17 Most Important Things In A Relationship

Focusing on these relationship aspects can strengthen the bond you share with your partner.

Reviewed by Stephanie Mintz, MA (Clinical Psychology), LMFT Stephanie Mintz Stephanie MintzMA (Clinical Psychology), LMFT
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA (English) Gazala Firdos Ansari Integrated MA (English) Experience: 2 years

The thought of losing that special person you love really puts perspective on the most important things in a relationship. Sometimes we fight with our partners for the silliest of reasons. Maybe they didn’t help you pick a color for the kitchen wall, or they forgot to compliment you on your new haircut. Some people eventually realize that there’s more to a partnership than just those things. But many couples don’t, and they allow these small arguments to ruin a beautiful relationship. Keep reading to understand the 17 most important things to focus on in a relationship and what you must let go of.

What Are The Most Important Things In A Relationship?

Important factors in a relationship
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1. Open Communication

Open communication is the foundation of any successful relationship (1). Your significant other cannot read your mind (neither can anyone else). So, voicing your feelings, expectations, and needs is essential. Even if you are in the middle of a conflict, communication comes in handy to resolve conflicts and strengthen your bond. Without communication, you are creating resentment, piling up misunderstandings, and giving rise to bitterness. Be mindful of the fact that all these are fatal for any relationship.

2. Trust In Each Other

Trusting each other is one of the most important things in a relationship
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Having trust in a relationship signals longevity and permanence. However, if you lack this ingredient, it is not a healthy, secure, and stable relationship. Trust can be built with time and grows stronger if you are both willing to work on having a healthy relationship and grow together. You can’t make your love life exciting and fulfilling if the element of trust is missing.

3. Respecting Each Other

No matter how cliché it sounds, disrespecting your partner can fade the love too. Love cannot be a justification for sacrificing your self-worth or disrespecting your partner. For a relationship to bloom and prosper, partners need to respect each other. You need to respect the differences and not impose your likes or dislikes on the other. The best way to strengthen your bond is to celebrate and respect the differences. Disrespecting each other only sprouts resentment and can damage any relationship.

4. Loyalty

Being unfaithful is probably the most detrimental thing to any relationship. Love that is coupled with loyalty is long-lasting and sacred. Loyalty is the building block of a relationship. If you want to make it work, then you have to commit to your partner. It is possible that your significant other is not as witty as your coworker or as extroverted as your ex, but there is a reason why you chose them over everyone else. This should be the basis for your unflinching loyalty. A relationship fails when you have a third person in the mix, regardless of whether you disclose that person’s identity or keep it under wraps from your partner.

5. Compromise

For a relationship to flourish, making compromises is essential for both individuals. Work on finding common ground between the both of you for your relationship to thrive. A successful relationship includes compromising from both ends as no one can always have it their way. If you keep depriving your partner and consider only your needs, it can lead to resentment and even end your relationship.

6. Upholding Independence

As a couple, if you eat, breathe, live and sleep together all the time, it is perfectly okay. However, having your own individual time is equally important. When in a relationship, you should never lose yourself. Of course, you both may spark changes in each other, but you can always retain the charm and personality that makes you different and induce it in your relationship.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Setting healthy boundaries in relationships may help reduce codependency. They create a sense of mutual respect and ensure individual well-being.

7. A Feeling Of Safety

The feeling that you are safe with your significant other makes it worthwhile to stay in a relationship. However, if your safety is questioned, all other emotions start failing, and your bond eventually crumbles. In a committed relationship, you have to keep up the sacred vow of protecting and loving your partner in all the circumstances of life. This feeling of safety extends to both physical and emotional safety.

8. Being Happy

Being happy is one of the most important things in a relationship
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The hustle and bustle of everyday life can lead to a slump in your relationship. So, finding ways to fill it with fun, excitement, and happiness is essential. No relationship is sunshine and rainbows at all times, but ensuring that happier times overshadow unhappy ones is vital. Laughter brings two hearts together and can help balance out worries.

9. Being A Team

As much as you require personal space, staying strong together is vital too. A relationship requires you to wear different hats at various times. Sometimes you may have to listen to your partner patiently and offer support. At other times, you must offer unbiased, constructive criticism or a different perspective to help them make better, informed choices. Of course, there will be times when your partner will have to step into those roles for you as well. Your combined strengths compensate for each other’s weaknesses and help you work through challenging situations effectively. As different individuals, you have to team up together to work on your relationship.

10. Forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of the most important things in a relationship
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Forgiveness is a very important virtue, and nobody is perfect in this world. You might have a list of qualities you are looking for in your partner, but at the end of the day, to err is human and to forgive is divine. If a sincere heart makes an apology and works on doing things differently, learn to forgive and move on. There might be some mistakes that can impact the relationship severely, but you can work on everything. If you and your partner want to put those mistakes behind you and work on rebuilding the relationship, both of you must be able to forgive each other before you can move forward.

11. Spending Quality Time Together

Spending quality time together is one of the most important things in a relationship
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How do two strangers become inseparable and end up totally in love? Well, it is all about spending quality time with each other and prioritizing your relationship. The time spent together helps to know your partner better. It opens communication channels and helps in building your friendship and fostering trust for each other. It can be a small task like taking a walk together or watching the sun rise over a steaming hot cup of tea in the mornings, but it can do wonders for your relationship.

