Healthy Relationship

9 Core Relationship Values Every Couple Should Have


Successful relationships don’t come knocking on your door. Instead, they are something that require a lot of effort, devotion, time, and sacrifice.

Besides loving each other and feeling physical attraction, sharing similar values with your partner also helps you build a healthy foundation for your romance.

Relationship values are actually your core beliefs on what a successful romance should look like. They are your standards, deal breakers, and guidelines for what you think a perfect relationship should look like.

Knowing this, you can see why it’s important for you and your partner to have similar guiding principles if you want to be headed in the same direction and if you intend to build a life together. 

So, what are these important core values you two should share? Here is the ultimate list of relationship values every couple should have:

1. Mutual respect

man and woman holding hands while sitting near water

Sadly, this is something many couples are missing and the lack of this relationship value often brings relationship problems, and eventually, it brings the end.

No, having a respectful partner doesn’t mean having a boyfriend or girlfriend who will never tease you or treat you like a king or queen while they’re just an ordinary peasant. 

First and foremost, when someone respects you, they will never put you down.

This person won’t insult you in any way, and they especially won’t do it in front of others. They won’t treat your opinions or actions as completely irrelevant and useless. 

Instead, your partner should respect you as an individual.

They should respect your important core values, your space, time, the effort you put into your relationship, your guiding principles, core beliefs, and most importantly: respect the man or the woman you are. 

You might wonder what this means. Well, before anything else, it means that they will never do anything to embarrass or humiliate you.

They will appreciate your sacrifices and everything you’ve been doing for the sake of your relationship. They will never do something to devalue you or to make you feel as if they don’t see your worth. 

Having mutual respect doesn’t mean you’ll have a partner who nods their head at everything you have to say. Instead, the two of you are still entitled to have some differences in opinion. 

However, even when this happens, you’ll just agree to disagree since you respect each other to the point where you won’t try manipulating the other person into changing their mind. 

2. Acceptance

man and woman hugging near sea during golden hour

A core value that goes hand in hand with respect is also mutual acceptance.

This value doesn’t seem as significant as it should be at the beginning of your relationship but it is definitely one of the most important relationship goals you should strive for.

In fact, as time goes by, all couples understand how important it actually is. 

You see, even when you meet your other half, you and your partner will always have some differences, which is perfectly normal.

You are two different people and it would be completely impossible for you to have all the same attitudes, opinions, habits, and interests. 

Therefore, once you discover these differences in your partner, the first urge you have is to make them change.

To turn your loved one into a man or a woman you imagined for yourself, to modify their personality, and to mold them according to your standards. 

At first, you assume that you’re doing your boyfriend or girlfriend a favor. After all, you’re the one who knows the best and you’re just trying to make some improvements to them.

Well, let me tell you something: your partner is not your project. In fact, you better forget about some potential you see in them and focus on what you have in front of you. 

Therefore, if there are some things you don’t fancy about them, you have only two options: leave or accept the situation. 

Remember: this is not your child and definitely not someone whose core values you’re allowed to modify.

In fact, we’re talking about a completely formed adult who doesn’t need you raising them to fit your imaginary standards. 

Of course, you can and should inspire their personal growth but you can’t be the one to determinethe direction of that growth.

I’ll be honest with you: you might find a compatible partner with whom you have shared values in a relationship but there will always be some parts of their personality you’d like to change.

man and woman sitting on pavement near water

As much as you love them, there will be some things about them you won’t like.

Well, guess what: that’s absolutely your problem. You might believe that your love can change someone but trust me – that’s one of the biggest deceptions couples allow themselves to believe in. 

I’m not claiming that you can’t change a thing about your loved one. After all, it’s pretty normal for two people to adapt to the new person they have next to them and to make some slight adjustments to themselves.

However, if you try changing the core of the person sitting next to you, you’ll bring both of you problems and your seemingly successful relationship will break apart sooner or later. 

You see, at first, you might want to change for the sake of your partner or vice versa. You love them so much that you want to please them and turn all of their desires into reality. 

