Maintaining a relationship with your mate can take a bit of work, but it may help to understand what makes yours work.
In other words, you might want to learn more about the pillars of a relationship. Keep reading for more information on what these are.
What are we looking for in a relationship?
In general terms, when you are looking for the right relationship, you are trying to find the one that is right for you.
Is there an individual who wants to hear what you have to say, love you, and tell you everything will be alright? These are relationship fundamentals or pillars of a relationship, and it is what many people seek.
Many people may want to be heard, supported and feel like they can trust their mate. These are necessary parts of a relationship, especially if you want yours to thrive and grow.
When you and your significant other can work together to solve problems, work towards goals, or even hang out together, do nothing, and still have fun, this may be your key to relationships.
The things that make you feel like you have a great friend, trusted advisor, and a support system built into one person can make you feel safe and secure.
If you are in a relationship, it is okay to learn what you want together and work towards being that for the other person. On the other hand, if you are looking for a partner, talk to trusted friends and family members for additional advice and pointers.
Keep in mind that the pillars of a relationship that are most important to them will change from person to person. It is up to you to determine what makes a relationship great and what you expect from a potential mate.
Once you decide what this is for you, it will be easier to express that to your partner. It is okay to have expectations for any relationship, but you must also allow your mate to express theirs.
10 pillars of a strong relationship
It seems like a basic question when someone asks, what is a relationship, doesn’t it?
The truth is, it is a basic question. But the answer is a little more complex. People have been dating, falling in love, marrying, and divorcing for years.
Still, only a few of us stop and think about what it actually means to be in a healthy relationship or what the pillars of a relationship are. We tend to go through emotions more often than not, not learning much from each connection we make with another human.
The fact is, we are wired to be interpersonal. We crave companionship and closeness with other humans, so it’s in our best interest to lay out some guidelines for doing it correctly.
Plenty of working variables make the formula for a quality relationship or the pillars of love more complex than they seem. Although it may be complex overall, there are certainly some relationship pillars that every great relationship we’ve ever known has showcased.
Let’s take a minute and discuss these pillars in detail, and hope that if we can pin these down, we will have a shot at a lifetime of love.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
– George Bernard Shaw
And there you have it. Mr. Shaw has uncovered one of the biggest roadblocks to a quality relationship, and he did so in one concise sentence.
We often think we are open and honest with our significant other, but we hold back. We might not show the deepest side of ourselves because we fear that the person sitting across from us will find it ugly.
Holding back like this causes us to hold back in other areas of a relationship or marriage.
A white lie here, an omission there, and all of a sudden, there are gaps created in what you once thought was an honest and trusting relationship. Over time these gaps widen, and the communication that you believe is there is actually nonexistent.
A 2021 study shows that when you spend time talking to each other as a couple, this can be one of the pillars of a successful relationship, but if you spend more time arguing than talking, one or more people in the duo may not be satisfied with the pairing.
Be open. Be honest. Show your partner your ugly side. It’s the only way to make your relationship true to what you think it is.
Without trust, you have nothing. A relationship should be your emotional home, something you can count on for comfort. If you don’t trust your partner, you will drive yourself (and probably them, too) crazy with story after story that you’ve created out of thin air.
You’re in the wrong relationship if you feel like you can’t trust your partner with your heart and soul. It would be best if you had pillars of trust in a relationship.
They say that love is blind, and that’s how it should be when it comes to trust. Not to say that you should be naive but you should be able to believe that you and your partner are always acting in a way that respects both you and your relationship, despite temptations.
3. Be a rock
Do you know how your mom or dad picked you up when you fell as a kid? It would help if you still had undying support when you grow up and are old enough to go out into the world.
Your parents will always be there in some way, but the role of “the rock” in your life might fall on your significant other.
You and your partner should be willing and inspired to pick each other up when the other is feeling down, as this is a pillar of a relationship. If someone in their family dies, you need to be their shoulder to cry on.
If your partner needs support in starting a business, you need to be that smile that greets them when things eventually go off the rails.
