8 Things That Are More Important Than Love In A Relationship

Contrary to what some believe, relationships require more than just love. 

Of course, love is the one ingredient without which two people could not have a relationship. However, only having love does not ensure that the relationship will last or be successful. There are eleven other things that need to be present for a relationship to work. Clinical psychologist Josh Klapow Ph.D. spoke to Bustle and explained that ‘if you’re only in the relationship because of the feeling of love, you will soon feel that the relationship is slipping’. According to Teresa Newsome and Carolyn Steber, these are the 8 things you need to actively seek in order to have a lasting, fulfilling, and successful relationship:

1. Trust

After love, this is the most important ingredient for a successful relationship. No matter how much you love your partner, you can drive them away (or be driven away by them) if there is a lack of trust. According to Klapow, you should be able to trust that your partner would not be unfaithful; however, in addition to this, there should be mutual ‘trust with intimate information, trust with being vulnerable, trust that they will come through in a challenging time’.

2. Respect

For a relationship to be successful, you need to feel respected by your partner and vice versa. If there is a lack of respect on either side, the relationship can become extremely toxic. Bustle urges you to think of how many times you have heard someone complain about the disrespect their partner shows them but also explains that they could never leave them because ‘they love them’.

3. Safety and security

If you do not feel safe in your relationship, no amount of love can make it work. Fearing your partner and being in an (emotionally, physically, or verbally) abusive relationship can destroy your mental health and physical wellbeing. Newsome and Steber write that ‘love is never going to be enough to fix an emotionally abusive partner, no matter how hard you try’. 

4. Liking each other

You might be wondering how you can love someone without liking them. Sometimes, it is possible to feel a profound love for someone with whom you do not even like spending time. Bustle’s writers explain this by giving an example of family members who you love but do not like as people. For a relationship to be healthy and fulfilling, you need to like spending time with one another.

5. Individuality

Just because you are in a relationship does not mean that you should lose yourself. A relationship should not make you lose track of your personal goals and interests. A lot of the time, when this happens, you do not initially realize it. With time, however, this can turn into a problem as eventually, you may not be able to recognize yourself. It is important that both you and your partner retain the essence of who you are and carve time out for yourselves to do things that make you grow individually.

6. Independence

You should feel as though you have the freedom to go out wherever you want with whoever you want wearing whatever you like. If your partner is controlling then they are most likely toxic and their behavior can negatively influence you both emotionally and mentally.

7. Communication

Being able to communicate openly and honestly is extremely important. Communication is the only way through which you and your partner can resolve problems in the relationship. If you feel like you cannot voice your concerns or that you are not being heard, you will struggle to have a successful and fulfilling relationship.

8. Being ready

Sometimes, no matter how much love there is between two people, one might not be ready to commit. There are thousands of reasons why they might struggle with labeling a relationship or taking the next step. Unfortunately, despite loving each other tremendously, numerous couples break up because their long-term goals do not align.

Evidently, there are many things that a relationship requires in order to work and be successful. Some might even argue that love is not the most important ingredient. In any case, relationships require a lot of work and two people who are both eager and willing to make it succeed.

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