So, you start acting like the person they want you to be. You bury your true self and put on a mask so your significant other will like you more.

However, sooner or later, your mask will fall off. Your partner won’t stop there: they saw that they can change you as they please and they continue doing their best to keep on changing. 

On the other hand, while you keep trying to change yourself, you destroy your self-esteem and your frustration rises.

You can’t believe that you’ve lost yourself for the sake of someone else and that you’ve let this person next to you make so much difference to you. 

Sounds like a familiar scenario, am I right? Well, that is all because couples don’t see the importance of acceptance. 

Trust me: in a successful relationship, your flaws will be treated the same way as your good side since they’re all a part of your personality.

You will be loved the same way at your best and worst and your imperfections will be honored.

3. Trust

man and woman holding hands while sitting on sofa

So, we’re talking about the person you’re about to share your life with. About someone who should be the closest person to you and about your missing piece of the puzzle.

Therefore, if this is someone you plan on growing old next to, it would be pretty inconvenient to spend the rest of your days on the constant lookout. 

Your life would be true hell on earth if you had to spend every minute of your life being extra careful regarding this person’s moves and expecting them to stab you in the back out of the blue. 

That is exactly why a healthy relationship has to be based on mutual trust. If you are life partners, it means that you’re partners in crime as well.

According to this, your significant other is someone you believe the most. It is the person you can admit your darkest secrets and wildest dreams to, without the fear of being judged.

In fact, even if you do something awful, they’re the ones you would go to. This is the person you can trust your life with and someone you can rely upon, no matter what. 

Of course, even if you’re a part of a couple, you’re not obligated to tell your partner literally everything going on in your head. However, trust means having the ability to do so.

It means being able to share your every thought with them, without the fear of them ever betraying you and without any trust issues.

It means having the liberty to expose your vulnerabilities in front of this person, without being scared that they might use your weaknesses against you.

However, just bear in mind that trust cannot be built overnight. Instead, it will take time before you start to completely trust your partner but once it happens, please don’t break it, no matter what. 

4. Loyalty

man hugging woman while standing in forest

People usually think that loyalty equals fidelity. Well, let me tell you that loyalty, being one of the most significant relationship values, is actually much more than being faithful.

Yes, having a loyal partner means never having to suspect their fidelity. It means not going behind each other’s backs and not even thinking of replacing your loved one with someone else. 

Being loyal means choosing your loved one every single day. It includes not flirting with another person and not falling in love with someone else while you’re in an exclusive relationship. 

It means avoiding the possibility of forming an emotional connection with a third person or having an emotional affair.

Basically, being loyal means not doing anything that could potentially hurt your significant other’s feelings or harm them in any way possible.

However, the most important part of loyalty is never abandoning your partner, no matter what. When I say this, I’m not only talking about the fact that you’ll never physically leave them. 

Instead, I’m talking about always being by their side, through good and bad times. It means having their back at all times.

It means being willing to defend them in front of the world and being ready to risk your own well being for the sake of their own happiness.

It means being more than just lovers and becoming best friends and family members with time.  

Loyalty includes putting your significant other and your romantic relationship first. It means prioritizing each other and never treating your partner as your second choice. 

Loyalty means being there for your partner through sickness and health. It means loving and treating them the same at their good and bad days and being present next to them when they laugh and cry. 

When you say that you and your other half are loyal, that means that you protect each other with all of your strength and power against all the world’s evils. It means being united in all of your struggles and holding each other’s hand through all of life’s challenges. 

Basically, loyalty means that there is absolutely nothing the other person might do to make you stop loving them.

It includes being ready to move mountains for the sake of your partner and not betraying them, even if your life depends on it. 

5. Communication

woman talking to man while standing outdoor

Another crucial thing every healthy relationship is based on is healthy and open communication. At least, that is how things should be if you expect your relationship to last. 

As already mentioned, you hope to spend the rest of your life with this person.

