21 Things We All Deserve From A Good Relationship

Relationships are a two-way street, and you have to give as much as you’re given. That, along with a lot of communication, are the major factors in keeping a relationship going strong. If we don’t have those things, our relationship, honestly, doesn’t have a chance in hell.

But nestled in between the essentials are the things that we all deserve from a relationship, especially if it’s something we hope will go the distance. Here are 21 things that everyone deserves when they’re in it to win it.

  1. Open communication. As any relationship expert will tell you, communication is absolutely paramount in a relationship. It’s also something that everyone deserves to have, because if you can’t tell you partner everything (well, like 99%), then you’re both missing out.
  2. Ultimate trust. From knowing your partner isn’t going to spend your entire mutual bank account on a new car when they finally hit their mid-life crisis, to knowing that each time they leave the house they’re not going to betray you by cheating, you deserve ultimate trust just as much as you deserve communication.
  3. Intimacy. There’s a difference between sex and intimacy, and honestly, intimacy outweighs sex. It’s not just about being physical, but having an emotional connection even when you’re just sitting next to each other watching Netflix all night.
  4. Passion. Oh, absolutely! Passionate kisses, hot sex, and maybe even getting it on in the back of a cab, because you just can’t keep your hands to yourself.
  5. A challenge. You deserve to be challenged by your partner in every possible way. You deserve them to give you a run for your money, for them to force you to think about things in different ways, and maybe even kick your ass in Scrabble sometimes.
  6. Butterflies. While butterflies come and go in a relationship depending on the ups and downs that are totally normal, you still deserve to have them as often as possible.
  7. Devotion. I don’t mean the type of devotion that has someone on their knees praying to an alter of you, but devotion in that they’re devoted to the person you are, the person you will evolve to be with time, and your goals for the future.
  8. Security. You deserve to feel safe and know that if something awful goes down, your partner is going to do whatever they have to do to make it all feel less scary and protect you from the worst.
  9. Laughter. Because of course. From private jokes to just a glance that sums up exactly what you’re thinking about the man in the zebra leotard on the L train… you deserve to laugh and laugh often.
  10. Complete acceptance. Not just for who you are, but for the weird mole on your back that’s bizarrely shaped like a dinosaur, your wonky social skills, and every other beautiful quirk in between.
  11. A cheerleader. You deserve someone who will always cheer you on, and if you sometimes come in second, you’re still the winner in their book.
  12. Understanding. It’s about understanding that you’ll always cry at the end of Mean Girls for reasons you can’t explain and the fact that you talk to your sister on the phone twice a day. It’s also about understanding that you have a life and other people in your life that are just as important as the person with whom you’re in love.
  13. A partner in crime. You deserve to be with someone who’s willing to sneak champagne into the movie theater and pop the cork, while you cough loudly to cover up your “crime.”
  14. A best friend. While you should never cut your friends from your life, it’s important to have a similar bond with your partner. You deserve someone who isn’t just your lover, but your friend.
  15. Inspiration. Inspiration is the key to personal and professional success, and it’s something we all deserve to have in our relationship.
  16. Appreciation. From the little things like the way you look at them, or the bigger things like how you took months to plan their 30th birthday party, you deserve to be appreciated for how much you put in to your relationship.
  17. Respect. Well, obviously. Every human, either in or out of a relationship, deserves this one.
  18. Excitement. Whether it’s excitement in meeting new people, going to new places, or trying something new in bed, you deserve to feel excited and tantalized.
  19. Adventure. You deserve to be with someone who wants to try new things, who thinks three weeks in Chile sounds like a dream, or that maybe skydiving really is the best way to spend your anniversary.
  20. Freedom. A healthy relationship means not trapping the person you love. You deserve to be free, to come and go as you please, and to have the necessary amount of alone time that makes a relationship really work.
  21. Unconditional love. When you screw up, you deserve to be forgiven and maybe even loved more because you’re human.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.