these little things that your partner knows you are there for them. And they will definitely reciprocate your kind gestures, which are essential to building a strong relationship.

Kindness does not mean you give a blind eye to your partner’s mistakes, but it means you love them so much that you are willing to go the extra mile for a smile on their face. Both you and your partner must be willing to take care of each other’s needs without complaining.

It may not be possible to pinpoint the most important thing in a relationship since a multitude of emotions and responsibilities work together to form a stable and healthy bond. A relationship requires transparent communication, understanding, trust, love, and care to last long and strong. You may face a series of challenges or rifts, but you need to realize your love for each other and go through those tough times with mutual efforts. Remember, a relationship requires not one but many things to keep it sailing. So work on those if you seem to be lacking and strengthen your bond with each other.

Key Pointers

  • Love is surely the most important thing for any relationship but is not enough to make it work for long.
  • A long-lasting, stable relationship is based on several factors, including trust, loyalty, respect, among others.
  • There are many more crucial factors that play a key role to play in building a strong and beautiful relationship.
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Dr. Carlos Juan Carmona-Goyena

(PhD (Counseling Psychology))
Dr. Carlos Juan Carmona-Goyena is a board licensed therapist in the USA and Puerto Rico with a specialty in couples, families, and relationships. Dr. Carlos possesses a PhD in Counseling Psychology granted at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. His two-decade professional experience also includes scientific research in family emotional and relational processes and its effect on psychological functioning. Dr.... more

sanjana lagudu

Sanjana did her graduation in Pharmacy and post graduation in management. It was during her first job, she recognized her skills in writing and began working as a freelance writer. Later, she completely moved into content writing and began working as a full-time content writer. Sanjana's articles in MomJunction cover topics related to new parenting and relationships. A fitness enthusiast... more

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