In that case, one can only imagine the hell you’ll both have to go through if you don’t put all of your efforts into trying to understand each other.

Therefore, if you want a successful relationship, forget about keeping everything to yourself. Forget about repressing emotions and about not expressing yourself because that will only bring your trouble. 

Before anything else, you and your partner will have to learn to communicate properly.

You’ll both have to practice verbalizing yourselves, without insulting each other and accepting what the other person has to say, without being easily insulted, even if their attitudes are different than yours. 

First and foremost, I’ll have to ask you to forget about things such as passive aggression.

When you and your partner have a disagreement, giving them the silent treatment and ignoring them won’t help your relationship at all.

Also, what is extremely significant for you to be aware of is that your loved one is not a mind reader.

They might be the person who knows you the best and they might assume what is going through your mind but they can never be sure about it.

Therefore, if there is something you’re uncomfortable about in your relationship, you can’t expect your partner to magically know what’s wrong without you actually telling them. 

You can’t demand they see what you’re bothered about or for them to eventually change their behavior regarding a certain matter if you never come clean about it. 

Don’t be scared of speaking your mind. Trust me: if you start doing this on time, you’ll both be spared a lot of problems.

man and woman sitting on ground near sea

The next benefit of good communication is seen in arguments.

Before anything else, I want to tell you one thing: all couples fight so don’t think of your relationship as a failure just because you and your partner have some issues. 

In fact, the crucial difference between successful and less successful couples lies in the quality of their arguments. Happy couples have productive fights while others don’t.

What I’m trying to say is that when you have open communication, your arguments have a point.

You disagree on something, you work on finding a compromise, you resolve your argument and most importantly, you learn from it. 

In this scenario, it’s completely irrelevant who is right and wrong. Your common goal here is to overcome this issue. Most importantly: you stand united against the problem you clearly have.

On the other hand, when you don’t have good quality communication, your arguments usually happen without a valid reason. At least, that is how things look at first sight. 

However, once you dig a little bit deeper, you see the real truth. You see loads of unverbalized dissatisfaction that has piled up over the years and that eventually had to explode. 

In this case, your fights don’t serve a purpose. You don’t fix the problem and you only use these arguments to get rid of all the negative energy that’s been collecting inside of you. 

Here, ego comes first. What matters the most is winning and proving your point instead of actually resolving your issue or turning it into a lesson. 

6. Equality

smiling man in blue shirt and woman standing outdoor

One of the most important relationship values is without doubt equality.

Even though we live in a modern world where everyone assumes that both partners are completely equal in every possible relationship, the truth is actually somewhat different. 

For starters, it means that you and your partner have exactly the same rights in your union.

It means that both of your feelings have the same place, that you’re equally important; that both of your needs and well beings are prioritized. 

Being equal means making decisions together. It means that you accept your partner’s opinion if it is different than yours and vice versa. 

It includes sharing duties and obligations. It includes financial, emotional, and spiritual equality which doesn’t leave any room for selfishness. 

In an equal relationship, at the end of the day, no partner can be submissive or dominant in regard to the other. There are no such things as followers or leaders. 

Instead, you two march thought life like real partners in crime. You go through this journey shoulder to shoulder, next to each other, and holding one another’s hand, without the intention of ever letting go. 

There’s no possibility of one partner making orders, while the other does nothing except be obedient and nod their head. There is no fear of speaking your mind.

In fact, you’re both allowed to call the other person on their actions at all times. You have the right to be loud about your attitudes and you never feel like your loved one’s doormat or servant.  

7. Honesty

man and woman making eye contact while sitting on sofa

Let’s be real: in everyday life, all of us lie from time to time. I’m not saying that you’re a compulsive liar or that you lie for your own benefit. 

However, the truth is that sometimes you do hide or change the truth. You might do it to protect yourself, to save your relationship, or to not hurt your partner’s feelings or self-esteem

Well, what would you do if you found out that your significant other is doing the same? How would you feel if you knew that there were some situations in which you were lied to and deceived?

