What is most important in a relationship

Making It Work- 7 Things That Are More Important Than Love in Relationships

March 11, 2019

Our relationships are some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of life. Finding someone you want to share your life with is a beautiful thing. Falling in love feels magical.

In fact, falling in love has real health benefits and has an impact on our bodies and our minds. Around 87% of Americans believe in true love, which is promising!

But contrary to popular belief, love is not all you need. Relationships take a lot more than love to keep them going and love alone won’t keep a couple together.

Successful relationships take a lot of work to keep both people happy and healthy. Read on for 7 things more important than love that you need to know to make your relationship work.

1. Trust

One of the most important parts of a relationship is to trust one another completely. You have to be able to trust that they won’t stray and you trust them with your feelings.

You have to trust each other enough to be vulnerable on an emotional and physical level, too. A trusting relationship isn’t built overnight though, it takes time to grow.

If you’re at the beginning of a relationship and the trust isn’t all there, give it time to grow. But if you’re in a long-term relationship and still don’t trust your partner, it’s not a good sign.

2. Vulnerability

Speaking of vulnerability, that’s the next one on this list. Vulnerability is important in a relationship and it’s beautiful with the right partner.

Opening up to your partner without fear of judgment is amazing. They get to know you better and it can strengthen your relationship. If you don’t allow vulnerability, your relationship will suffer.

Your partner may feel that you don’t trust them enough to let them in. They may feel shut out and that can be hurtful if they’re vulnerable with you.

Don’t bottle it up. Open up and let vulnerability transform your relationship!



Communication, communication, communication. This is one of the most important aspects of a relationship, but so many couples struggle with it.

There are many things in a relationship you can solve with effective communication. You need it to set boundaries, to solve problems, express feelings, and more.

There are some aspects of a relationship that some people can find hard to talk about, like sex for example. But proper communication allows you to identify problems and come up with solutions.

4. Honesty

In a similar vein to trust, honesty is a huge factor in any relationship. Telling lies or hiding the truth from your partner can destroy your relationship.

If there isn’t honesty in a relationship, it’s pretty much doomed. If there are a lot of little lies or a huge secret in the way, the truth will come out in the end. It will hurt your partner and it could end the relationship.

Whatever it may be, you have to respect your partner enough to be honest with them. From there, you can work on the relationship, but lies won’t solve anything.

5. Loyalty

A huge pillar of a successful relationship is having loyalty to your partner. You need to be loyal to them and only them as your romantic partner. Unless you’ve both agreed and set boundaries to an open relationship, it’s non-negotiable.

If you can’t stay loyal and faithful to your partner, then ask yourself why you’re with them. Your commitment is paramount and you could cause a lot of pain to them if you’re unfaithful.

If you can’t be loyal to your partner, it’s kinder to end the relationship instead of hurting them further.

6. Respect

Respect is a huge part of any relationship. You need to have the utmost respect for your partner and yourself.

If you’re in a relationship where you feel put down or degraded, your partner doesn’t respect you. You also need to respect yourself enough to leave such a situation.

Both parties need to respect each other’s feelings and boundaries. You need to value and take care of each other in every way you can.

When you respect and love one another, you’ll have a beautiful relationship. This foundation of trust and security is essential and will lead to wonderful things.

7. Affection

At the start of a relationship, you’re all loved up and can’t take your hands off each other. But as time goes on, the affection can dwindle and it’s important to get it back.

It’s the little things like hand holding or random kisses throughout the day. These little actions show your partner that you love and care about them and it means a great deal.

Everyone is affectionate in their own way, so take time to learn each others’ love languages. When you find ways to show each other affection, it shows how much you mean to them and vice versa.

Feeling unappreciated can damage your relationship. Learn how to communicate about bringing affection back and it can make a huge difference.

These Are the Keys to Successful Relationships

Relationships aren’t always easy and to keep them going both partners need to work hard. Love is a huge staple of a relationship but it’s not always enough to keep it strong.

When you look at all the successful relationships in your life and other couples’, you’ll see these 7 things are in each of them. Some of these are harder to work at than others. This is when couples therapy can make a huge difference.

Learn How to Improve Your Relationship!


15 Things That Are Most Important In a Relationship

Commitment and conscious effort from both partners are a must for a relationship to thrive.

Image: iStock

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

Image: iStock

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


Image: Shutterstock

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

Image: iStock

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

Image: iStock

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

Image: Shutterstock

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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Sanjana did her graduation in Pharmacy from Andhra University and post graduation in management from GITAM Institute of 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... more

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

12 signs of a healthy relationship | PSYCHOLOGIES


Man and woman Sex Relationship crisis

1. Love and care

The most important thing in a healthy relationship is sincere mutual love. Partners take care of each other both in words and in deeds, constantly demonstrating that they value and love each other.

