The reasons to stay in a relationship can be very different for every couple. For some, it may be that butterfly sensation they get every time they see their partner. For others, it may be boisterous sexual chemistry that’s impossible to look past.
But if you’ve truly convinced yourself that either of those is reason enough to stay in a relationship, this article is for you. Though a good reason to stay in a relationship differs depending on whom you ask, the best ones usually remain constant, as they should.
Worried about whether you’re in it for the right reasons? Want to see how many of these healthy reasons you have in your dynamic? Let’s find out why should someone stay in a relationship, with the help of clinical psychologist Devleena Ghosh (M.Res, Manchester University), founder of Kornash: The Lifestyle Management School, who specializes in couple counseling and family therapy.
Top 13 Reasons To Stay In A Relationship
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Should I stay in this relationship?”, just the fact that that thought arose probably has you worried. A good relationship shouldn’t make you question it, right?
Well, since no relationship is perfect, you’re bound to think about the strength of yours from time to time. And just because you’re asking yourself that question doesn’t mean everything is a complete shambles.
Even so, it’s entirely possible you may be in it for the wrong reasons. Just because he has the biggest biceps around isn’t really one of the best reasons to stay with your boyfriend. And just because she’s always dressed to impress doesn’t mean you’re in love with her. You’re just in love with the Forever21 apparel she’s donning.
Reasons to stay married can often be ignored, especially when couples fixate on the problems instead of the things they’re doing right. To make sure you don’t take the strengths of your relationship for granted, take a look at the following reasons to stay in a relationship, many of which you might already have:
1. Mutual respect is the biggest reason to stay in a relationship
According to Devaleena, if there’s mutual respect, it’s one of the biggest reasons to stay in a relationship. “When there’s a lack of mutual regard, things go wrong. But when it’s there, it leads to a kind of emotional stability.
“Partners may even realize that they both have completely different personalities, but they also acknowledge the fact that they complement each other, rather than disrupting each other’s growth,” she says.
When there isn’t mutual respect in the relationship, you’re probably not too eager to hear what your partner has to say. In that case, it basically becomes a situation where you’re waiting for the person in front of you to stop talking so you can speak again. We don’t know about you, but that’s not the kind of relationship we’d like.
2. When your emotional intimacy is off the charts
Sure, every couple has a bit of sexual compatibility going on, but it’s the pillow talk that really matters. Ask yourself: are you able to confide in your partner and tell them anything you want without getting judged for it?
Do you both rely on each other for emotional support? Do you make each other happy emotionally? If you’re looking for reasons to stay with your boyfriend, think about how well you get along emotionally. Can you feel what your partner is feeling and instinctively agree on where you both are emotionally?
3. A shared vision for the future and a shared worldview
“A shared outlook toward life, a similar worldview, or a shared vision is a huge reason to stay in a relationship. When two people who want to share a life together don’t share the same vision for it, it’s easy to see how it can lead to problems.
“A difference in opinions leads to conflict, and conflict leads to desolation. Even if one person in a relationship has a vision and a goal for the relationship, and the other gets in sync with it, it eventually turns into a shared vision,” says Devaleena.
Think about it: if you eventually want a house in the Alps, devoid of worldly attractions, and your partner is all about the Ibiza lifestyle, you’re probably going to have a hard time finding reasons to stay married.
4. Open and judgment-free communication
Can you tell your partner everything, without the fear of being judged or it leading to a fight? Do you keep things from your partner, thinking that the fight it’ll lead to is not worth the hassle?
“When communication becomes one-sided, it usually leads to trouble. It has to be a mutual process, one that’s devoid of judgment,” says Devaleena.
The easier it is for you to talk to your partner, the easier it’s going to be to work through anything that’s thrown your way. If you’re looking for reasons to stay in a relationship after cheating, the communication you have around it should tell you all you need to know. When there’s honest and open communication, your partner becomes your best friend.
5. Like two peas in a pod: compatibility
No, the only answer to why should someone stay in a relationship isn’t because you two are mega-fans of that extremely niche 2 volume comic book that was released in the spring of 1992. But having similar likes and somewhat similar hobbies can establish a sense of camaraderie.
“Should I stay in this relationship?” shouldn’t even be on your mind if you’re one of those couples who can’t stop laughing at your annoying inside jokes. Trust us, everyone around you hates how compatible you are.
6. Emotional security is a strong reason to stay in a relationship
“If someone in the relationship is insecure or not emotionally well-adjusted, they can’t do much for their partner emotionally. Eventually, the giver in the relationship will become emotionally exhausted. The disbalance will lead to dissatisfaction, displeasure, and a lot of chaos,” says Devaleena.
