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What Are the 5 Most Important Things in a Relationship?

by Megan Sheckells

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels


What are the five most important things in a relationship? This is a big question, and trying to answer it on our own can leave our heads spinning. So, I asked some experts and worked to compile the answer. While the list could go on beyond five, there seemed to be some things that come up again and again.


While it’s clear that some foundational things are practically non-negotiable in terms of importance; not all experts agree. So there are some variations out there, and the level of importance may vary a bit from relationship to relationship. These are just the things that came up so frequently, they seemed to be the level ground for a good relationship. Let’s set up construction, building this foundation doesn’t always happen overnight.

Related articles: Ending Toxic Relationships

COMMUNICATION:

Communication was potentially one of the most consistent in all the responses I received from relationship experts and psychologists alike. Tatyana Dyachenko, who is a sex therapist, relationship expert, psychologist, and author offered powerful insight on this one. She states, “Communication is one of the most important aspects of a relationship. The more effective you are at communicating with each other the better the relationship will be.” This one might be one we hear a lot, but there’s a good reason for it.


Dyachenko continued, “Talking to your partner regularly about how you feel, how the relationship is going and anything that is bothering you ensures that you both know where you stand. It means you don’t constantly have to second guess how your partner is feeling or what they’re thinking.” However, she stressed the importance of talking about what is going well too! Communication about your emotions in the relationship is important.


TRUST:

Trust was another that came up often. After all, how are you going to have a stable relationship with someone you can’t trust? A relationship with no trust can lead to a lot of drama even if nothing sneaky is occurring. Coach and author, Suzanne Wylde (www.suzannewylde.com) stated, “Trust is the bedrock of relationships – we have to believe our partner is essentially good and trying to do the right thing for emotional intimacy to be able to grow.”


BOUNDARIES:

Shagoon Maurya, who is a counseling psychologist and therapist at ursafespace.com, argued, “You should feel 100 percent comfortable communicating boundaries in a healthy relationship and trust that they will be honored.” She went on to state that telling your partner about these boundaries “should not be a source of anxiety or fear.” So let your partner know where you stand on boundaries with that communication we talked about earlier.


RESPECT:

All the boundaries in the world won’t get you anywhere without respect. “Loving and trusting your partner is excellent, however, you also need to respect them. Respect their feelings, respect them as an individual, respect their career, respect their time, and everything else,” stated Cynthia Halow; founder of Personalitymax.com. Don’t forget that this is a two-way street. You need to respect your partner just as much as they need to respect you!



SUPPORT:

While most experts kept it official with the word support, I think it’s also safe to refer to this one as love. Nonetheless, support is going to make all the difference in having a strong and healthy relationship. Maurya said, “In a healthy relationship, you and your companion will encourage each other and appreciate each other as equals, whether it's standing up for you when somebody somewhere says something hurtful about you or always being the rock you can count on.”


Halow believes there will be a lot of negative consequences when a relationship lacks any of these traits. Halow states, “If a relationship does not have all of these traits, the relationship will end up being unhealthy, toxic, and may hit the rocks eventually. Lack of communication will stop you from understanding each other. Lack of respect and trust will always bring about unending issues, likewise lack of support. They are all vital for a healthy relationship.”

However, while there was a lot of agreement out there, it’s important to remember there is variation in all of this. Furthermore, this list is meant to be taken in no particular order of importance. Maurya advised that “It's not like every relationship will be well-balanced in the same manner. Know what your relationship's equilibrium looks like: Every relationship is different, and there will be different areas of balance in each one.” So don’t forget to work through creating that balance with your partner.


Sources:

Dyachenko, Tatyana. Personal Interview, 13 Sep. 2021.

Halow, Cynthia. Personal Interview, 13 Sep. 2021.

Maurya, Shagoon. Personal Interview 13 Sep. 2021.

Wylde, Suzanne. Personal Interview, 13 Sep. 2021.

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