2. Honesty

In a healthy relationship, partners do not lie to each other and do not hide the truth. Such relationships are transparent, there is no place for deceit in them.

3. Willingness to accept a partner as he is

You must have heard that you should not start a relationship hoping to change your partner over time. Whether it's a very serious problem like a drug addiction or something small like not washing the dishes all the time, if you expect him or her to behave differently, you're likely to be disappointed.

Yes, people can and do change, but they themselves must want it. You cannot force your partner to change, no matter how much you love them.

4. Respect

Mutual respect means that partners consider each other's feelings and treat their partner the way they would like to be treated. Respect allows you to exclude situations when it seems to one of the partners that the second one puts pressure on him or tries to manipulate him. They are ready to listen to each other and respect the point of view of their partner.

5. Mutual assistance

Partners have common goals. They don't try to put spokes in each other's wheels, they don't compete, they don't try to "beat" each other. Instead, mutual assistance and mutual support reign in the relationship.

6. Physical and emotional security

Partners do not feel wary or tense in each other's presence. They know that they can rely on a partner in any situation. They do not have to fear that their partner can hit them, yell at them, force them to do something they do not want, manipulate them, humiliate them or shame them.

7. Mutual openness

A sense of security allows you to fully open up to your partner, which, in turn, makes the relationship of partners deeper. They know they can share their deepest thoughts and secrets without fear of judgment.

8. Support for the partner's individuality

Healthy attachment of partners to each other does not prevent them from setting their own goals in life and achieving them. They have personal time and personal space. They support each other, are proud of each other, and are interested in each other's hobbies and passions.


Coincidence of expectations

When the expectations of partners differ greatly in terms of relationships, very often one of them is disappointed. It is important that the expectations of both are realistic and close to each other.

This concerns a variety of issues: how often they have sex, how they celebrate holidays, how much time they spend together, how they share household chores, and so on. If the views of partners on these and other issues differ greatly, it is very important to discuss the differences and find a compromise.

10. Willingness to forgive

In any relationship, partners happen to misunderstand each other and hurt each other - this is inevitable. If the “guilty” partner sincerely regrets what happened and really changes his behavior, he should be forgiven. If partners do not know how to forgive, over time, relationships will collapse under the weight of accumulated grievances.

11. Willingness to discuss any conflicts and contradictions

It is easy to talk with your partner when everything is going well, but it is much more important to be able to constructively discuss any conflicts and grievances. In healthy relationships, partners always have the opportunity to tell each other what they are unhappy with or offended or disagree with - but in a respectful way.

They do not avoid conflicts and do not pretend that nothing happened, but discuss and resolve contradictions.

12. Ability to enjoy each other and life

Yes, building relationships is hard work, but they should also bring joy. Why do we need a relationship if the partners are not happy with each other's company, if they cannot laugh together, have fun and generally have a good time?

Remember that in a relationship, each of the partners not only takes something, but also gives. You have the right to expect your partner to comply with all of these rules, but you yourself must comply.

About the author

Sharon Martin is a psychotherapist from California with 20 years of experience, her website is .

Text: Nikolai Protsenko Photo Source: Getty Images

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We have prepared for you a very free translation of a very long publication by the popular English-language blogger Mark Manson, dedicated to long-term relationships and marriage.

Mark asked many people who have been married for more than 10 years and do not plan to get divorced, what is the secret of a strong family. The answers he received showed that all happy couples are happy for the same reasons.

The article will be useful to everyone who cares not only about a career, but also about a full-fledged relationship with the right person.

Reason #1: Marry / Be in a Serious Relationship Only for the Right Reasons

Many who have divorced and remarried explain that first marriages ended in divorce because they were for the wrong reasons. They can be very different: pressure from relatives and friends; the feeling that it is time for you to settle down; the desire to be a beautiful couple, because you look good together; a naive thought, as if with a sweet paradise and in a hut ... All this seems logical. But it only seems, because there can be only one reason for marriage: you should just want to be close to this person - that's what people with experience say.

The only thing that really works is sincere admiration for each other. But, as is often the case, getting married so that someone makes you happy is straight forward to codependency. And this has never been good for anyone.

Reason No. 2. Don't harbor false hopes

When getting married, lovers often think that they will always keep their feelings sharp, and when the intensity of emotions subsides, they think that the family is falling apart. Love is a strange thing. When the head is spinning, we are ready to forgive the partner for any mistakes and turn a blind eye to shortcomings. But it will not last forever, at most - a few years. And then the puppy delight with which we look into the eyes of a loved one disappears. And as soon as the thrill of love passes, there is no need to think that love has passed and you are on the verge of divorce. You just need to learn to love a person as he is, respect him and be glad that he is around.