Having a taste of your own medicine is not so good, after all, is it? This is exactly why honesty is such an important core relationship value

First and foremost, the foundation of your relationship has to be healthy and honest. Basically, that means that you should show your true self from the very beginning. 

Don’t be scared of revealing your true colors and whatever you do, I’m begging you not to pretend to be someone you’re not just to be more likeable to the other person. 

Trust me when I tell you that your real face will appear sooner or later and that’s when you’ll encounter a problem. 

Another significant matter you and your partner should agree upon is to always be honest with each other.

woman talking to man while sitting near water

It means agreeing to hear the hardest and the most bitter truth, even if it might break your heart and always choosing the ugly truth over a beautiful lie. 

According to most romantic relationship advice, you two should swear to honesty, even if it could potentially bring trouble to your heaven. It is only like this that you prove your respect to your partner. 

You don’t think of them as an immature child who can’t handle how things really are. Instead, you’re certain about their mental and emotional strength and you know they have what it takes to always be told the truth. 

At first, you might think that you’re doing your love life a favor by telling some white lies which can’t harm anyone.

When you make a mistake and hide it, you assume that you’re protecting your loved one’s heart from getting broken. 

Nevertheless, this practice is nothing but sweeping things under the carpet. Remember one thing: the truth will always find a way. 

When it does, your loved one won’t just be upset about the mistake you made.

In fact, they will be more hurt by the fact that you hid the truth from them and will eventually lose trust in you, which can be the beginning of your end. 

8. Commitment

man and woman holding hands while standing near water

In today’s world, the words committed relationship sound almost like science fiction.

Yes, this is a relationship goal for most but since everyone is emotionally unavailable, they have a lot of emotional baggage they can’t seem to get rid of and have a fear of commitment they can’t control, so it seems hard to reach.

Well, despite all of this, I’m here to inform you that your love life is unlikely to succeed unless both you and your loved one are ready to commit to it fully.

However, before you do so, first of all, we have to be clear about what commitment really means. 

At first, you’ll probably connect this word with exclusivity.

You might think that it’s enough to proclaim your romance a real relationship, to put a label on it, to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend, and to act like a couple in public in order to be committed.

Yes, commitment is all of this. However, there are other important standards you have to fulfill if you really want to be a committed couple.

First of all, you both have to be fully devoted to each other and to your romantic relationship. You should both be 100% ready, if necessary, to make sacrifices for it, and to put all of your strength into making it work.

When you’re both committed, it means that you prioritize your relationship over everything else, no matter what.

It means that you’re determined to spend the rest of your lives together and that nothing or nobody could break you apart. 

Basically, all of this means that you’re both putting yourselves out there, without holding any parts back.

There is no such thing as half love – you go all in and you risk everything because you’re certain that you will succeed. 

9. Love

smiling man carrying woman in pink top

I won’t lie to you: life is not a fairytale and love is never enough for a committed relationship to actually work out, if this set of values we’ve been talking about doesn’t also exist. 

You can care for someone deeply, they can feel the same way about you, but if you don’t have similar values and can’t get along when it comes to some crucial matters in your life, it’s unlikely that you’ll manage to build a good quality romantic relationship

However, to be honest, none of these relationship values mean much if they’re not glued together by the most important one: love. 

What I’m trying to say is that you can respect someone, have an amazing communication with them, trust them, be completely honest with them, and be one hundred percent committed to making your relationship with them work, but you won’t succeed in doing so if you don’t feel wholehearted, unconditional love for them. 

It works both ways, of course. Both parties should have deep feelings for each other which serve as the foundation of your relationship and as a basis for all of these other important core values.


Category: Healthy Relationship

Infinity Kelly

Infinity Kelly(she/her) is a freelance writer and astrologer who covers news, lifestyle, and entertainment topics, including astrology and relationships. She regularly contributes to elitedaily, Wooman’s Day, and YouGov, among other publications. When she’s not working, you can find her running, traveling, or scrolling TikTok. Follow her on Twitter.

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