12. Be Emotionally Available

As much as a relationship is all about love and happiness, it is also about being emotionally available for your partner in trying times. Lend your ear when your partner wants to be heard about their emotional challenges. Being insensitive to their emotions and staying consumed in your own world will leave a void that can tempt your partner to fill it with a third party. Listening to and validating your partner’s feelings will bring you closer and make you stronger as a couple.

13. Express Love

Expressing love is one of the most important things in a relationship
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Who doesn’t want to be told that they are the most special and important person in their partner’s life over and over again? Don’t ever take your significant other for granted. Voice your feelings of love and admiration to let them know how much they mean to you. This will also maximize your opportunities of receiving love.

14. Be Kind

The small acts of kindness you do for your partner might look trivial but will stay in their heart forever. Through these little gestures, you can let your partner know that you care about them and that you always have their back. And rest assured that they will go out of their way to reciprocate these kind deeds in their own way to make you feel special. This lays the foundation for a strong relationship.

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Pay attention to how you refer to your partner in front of others. Be kind with your words, speak positively about them, and compliment them to brighten their day

15. Commit To Success

Every relationship is a two-way street, and it takes two people to commit to each other to make it work. If you are invested in your relationship, it has a better chance of surviving hardships. Every relationship comes with its share of challenges, and the ones that survive the onslaught of time have commitment as the basic ingredient.

16. Intimacy

There are various types of intimacy, and they are all equally as important as physical intimacy in a long-term relationship. Physical intimacy includes physical expressions of affection like hugs, cuddles, kisses, and sex, all of which create a feeling of closeness. Additionally, emotional intimacy involves sharing the deep emotions, ideas, opinions, and engaging in shared experiences and spiritual aspects of life. A healthy intimate couple has a better sexual life, greater satisfaction level, and better physical and mental health.

17. Empathy

Mutual empathy is a powerful force that is a precursor to intimacy and trust. It is the ability to understand and relate to each other. It helps you see situations from the other person’s perspective, and understand the positive side of things. This improves cooperation, compromise and forgiveness, thus strengthening the relationship. Practicing empathy can increase relationship satisfaction and reduce conflicts.

Infographic: 6 Essentials For A Successful Relationship

Our relationships are one of the most challenging and gratifying aspects of our lives. Love is a fantastic experience. But unlike what many people think, love is not everything. Love alone won’t keep a couple together since relationships require much more than love to sustain them. Successful relationships need a lot of work to maintain both partners’ happiness and well-being. Check out the infographic below to learn the 6 factors that are more crucial to a successful relationship than love.

6 essentials for a successful relationship (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

It may surprise many, but love is not the only requirement for a happy and fulfilling relationship; it is made of many smaller yet vital components. Open communication, loyalty, honesty, understanding, kindness, compassion, trust, emotional vulnerability, and willingness to forgive are some of the most important things that keep a relationship afloat. However, every relationship is different, and while some partners value the feeling of security the most, others may depend heavily on respect for each other’s boundaries. So, it helps to know about your partner’s expectations from the relationship and convey your own. If you are ever stuck wondering ‘what is love?’ and if your relationship is even close to it, use this article as a checklist. And if you and your partner have not covered any points then try to work towards it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What keeps most couples together?

Maintaining healthy boundaries, open communication, and balancing busy schedules and priorities to find time for each other are some factors that keep couples together.

What kills a relationship faster?

Lack of intimacy, unrealistic expectations, abusive behavior, and suppression of emotions can kill a relationship faster.

How can I improve communication with my partner in a relationship?

Listening actively, replacing negative communication patterns like criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling with appreciation, validation, and empathy, trying to understand your partner’s perspective, and making time for the partner and striking meaningful conversations away from distractions and technology can help improve communication in a relationship.

What are some effective ways to resolve conflicts in a relationship?

Communicating clearly and respectfully, finding solutions together, being willing to make compromises, taking responsibility for your actions, and apologizing sincerely can help resolve conflicts effectively and healthily in a relationship.

How can I maintain trust and honesty in a relationship?

Being open and transparent about everything, respecting your partner’s boundaries and privacy, and forgiving and moving on from past mistakes are keys to maintaining trust and honesty in a relationship.

Key Takeaways

  • A relationship is much more than complimenting your partner’s new haircut or helping them pick a dress.
  • Open communication, trust, and compromise are a few of the most important things you need in a partnership.
  • You need to invest time and effort and work things out together to keep your love alive.

Discover the 5 most important factors in a successful relationship from the video below. Learn how to build trust and establish an understanding in a relationship.


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  1. Does Couples’ Communication Predict Marital Satisfaction or Does Marital Satisfaction Predict Communication?
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Stephanie Mintz

Stephanie MintzMA (Clinical Psychology), LMFT

Known internationally as The Strategic Relationship Consultant™, Stephanie Mintz, MA, LMFT, provides individuals and couples with actionable strategies to reach their relationship goals. She has 8 years of experience and is highly sought-after for her ability to help individuals and couples at all stages of relationships, from dating, living together, pre-engagement, pre-marital, and just married to marriage strengthening/difficulties, brink of...read full bio

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