What are the 10 most important things in a relationship?

Relationships can be a wonderful part of a happy, fulfilling life, but they are also complicated. When navigating a new relationship, you might find yourself wondering how all of those successful couples make it look so easy. We’ve all been there. Read on to learn the 10 most important things in a relationship!

What does in a relationship mean?

Relationships can take on many different forms, but here we will be focusing on relationships between romantic partners. Whether casual or formal, being in a relationship in this context typically means a mutual agreement between two individuals to be a part of each other’s lives, and may be described in terms of “dating” or “seeing someone”. That being said, many of these tips can also be applied to other types of relationships.

What is a satisfying relationship?

When we bring another person into our lives, we introduce many new uncertainties and vulnerabilities. A good relationship will allow for sharing of one’s life in a way that lends itself to happiness and growth for both partners.

What are the key ingredients for a successful relationship?

1. Safety

Safety cannot be overlooked in a relationship, because an unsafe relationship can absolutely never be a successful one. Safety must be a priority that comes before anything else. Both the emotional and physical safety of a relationship must be maintained.

According to Psych Central, emotional safety means respecting one’s partner without controlling, manipulating, or verbally abusing them. Physical safety is of course another huge concern, and threats, violence, or coercive sexual acts should always be taken seriously. If you or someone you know are a victim of an abusive relationship, the Reach Out website is a great source of helpful information and resources.

2. Trust

This may go without saying, but trust is an extremely important foundation for creating a mindful, conscious relationship. Without trust, everything else that a relationship is based on can easily crumble. Why is trust so important? Trust ensures that both partners have a sufficient level of comfort in the relationship and are on the same page. Feeling some jealousy at times is normal, but when jealousy develops into obsessive monitoring of a significant other’s whereabouts, intolerance of their friendships, or anger, this indicates distrust in the relationship.

Remember: Trust takes time to establish, so it may be more challenging at the beginning of a relationship. The next tip might be especially helpful in building this trust!

3. Honest Communication

Communication skills are in general one of the most essential abilities to hone in life, and relationships are certainly no exception. Communication between partners allows for each person’s needs to be expressed and addressed. Often, we think that our partner can read our mind, and are then disappointed when they fail to understand what we want. The truth is, if you want someone to know something, you have to tell them. Communication is a huge step in learning how to handle arguments in a relationship. Communication is not always easy and starting a conversation can be a bit awkward at first, but after getting past that initial barrier of discomfort, it improves a relationship by leaps and bounds!

It is recommended that you join couples therapy for even better and faster improvement of communication. It’s often underestimated what couples counselling can do, which is help you hear each other out and understand your needs and feelings even better. Many couples claim that after exercise and therapy sessions, they enjoy a bond they’ve never had, even at the beginning of the relationship. What’s even better, you can opt for online couples counselling these days. It helps people that are sceptical or shy to have a smooth start. If you are interested in trying couples counselling, we recommend the experts at Empathi.

4. Happiness

This is another one that is fairly obvious, but certainly important to any successful relationship. If the person you are with does not make you happy, and if your life is not better for having them in it, you simply should not be with them. Although this seems glaringly clear, people often stay in relationships out of comfort. They fear leaving what has become familiar, even if they recognize that it isn’t really making them happy. You can’t expect to always be perfectly happy in a relationship, but you should feel happy with the person a majority of the time.

5. Connection

Often, you can tell right away if you have a strong connection with someone. Other times, it takes a while to establish this connection. Either way, once the relationship is firmly established, you and your partner either have a connection or you don’t. Connections are often based on similar interests, passions, personalities, experiences, and backgrounds. An undeniable connection might also be found in the way a person, often inexplicably, draws you in. It is important to keep in mind that a connection should be deeper than only physical attraction, and even more importantly, that it should be mutual.

6. Respect

Feeling respected is a basic human need. It is not enough to love the way someone makes you feel; you must also love the person they are and have respect for them as an individual. Too often, relationships end because there is a lack of respect from one or both partners. This disrespect can lead to a feeling of being used, unappreciated, and disconnected, which is why it is so detrimental.

7. Emotional Self-Sufficiency

This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about relationships, but it is extremely important. Emotional self-sufficiency can be summarized as personal stability, independence, and the ability to take responsibility for your own problems and wellbeing. There is nothing wrong with getting emotional support from a relationship – in fact this one of the great benefits of having a significant other – but one should not be entirely dependent on this support.

8. Realistic Expectations

Again, this is not the most expected or romantic tip, but also is highly important to a successful relationship. Often, we face difficulties in relationships because our expectations are unrealistic, or they are unaligned with those of our partner. It is easy to get caught up in desiring a perfect partner or perfect relationship, but the hard truth is that neither of those things exist. However, by having realistic expectations, we can do our best and be satisfied with the relationship rather than disappointed.

What do you expect in a relationship?

The bottom line is that everyone is going to have different expectations for a relationship. Some may be looking for something fun and casual, while others are ready for a serious commitment. Someone who is really focused on his or her job might only have a few hours a week available, while someone who is not as career-oriented might want to spend more time together. You might want kids, while your partner does not. No matter the expectations, it is key to discuss these things with your significant other.

How long is the honeymoon period in a relationship?

Once again, this will be different for everyone, but the honeymoon period of a relationship usually lasts anywhere from six months to a year. During this time, the relationship feels new and exciting. However, it is inevitable that the initial excitement will fade away, and it is here that expectations come into the equation. If you expect the honeymoon phase to last forever, you will be disappointed. If you take a more realistic approach, however, you will be ready for this next part of the relationship.

How long does a typical relationship last?

Expectations also relate to the length of a relationship. It is natural to want a relationship to last forever and there is nothing wrong with desiring this, but it is also useful to keep an open mind about the future. Nobody can know definitively what the future holds, after all, and having rigid expectations can set yourself up for disappointment.


Compromising is a key component of any healthy relationship. Nobody wants to be on the lacking end of a one-sided relationship, in which the other person’s needs are always prioritized. By practicing the art of compromise, you balance the relationship more evenly and give each person equal say. Compromising can apply to a range of areas, from minor to major significance. Whatever the area of disagreement or difference may be, make sure to talk about ways to compromise. If you and your significant other prefer different date activities, for example, perhaps try rotating between them or finding something you both enjoy.


Intimacy can have different forms, but basically refers to the closeness and mutual affection between people. Intimacy may take the form of hugging, kissing, sex, or sharing oneself emotionally. Sexual intimacy is often rushed into at the beginning of a relationship, and intertwined with passion and sex drive. However, intimacy has many layers to it that can develop beautifully throughout the course of a relationship, and is a great way to strengthen the bond between oneself and one’s partner.

Can a relationship survive without intimacy?

The truth is, intimacy in a sexual context is not always the most important part of a relationship, and some relationships may be able to survive without it. That being said, some form of intimacy is important in a relationship. Emotional intimacy – that experience of closeness, affection, and understanding – can also fulfill this important need.

Hopefully, this overview of the 10 most important things in a relationship has given you some insight into what makes a relationship successful. Keep these things in mind during your efforts to cultivate a strong, fulfilling, and lasting relationship.  For professional dating and relationships advice we recommend checking out evanmarckatz.com.

(Wondering how to turn around a failing relationship? Check out that article!)