When I was younger, I thought a strong relationship meant my partner and I had some fun together and didn't fight too often. (Insert eye roll here for what "too often" really meant.) Thankfully, I was wrong. After getting married, I realized that there are so many more important signs of a strong relationship that mean a couple is destined to have a happy future.
When my husband and I decided to get married, it's because we had all of the following 10 qualities to our relationship easily and without any effort on our parts. I had never been in a relationship like that before, and it was refreshing to know that my husband and I were going to be happy for the long-term future because a healthy, strong relationship came so easily to us.
That said, sometimes, relationships require hard work. It's perfectly possible to have a strong, happy relationship while still needing to work on the things on this list. In fact, you should be working on the things on this list as long as you and your partner are together, because keeping these qualities present will ensure you keep your relationship as healthy as possible.
So without further ado, here are the 10 most important qualities all strong relationships should have.
No relationship can grow without trust. And for a relationship to truly be strong and healthy, you need perfect trust: trust that your partner will be there for you, trust that they won't stray physically or emotionally, and trust that the two of you can make it work.
Trust is very critical to a strong relationship because it's what the relationship actually gets built on. If you and your partner have a perfectly trusting partnership, you're in good shape.
My husband is one of my favorite people in the world. He's hardworking, kind, and very thoughtful. I respect him as a person and always will, regardless of the fact that I'm also wildly in love with him.
Often, we fall head over heels in love and forget to assess whether we actually like and respect the other person. In order for a relationship to work, you have to like the person independently of your romantic feelings for them. You should respect who they are as an individual first and foremost.
Just like respect, friendship is a very important quality in a relationship. Everything else fades, but a true friendship between two people is invaluable forever.
My husband and I say that one of our favorite things to do is just hang out. We love watching movies together, doing arts and crafts, and even just running errands. It's not the activity that makes it special, it's the company!
My husband is the king of punny jokes. Literally, no matter what is happening, he can make a pun out of it.
I, meanwhile, love cheesy pick-up lines, and I use them on him all the time. ("Do your legs hurt? Because you were running through my dreams all night.")
In this way, and in multiple other ways, we inject humor into our relationship. A couple in a strong relationship will find things to laugh about and ways to stay connected, no matter what else is going on around them.
I'm a big believer in personal space. Luckily, so is my husband. Despite being happily married, we give each other a lot of space and independence to be ourselves and do the activities we love.
I go running by myself; he likes to play golf alone. We both have individual friendships, and we think that maintaining our own individual selves is really important to our marriage. In a strong relationship, the parties will maintain their independence while also being able to come together for their coupling.
Empathy isn't sympathy. Empathy means being able to place yourself in the situation that someone else is experiencing and feel what they are feeling. This is really critical for a relationship.
My husband and I are both really empathetic people, and it helps when one of us is being cranky or unhappy or just plain annoyed about something. There's no resentment, we immediately know what the other is feeling, and we talk it out.
Of course, there are those who believe that passion fades, and it might, but the truth is, passion can be worked on, just like everything else.
My husband and I have passion oozing out of our ears. That said, we also know that we're newlyweds, and the easy, sexy passion may not last forever. But it is a component of a strong relationship, and we know that, so we're willing to work on it!
Couples in strong relationships don't name-call, stonewall, or otherwise shut each other out. Couples in strong relationships are mature and communicate like adults.
In fact, maturity is a quality of a strong relationship that you absolutely can't go without. If both members of the couple aren't mature, there's no hope for constructive discussions or growth.
Of course, this is the one quality that's on every single list, but it's because it's a critical component of a healthy relationship. Communication is the biggie, and without it, you have almost nothing.
Couples need to be able to communicate with openness and honesty, no matter what they are facing. A couple who can communicate can really get through anything together, but a couple who can't will get through almost nothing. Communicate is how problems are solved. This is the only way a couple truly works on their relationship and moves forward.
The other elements on this list are all parts of a healthy relationship, but the thing that makes all of these things stick together is love. If you and your partner don't truly love each other, there's no motivation for it all to work.
I'm happy that my husband and I get along the way we do, but the reason I wanted to explore all of that in the first place is because I love him. I didn't just fall in love with him, but I also love him as a person.
There are many signs of a strong relationship, but these 10 truly top the list. If you are looking for your relationship to last for the long haul, make sure it has all of these qualities.
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