True love is a choice: to be with a person, despite the circumstances, despite the fact that he does not always make you happy. It's difficult, but it's also valuable.

Reason #3: Respect is the most important thing in a relationship worries. However, those who have 20, 30, 40 years of marriage behind them say that the most important thing is respect for each other.

The fact is that conflicts in couples are inevitable, and we will hurt each other's feelings, no matter how much we want to avoid it. And the only thing that will help you stay together is mutual respect, the feeling that you value each other above all else, trust each other and trust that your partner will do what is best for both of you. Just do not forget that you also need to respect yourself. Both you and the other half.

Reason No. 4. Be frank about everything

Still, you need to talk, especially about what hurts you. If something doesn't suit you in a relationship, you should definitely say it: when we talk frankly, it creates a sense of trust, which creates intimacy. It can be painful, but you still need to do it, because no one will fix your relationship but you.

Trust is also needed in order to cope with such an unpleasant feeling as jealousy. We all need to understand that a partner may have other interests, they can communicate with other people, and it is not worth getting angry when you see that they are talking to someone else.

Reason No. 5. Healthy relationships are found in healthy individuals

In any marriage, something has to be sacrificed for the sake of another person. But the problem is that if the relationship is maintained only because someone gives up their interests for the sake of another, sooner or later it will end in a break. A relationship based on sacrifice is doomed.

Healthy, happy relationships can only be maintained by healthy, happy individuals. The key word is "personality". This means that people should have their own ideas about themselves, personal interests, their own hobbies to which they devote time.

Reason #6: Leave space for each other

One of the most important things in a relationship is not to completely merge into each other. The secret of success is different bank accounts, different credit cards, different friends and hobbies. Even holidays can be spent separately. Some of those who have given advice to newlyweds even suggest using separate bathrooms and toilets, but this is difficult to do in Russia.

It sounds strange - indeed, many are afraid to let go of their partner and give him freedom. And all because people lack trust - they are not confident in themselves and their relationships. It often seems to us that if we let a loved one go somewhere on their own, it will turn out that he no longer needs us. Unfortunately, the inability to let go of a partner means that we do not respect him. And this means that we do not respect ourselves. After all, is it really possible to seriously think that a wife or husband will be taken away from us at a corporate party?

Reason #7: Be prepared to change

When people have been married for more than 20 years, they may find themselves much different than they were two decades ago. Be prepared for the fact that in 20 years you will wake up and find that the person who lies next to you is not at all the same as before, and here you will need to learn to love him.

Of course, this will happen if you let your other half be yourself, mind your own business and develop in your own direction - and you yourself will do it too. But when you change, do not forget to discuss what is happening to you - then you will be able to both respect and accept each other.

Reason No. 8. Learn to quarrel properly

We already know that quarrels in a couple are inevitable, but you need to sort things out correctly. There are a few rules that must not be broken. First of all, you can not criticize the personal qualities of a partner: no “you are dumb / dumb” - only “you are doing stupid things”. You should not take a defensive position in the conflict, like “I would not have done/did it if you hadn’t…”. It is forbidden to impose a feeling of guilt on a partner. And, of course, you can’t refuse if a loved one wants to speak out: running away from a quarrel with the words “that’s it, I’m not going to discuss it” is the right way to break off relations.

Reason #9. Learn the art of forgiveness

It's hard to believe, but even in the strongest families there are insoluble contradictions. There are problems about which we will never agree with each other, and the only way out in this case is to come to terms with it. And it is also a matter of respect for each other.

The fact is that if we allow each other to remain themselves, then we will inevitably have different positions on some issues. Political views, for example: yes, there are couples who broke up because of different views on Russia's position on Crimea or Syria, but honestly, how can you get divorced because the person you love votes for or against Putin? You cannot impose your opinion on another person, and if you are trying to do this, then you do not respect him.

Reason No. 10. Allow yourself little pleasures

Going to the movies together, having lunch together during work hours, going out on the weekends - these may seem like little things, but they are what make you a family. If you devote all your time only to the joint arrangement of life, go to hypermarkets for shopping on weekends, and discuss bills and payments at dinner, sooner or later you will turn from spouses into neighbors.

Paying attention to the little things: holding hands at the movies, saying “I love you” to each other before bed, remembering to close the tube of toothpaste, or throwing things around if it annoys your partner – all this will help you once again emphasize that you appreciate and respect him.