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The 10 Most Important Needs in a Relationship for It to Grow & Last

In many ways, a relationship is like a living being. There are certain needs in a relationship provided by two people in order for it to thrive and grow.

needs in a relationship

It is quite normal for people to see a relationship as a source of love, support, and appreciation. However, selfishly taking without giving back may lead to an unhealthy relationship. It is equally important that both partners know the basic needs in a relationship for both partners’ mutual benefit.

What are the biggest needs in a relationship?

A strong, lasting relationship is based on the amount of combined effort put together by both partners.

#1 Constant open communication. Needless to say, communication is one of the important building blocks of a good relationship. Relationships begin when two strangers take the initiative to say “hi.” And it launches a good series of conversations.

A good foundation requires constant and open communication where the couple know they’re being honest with their thoughts and feelings. They practice active listening when their partner is trying to convey something. Communication is the lifeblood of a relationship. Take it away and the relationship easily falls apart. [Read: How to fix a lack of communication in your relationship]

#2 Fair amount of quality time. Next to communication, quality time is another basic need for a thriving relationship. Quality time allows a couple to share experiences and know their partner on a deeper and more intimate level. By giving a part of their time towards the relationship, both partners strengthen their bond through shared experiences and memories.

Without quality time, a partner will seem distant and conflicts will quickly arise. [Read: How to express your gratitude to someone you love]

#3 Effort. Effort in a relationship may sound vague, but it is the physical and emotional sacrifice you extend for the benefit of the relationship during difficult times. Most people know a relationship will not always be happy and harmonious.

There will be moments plagued by struggles and difficulty. And when these moments arise, both partners must step up and invest effort. It is the only way to overcome obstacles.

Effort is the willingness to go through any form of pain and hardship for the sake of their partner. Because if people just bailed out of the relationship when things get tough, the relationship will obviously fall apart.

#4 Lots of patience and understanding. A relationship is comprised of two individuals each with their own personalities, opinions, and behavior. These differences sometimes cause partners to clash. To survive their differences, patience and understanding is required.

Patience and understanding calls for one partner to accept the other has a different set of opinions and personality from theirs. No one in the relationship is absolutely right or wrong just because they see things from a different point of view.

#5 Physical and emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy *sex and emotional intimacy* are other basic needs in a relationship. Physical intimacy is the deepest form of contact that romantically-involved people can have in a relationship setting. The act evokes feelings of being desired and wanted.

Emotional intimacy is the willingness to be vulnerable with your partner by showing them your insecurities, flaws, and weaknesses. Through physical and emotional intimacy, we show our partner that we are willing to bare and entrust our naked soul in their care without fear of judgement or rejection. This shows a high degree of trust and confidence in a partner. [Read: Why intimacy is the key to making love last]

#6 Romance and passion. Romance and passion is the metaphorical “spice” that defines a relationship. Some people may say that these are optional compared to the previous needs mentioned, but they are equally important. The difference of roommates versus lovers are the cheesy, romantic, and passionate moments the couple shares.

We are not saying that all relationships should be full of romantic moments that it seems like a movie. But an occasional gesture of romance is still needed to give the couple a lover’s high and keep the relationship from going romantically bankrupt.

#7 Personal space. The need for space may initially seem as a surprise. But it is a basic need that keeps a relationship afloat. Providing space in a relationship means you’re both individuals while still being part of the relationship. It recognizes that your partner has their own plans, preferences, and goals that may or may not be in line with you.

Without space, one or both partners will feel suffocated which may lead them to a breakup. Giving space in a relationship calls for both partners to allow them to do their own thing, have a different set of friends, and have their own plans while still being part of the relationship. [Read: 14 steps for better communication in a relationship]

#8 Mutual trust. Imagine a relationship where there is no trust between partners. Every moment there will be suspicion, which will ultimately lead to arguments and resentment. A relationship like this will not last very long. Mutual trust is a must for a relationship longevity.

Trust is not only belief in your partner’s loyalty, but also surrendering yourself into their care. A couple who maintains mutual trust can manage any relationship difficulties easier since they know their partner will not let them down.

#9 Acknowledgement, validation, and respect. Acknowledgement, validation, and respect together are the icing on top of the relationship cake. It is the ego-booster that everyone looks for in a relationship.

Acknowledgement allows your partner to feel accepted as they are. It is also a way of showing them that you appreciate all the big and small things they do for you and for the relationship. On the other hand, giving them respect is simply seeing them as a human being first before your partner. [Read: You should never tolerate these signs of disrespect in a relationship]

#10 Shared plans, goals, and ambitions. Finally, a relationship needs shared plans, goals, or ambitions. It is the lynchpin in a relationship that gives both partners something to look forward to.

As relationships grow old, the people in it look for a future where they can invest all their time and effort. A relationship cannot get stuck in the “getting to know” phase forever.

Sooner or later, one or both partners will ask for the direction their relationship is headed. And for the relationship to fully mature, couples must set plans and goals for the benefit of their relationship.

[Read: Understanding the 15 phases of a healthy relationship]

A relationship will always be a work in progress. It requires both partners to provide these 10 biggest basic needs in a relationship for it to survive the challenges that come along the way.

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Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul aka Morty is a keyboard-pounding cubicle-dweller based in Manila where he occasionally moonlights as a writer for anyone in need of his mediocre word-strin...
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