Navigating Google-full of relationship advice can often feel like a journey through a corn maze – confusing and loopy!
Is love all that matters? Does respect trump love? Is communication the key? Do values make or break a relationship? Phew!
Well, lucky for you, you found your way to this article because frankly speaking, it’s kinda simple, really!
What is MOST important in a relationship?
The only thing that can truly make or break, thrive or kill, nourish or perish a relationship is how securely attached you are. Everyone in a relationship comes into it to have a few basic needs met – that of security, love, and meaning. However, if you struggle with these three needs within yourself, i.e., you don’t feel safe with yourself, or you don’t love yourself, or you don’t think you matter, then you’ll struggle in the relationship no matter how great your partner is. Why you ask? You’ll need to read the article to understand that!
Myths vs Facts About Relationships
Is Love the most important thing in a Relationship?
What you think when you say “love,” is usually a little more complex than that!
Love, the unadulterated kind, is kinda unconditional and doesn’t get perturbed by what the other does/ doesn’t do in reciprocation to your actions.
I know I hear you, it’s a little too much, eh?!
Here’s the thing – this unadulterated love? We all have it, we all give it, and we all receive it in different ways and forms, and to varying degrees based on our capacity to be unconditional.
While research says that unconditional love provides emotional health benefits, and we all want to be loved unconditionally, here’s the real deal – it’s very hard to be 100% unconditional 100% of the time.
And so most of the time when you think you love the other, you’re mixing this unconditional love (which is what love is in its adulterated form – unconditional) with attachment.
You are attached to the person you love. Which, by the way, is a very human thing to do! Normal.
Now that we are clear that we are more in attachment than in (unadulterated) love, we can safely assume from here on that while attachment is important in any relationship, we need more than that.
Respect is more important than Love!
Ah, respect! Well, first let’s get on the same page about what respect is.
Respect is truly, deeply believing that the other is in no way, shape, or form less. That, no matter their actions, thoughts, or emotions, they are no less than me or anyone else. Period.
So is respect more important than love? I would say respect is the base of every single healthy space.
But in the context of a romantic relationship, I’m not sure if I’d want to be romantically involved with someone just because I respect them.
And so, while respect is the base of any relationship including romantic relationships, respect can’t be more important than the attachment form of love.
If I respect the person but don’t feel attached to them in a romantic way, where’s the relationship?!
Communication is the most important thing in Relationships.
Similar to respect, communication is key to every relationship’s health and well-being.
It’s a base for every relationship, but again, for a romantic relationship, there needs to be something beyond this.
Something that makes me want to communicate with this other person day in and day out!
This something – most people think of as love – is a romantic attachment.
So could it be the attachment that’s the most important thing? Well, yes and no. Let’s bust some more myths, shall we?!
Is it Trust?
Could trust be most important in a relationship?
Here’s the thing – trust is a very important piece in a relationship because if I don’t trust the person I’m with I’ll be in a living hell, constantly having to look out for myself since I can’t trust that my partner has my best intention.
So without trust, a relationship could be a nightmare! But no, trust isn’t THE one most important thing for the kinda relationship we all want!
What about the “Bad things” in a Relationship?
The reason I’ve put “bad things” under myths is because one of the myths of bad things in a relationship is having conflicts!
Many people think fights are “bad” for a relationship. Untrue.
Fights can be great provided you know how to resolve, repair, and comfort after the fight (we’ll talk more about this!)
In fact, if you know how to fight right, fights can deepen your bond and understanding.
But, no, fights aren’t the most important puzzle piece for a happy relationship!
Frankly, the ONLY thing that matters: The Secret to a Thriving Relationship!
Of the several theories and methodologies all over the internet, one foundational concept emerges holding the torch of clarity: the importance of cultivating secure attachment.
This principle goes beyond Attachment Styles, offering a profound yet subtle truth about what makes a good relationship.
Beyond Attachment Styles: The Essence of Relationship Success
This whole discussion surrounding attachment styles – anxious, avoidant, disorganized, and their various combinations – does provide valuable insights into our relational dynamics.
However, understanding and striving towards secure attachment is what is the most important thing in a healthy relationship.
This journey is not about getting rid of the perceived insecurities but this sense of “I’m okay – We are okay,” and “I know you’re here for me, you know I’m here for you,” no matter what else.
