What are the 5 most important things in a relationship? I’ve pondered over this question a lot since I became serious about finding the ‘perfect’ life partner. If, like me, you too have wondered about the top qualities of a good relationship, let me share a personal experience about my uncle, Greg, and his wife, Jacqueline.
Ours is a close-knit family with a lot of get-togethers and family outings. So I have had the pleasure of seeing their dynamic up close. They are the most in-sync couple I have ever come across. In my quest to find a partner with whom I could share similar compatibility, I approached uncle Greg for his counsel. I asked him, what are the 5 most important things in a relationship? He replied – and I quote – “Love, love, love, love, and love.” So romantic, right? Yeah, also, quite unhelpful.
If I knew what love meant or how it worked, why would I need any help? Anyway, I realized that relationships are complex, layered, and ultimately different for each person. The world would be a pretty boring place if we were all the same in every way. That said, there are some universal aspects to a fulfilling love life. What are these aspects? We decode for you with insights from counseling psychologist Kranti Momin (Masters in Psychology), who is an experienced CBT practitioner and specializes in various domains of relationship counseling.
The Ultimate List Of 5 Most Important Things In A Relationship
Love is confusing and fierce and it’s okay if you feel a little lost navigating this sometimes scary, complicated world of relationships. To be able to build a wholesome, fulfilling relationship with a significant other, it’s important that our understanding of love is accurate and realistic. Kranti describes it like this, “Love is the unsaid understanding you need when life leaves you speechless.”
I agree, her advice isn’t any less romantic than uncle Greg’s. But it also has some practical insights in it. Each of us has lived a unique life and has acquired different experiences along the way. Consequently, we have our own beliefs and value system about what makes a relationship work. When it comes to having a satisfying relationship, what really matters? What are the 5 most important basics of a relationship? Let’s find out, with this lowdown on things that matter most in relationships:
1. Of the 5 most important things in a relationship, emotional intimacy tops the list
Intimacy is the ability to be vulnerable in front of another person. It allows us to open up and see the world from a different perspective, and it is one of the most important things in a healthy relationship. According to an article published by the International Honor Society in Social Sciences — Understanding Emotional Intimacy, the overall health and well-being of relationships have their roots in the experience of intimacy that results from rational involvement.
This emotional connection is usually considered to be the most important thing in a relationship for a woman. However, it’s not a gender-specific need. Emotional intimacy is the most important thing in a relationship for a man too. The hallmark of a good relationship is each partner’s ability to understand the other’s emotional needs.
Women, generally, have a higher emotional quotient. It’s the men who need emotional support more often. A relationship without intimacy can survive if other aspects are strong enough to compensate for its absence, but a relationship with intimacy will always be more rewarding.
2. Balanced independence is vital for a healthy relationship
One of the most important things in love is also the most important thing in life: balance. In any relationship that’s worth keeping, you need to find the balance between independence and interdependence. It is funny that every couple you come across would agree, but very few of them think of it as one of the paramount priorities in a healthy relationship.
Without independence, you’ll never grow together as individuals, which means that your connection will eventually become stifling and you’ll want to break free. Without interdependence, you’re both incomplete, like two halves of a whole trying to fit together but without the glue that can make them stick.
Some relationships are great for a while but eventually, one person wants out, and a lack of space and independence to be one’s own person is a key reason behind it. Kranti opines, “In my experience, not giving each other enough space always leads to the couple drifting apart.” This is exactly why balancing personal and shared space is among the key qualities of a good relationship.
3. Mutual attraction is among the most important things in a relationship
Usually, a partner’s physical attributes, more specifically the attraction stemming from it, are considered to be one of the most important basics of a relationship for a man or woman. If you are with a person to whom you are not physically attracted, the romantic spark will invariably fizzle out and communication will become a problem.
So, what makes a person attractive? People often place physical attraction as one of the top priorities in a relationship but fail to understand that it is only an aspect of holistic attraction. If you want to improve your love life, it all starts with learning how attraction works. You need to understand your own ‘type’ and learn how to attract the kind of people you are most compatible with.
Is it the humor and personality? Is it their intellect and ability to have deep, intellectual conversations? Or is it about how they make you laugh and how much you enjoy yourself when you’re together? Find the answers to these questions. They might be the most ardent needs in a relationship, and they certainly will matter to your overall happiness.
4. Communication is the key
Good communication is probably one of the most profound needs in a relationship. If you don’t feel like you can talk to your partner about anything and everything, then it may be time to reevaluate your relationship. An article in Contemporary Family Therapy, titled Factor Associated with Relationship Satisfaction: Importance of Communication Skills, states that there is a direct correlation between communication skills and relationship satisfaction.
Whatever you’re dealing with, whether it’s a serious problem or an everyday conversation, communication is key. It isn’t just limited to talking and texting; your gestures, actions, and overall body language are equally significant. Physical touch is also a very powerful mode of communication that can make or break any relationship.
Expressing your feelings might be hard sometimes but if you want to have a successful relationship, you need to start trying. Besides, communication is said to be one of the most important components of healthy relationships for a woman, so you might want to learn how to communicate effectively to keep the woman of your dreams feeling secure and assured.
Related Reading: 18 Mutual Attraction Signs That Can’t Be Ignored
5. Shared life values are non-negotiable for a healthy relationship
Is it easier to love someone who shares your passion? Does it matter that they love to shop when you hate it? Is it better to be in a relationship with someone who shares your need for honesty and transparency? It depends. Having common interests in a relationship is definitely a perk. But it’s not indispensable.
If you’re just getting to know someone, you might ask yourself if there are enough mutual interests between you two. But as time goes on and a couple becomes closer and more comfortable with each other, they can find common ground in ways they never thought imaginable.
Having common core values is a different matter. One of the fundamental aspects of a successful relationship is that both partners agree on what matters in life. You don’t have to agree on all accounts, of course. But it’s pivotal that you both live your life on similar principles, even if to varying degrees.
As Kranti explains, “It’s okay if your views on morals and values don’t always match. However, your values and morals mustn’t lie on the opposite end of the spectrum. You should be able to stay true to your principles without perpetual conflict.” Having different perspectives is what adds to the spice and scope of growth in a relationship, but the art of finding a middle ground despite the differences is what makes for an ideal relationship.
Related Reading: Sacrificing In A Relationship – When, What And How Much?
- Love and relationship can be subjective, but their success rests on 5 fundamental pillars
- Emotional intimacy, interdependence, mutual attraction, communication, and shared values are the 5 most important things in a relationship
- No relationship is perfect but by paying attention to these components of healthy relationships, you can keep growing toward a fulfilling and long-lasting bliss
There it is. A comprehensive answer to our original question: What are the 5 most important things in a relationship? We have identified five components of healthy relationships for them to work. It can be argued that an unequal balance of the elements can skew a relationship, so it’s better to aim for a balance among all five.
Aside from the qualities of a good relationship mentioned above, Kranti provides highly actionable advice that might be one of the keys to a healthy relationship. She says, “Be each other’s support system in tough times. If both are going through unique problems, then you need to evaluate which one deserves to be prioritized at the moment. It’s important to forget your issues for the time being and be there for the other person.”
The hallmark of a good relationship is to be open to love and make your significant other feel loved every single day. By putting these ideas into practice, you can help strengthen your bond with your partner.