It’s not optional; it’s required. You need to be the person who carries them through their dark days, and they must be willing to return the favor.
As humans, we are predisposed to mess up. We have imperfections built into our DNA. Deciding to spend your life with someone else means saying, “I accept you as you are, flaws and all.”
And meaning it.
There will be times that they drive you insane.
There will be times when they hurt your feelings.
There will be times when they need to remember to do something that they promised they would.
Should you let them off the hook? No, not at all. But as you attempt to make peace after they’ve broken a promise or said something hurtful, you need to be patient with them. They may do it again, but chances are good that they don’t mean to hurt you in the process.
People are inherently good. But they are also imperfect. Trust that the person who says they love you isn’t malicious. Believe that they are prone to making dumb mistakes, just as you are.
Be patient with your partner; it’s the only way things will last. Consider patience one of the most important pillars of a relationship.
Allow your partner and yourself to do things outside of your relationship. Be independent of each other while still loving each other deeply.
Marriage is often said to be where two people become one. Although it’s a nice saying, it doesn’t have to be followed explicitly.
Have a hobby that has nothing to do with them and encourage them to do the same. It’s not that you need to force yourself to spend time apart; it’s just that making space for your interests within your relationship is extremely healthy.
Having a hobby allows you to spend some time apart and enjoy the moments you share with one another.
You don’t have to spend every waking moment together. Be comfortable in stepping outside your fairy tale and coming back invigorated.
6. Being vulnerable
Another of the pillars of a relationship is that you must be able to be vulnerable with each other, and in essence, this means that you should be able to be yourself around one another.
It doesn’t matter how you act; whether you are goofy, silly, or serious, you may have times when you just want to be real with your partner and be as authentic as possible.
Of course, you must be sure you allow your partner to do the same. It won’t be fair if they have to pretend to be someone else when they are around you.
Showing your support for one another is another of the major pillars of a healthy relationship. When you can be there for each other no matter what, this can make a big difference in how you feel about one another.
For instance, a 2017 study found that when stress impacts one member of a couple, it can also impact the other, even if they aren’t necessarily stressing each other out. However, if you can be a part of each other’s support system, you can help lessen stress.
If you cannot lean on each other, consider relationship counseling. This could lend a hand in improving many aspects of your relationship, so you can become closer and operate in harmony.
8. Being best friends
When you think about who your best friend is, do you picture your mate? If so, this could mean you have a strong relationship with your partner. Friendship is tantamount when you think about the pillars of a relationship.
You likely have many things to tell your partner, and this is probably because you consider them to be a good friend.
Your partner may want to hear about what made you mad and what made you smile that day. You probably are anxious to hear what they have to say as well. This is because being friends is one of the pillars of a relationship.
9. Shared interests
You must like spending time with each other and have similar interests to be compatible. Otherwise, there are a few activities that you will be able to do together that will be fun for both of you.
If you are still deciding what you want to do together, it is a good idea to try new things when you both feel comfortable doing so. Go to the movies and see a new flick, try out a special restaurant you have had your eye on, or consider playing video games together.
Yet another key to a good relationship is to get along with each other. It can be difficult to bond and grow as a couple when you spend a lot of time arguing and fighting. Of course, when disagreements happen, it is okay to work it out and compromise.
After all, no relationship is perfect, but you should try your best to always talk about things instead of fighting about them.
When you can have productive arguments, this can be more helpful than trying to appease your partner when they are upset. Keep this in mind the next time you have a difference of opinion.
To learn more about the foundations of a good relationship, check out this video:
Creating a lifetime of love isn’t a science; it’s more like an art or a dance.
There are certain pillars of a relationship that you must consider. You can also consider these things pillars of marriage. These are like the foundation of something special; once you get them down, your relationship is yours to nourish.
No marriage or relationship is the same, so dance to the beat of your drum once you learn these basic steps. Moreover, you can talk to a therapist if you need more advice about relationships or what the pillars of a relationship are.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships Read more and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.