The Three Pillars of Secure Attachment
To cultivate a secure attachment, and thus how to have a secure relationship, three key principles are of utmost importance:
Repair and Comfort
Conflicts are inevitable in any relationship.
However, the ability to navigate disagreements with a focus on repair and comfort is one of the 3 most important things in a relationship.
This commitment to resolving conflicts and finding mutual comfort emphasizes the importance of viewing disagreements as opportunities for growth.
At the core of secure attachment lies mutual understanding.
Feeling understood by your partner, and vice-versa, deepens the bond and creates a lasting sense of belonging, contributing significantly to what makes a good relationship.
Meeting Each Other’s Needs
A relationship where both partners’ needs are met and considered equally important nurtures a culture of giving and receiving.
This balance is crucial in how to keep a relationship strong and happy.
Walking the Path towards Secure Attachment
The journey towards secure attachment is a continuous process, involving conscious efforts to embody the principles of repair, understanding, and meeting needs.
This path transforms the foundation of a relationship from one of insecurity to one of trust and mutual respect, making it not just good, but great.
See? I told you it was simple – just ONE THING – moving toward Secure Attachment!
Helpful Habits for a Good Relationship: How to Move Towards Secure Attachment?
If you’re seeking to deepen your connection and navigate toward secure attachment, it starts with a commitment to these foundational principles.
Engaging in self-reflection, open communication, and mutual respect are critical steps on this path.
Secure attachment is not merely a destination but a journey—a continuous process of growth, learning, and deepening connection.
It requires patience, persistence, and a profound commitment to the relationship’s well-being, AND your own well-being.
Choosing to face conflicts, both in the relationship and within yourself, as opportunities for understanding and closeness is pivotal in this journey.
Here are the key elements of a healthy relationship that make it a great space to be in:
Cultivating a Culture of Repair and Comfort
The ability to mend bridges and ensure both partners feel comforted and heard after conflicts is not just necessary; it’s indispensable.
The Gottman Insitute, which boasts of using a research-based approach to relationships, talks about how Repair is the Secret Weapon of Emotionally Connected Couples!
Active listening, empathy, and collective effort to address underlying issues without resorting to blame are key in this endeavor.
Fostering Mutual Understanding
Understanding and being understood is the lifeblood of any relationship, requiring the peeling back of layers to truly comprehend each other’s experiences, fears, and hopes.
This process is not about agreement but about acceptance and enriches the shared life.
Balancing the Scale of Needs
Finding a balance between meeting your own needs and those of your partner requires open dialogue and a willingness to nurture a culture of reciprocal giving and receiving.
This equilibrium is foundational in how to keep a relationship strong and happy.
The Road Ahead
As you embark on this journey towards secure attachment, remember that progress, not perfection, is the goal.
There will be setbacks and challenges, but the strength of your relationship, grounded in secure attachment, will shine through these moments.
Engaging in the journey towards secure attachment opens the door to exceptional relationships.
It’s within this sacred space of mutual understanding, repair, and support that love finds its deepest expression and highest potential.
Let the cultivation of secure attachment be our guiding light, transforming our connections into something truly extraordinary!
As we navigate this path, let’s also remember we’re not alone.
Sharing experiences and learning from one another can collectively uplift our relationships.
Together, we can make the ideal of secure attachment a lived reality, one step, one conversation, one moment of understanding at a time.
If you’re ready to deep dive into yourself to resolve emotional stuckness, heal relational wounds, and cultivate a deeper relationship with yourself and your partner, I’d love to see if I can be of support.
Book your Inner-Work Strategy Call with me to explore your current emotional-relational struggles and put together a bit of a roadmap for your situation.
- Cultivating secure attachment is the cornerstone of thriving relationships, emphasizing trust, safety, and mutual respect.
- Effective conflict resolution and comfort after disagreements are essential for deepening the bond between partners.
- Mutual understanding fosters a strong sense of connection and belonging within the relationship.
- Balancing the needs of both partners is crucial for a healthy and happy partnership.
- The journey towards secure attachment is continuous, requiring commitment, open communication, and mutual respect.
I’m curious to know how this article landed with you 🙂
How securely attached are you in your relationship? How securely attached are you to yourself? And what about your partner? What works for you in your relationship?
I’d love to hear from you – your experience, questions, doubts, suggestions, everything – bring it on!
P.S. 6 Key Habits To Transform (For Those Struggling With Emotions) could be a good next read for you.