When both partners in a relationship are emotionally mature and able to trust the judgment of the other, it’s essentially one of the best reasons to stay married.
Related Reading: 11 Things To Do When A Relationship Gets Boring
7. When a relationship fosters individual growth
A positive relationship is one that enables you to become the best version of yourself. It doesn’t imprison you, it sets you on the path to achieve the things you didn’t even know you were capable of achieving.
Does your partner support you in your goals and drive you to do better? Do you give each other space to find yourselves individually, outside of the relationship as well? If “should I stay in this relationship?” weighs heavily on your mind, ask yourself if this equation allows you to grow as you want to.
8. Mutual trust is a good reason to stay in a relationship
“Trust is something individuals bring to a relationship. It starts from your childhood. If you have issues with it, it stems from your feeling that your primary caregivers were not able to adequately be there for you.
“As a result, you might end up thinking something like, “I don’t know if my partner will love me for the person I am” in your relationship. Such thoughts eventually lead people to doubt everything their partner does,” says Devaleena.
If you successfully manage to re-establish a strong sense of trust, it can be a great reason to stay in a relationship after cheating. But when there’s a lack of trust, you’ll just be bothering each other’s mental health every time you go out with your “friends”.
9. Liking your partner’s personality is a great reason to stay in a relationship
Do you like the cute little quirks your partner has? Maybe you love how they randomly break into a song at any given minute or the way they snort a little when they laugh. Perhaps you’re in awe of how smart they are, and every time they make you laugh, you fall in love a bit more. It’s the little things that make a marriage stronger.
“Two pleasant people make a pleasant relationship,” says Devaleena, “If you like who your partner is fundamentally, you’ll end up having mutually set goals, a calmer and better home environment, and a lot of compatibility.”
10. When empathy comes naturally to you
When you can actually walk a mile in your partner’s shoes without letting your own biases cloud your judgment, you must know that it’s coming from a place of deep adoration and care.
“It boils down to shared goals all over again. When somebody is going through something individually, the other partner can automatically empathize with them,” says Devaleena.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “Should I stay in this relationship?”, try to think about how well your partner can relate to what you’re going through and how supportive or understanding they are of it.
When instead of trying to immediately solve all your problems, your partner can very effectively let you know that they empathize with you by saying something like, “That must’ve been so hard, I understand how you’re not feeling thrilled about it,” it’s a good reason to stay in a relationship, we’d say.
11. When there are no ego clashes
“To be able to have shared common interests and shared goals, a lot of times, one has to let go of their individual fragile ego. The more you’re able to have regard for the relationship than your own wants — in a healthy manner — the better it is for you two,” says Devaleena.
Does your partner throw a fit every time you do a few things they’re not too fond of? Can you both put aside your individual wants and do what’s best for the relationship? The answer to why should someone stay in a relationship depends on how well you two can respect what you have rather than selfishly want your way.
Related Reading: 9 Ways To Be Independent In A Romantic Relationship
12. If you feel validated and needed
If it feels like there’s always something missing from your relationship, if the things you want aren’t ever taken into consideration, and if your opinion doesn’t matter much, yours probably isn’t the healthiest dynamic.
But when your partner tells you that just the thought of you puts a smile on their face, you’re probably over the moon too. Sure, feeling validated and needed isn’t the only reason to stay with your boyfriend or girlfriend, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
13. General satisfaction
When you’re lying in bed, after setting all your alarms for the next day and when you’ve kept your phone on the nightstand, can you honestly say you’re satisfied with the relationship you are in?
Is yours a positive relationship? Are you respected? Are the basic essentials for any relationship present in yours? It’s all right to have doubts from time to time but a lingering sense of dissatisfaction is a cause for concern.
On the other hand, if your relationship makes you feel completely secure in the commitment and the trust you share, there’s nothing better in the world. If your equation feels like a generally safe and secure one, we’d go as far as saying that even the unfortunate incident of infidelity might not shake up your foundations.
If you’re looking for reasons to stay in a relationship after cheating, start by assessing the root cause of why it happened, and figuring out if your satisfactory relationship can handle this shocking turn of events. At the end of the day, if there’s a general sense of trust, love, and respect, there’s nothing you can’t work through.
If your relationship features most of the points we listed out, we hope you won’t get too stuck on questions like, “Should I stay in this relationship or should I take the first exit?” Things may seem confusing in your dynamic, but with the help of the reasons we listed out, you probably have a better idea of just how “happy” your “ever after” is going to be.