Sex Is Great, But This Will Do More For Your Relationship

Sex is a great way to connect with your partner, but it’s far from everything. While being amazing in bed is definitely a perk, it should never be the reason why you stay with someone. After all, there are far more important things that will keep your relationship strong:

  1. Being a good listener. If your partner isn’t a good listener, they might not even be aware of stuff you like doing in bed. The best relationships grow by listening to your partner, and never monopolizing the conversation. Even if you want to vent about something stupid that happened at work, having a S.O. that won’t shut you down is golden.
  2. Making you feel sexy even when you’re wearing pajamas. It’s important to try and spice up your sex life every once in awhile, but the best partner won’t require you to dress up and spend a ton of cash on expensive suits or lingerie. If he loves you when you’re just about to head to bed, without makeup and with your big, dorky, 3-prescriptions-too-old glasses on, you know he loves you for you. It’s a nice feeling to know you can be yourself around him.
  3. Considering you when they’re making important life plans. Your partner just got a job offer a few states over. It’s hard to turn down, and they wouldn’t have even considered turning it down years ago — but now you’re in the picture. Instead of jumping at the chance, they bring it up with you first. This proves that no matter what, they see you being in his life for a long time. How sexy is that?
  4. Understanding your need for “you time.” Couples obviously love spending time with each other, but having someone who understands that you just want to listen to a Taylor Swift song on repeat by yourself for an hour or two is just incredible. A great significant other will also let you have a night out with your friends without having to “check in” every twenty minutes or so. They trust you, which is insanely important.
  5. Having a shared interest. While you and your partner shouldn’t have everything in common, it’s really nice to be able to geek out over something similar. If you know they’ll always be your date for ComicCon, or that they’re equally excited for the Adele show you scored tickets to, it’s refreshing to know that you have a lifelong bond over something that’ll make both of you happy.
  6. Understanding the importance of family. Even if they don’t have as good of a connection with their family as you do with yours, they appreciate the fact that you like to check in with Mom and Dad from time to time. They don’t give you a hard time about an hour-long chat with your mom, even if the phone call happened right before you were going to dive into Jessica Jones on Netflix together.
  7. Not giving up after the honeymoon phase. Every new relationship is amazing for the first few months. The two of you just can’t get enough of each other, and the “no, you hang up!” phone calls are seen as cute and affectionate. But now, things are a little more routine and a lot less exciting. Your partner could have ditched you the second that things went a bit stale, but they didn’t, since they know how relationships actually work.
  8. Foreplay and general physical contact. Or, even having romantic makeout sessions with you that don’t need to lead to sex. Physical closeness, and small signs of attraction, are worth so much more than sex. Anyone can have sex, but being able to cure a tough day with a relaxing back rub is another story.
  9. Honesty. Honesty and trust go hand in hand when discussing an excellent relationship. If your partner’s not being honest, or if you don’t trust their account of what happened at their friend’s party the other week, your sex life will suffer. After all, you’ll be wondering whether or not they’re putting you at risk for an STD, or if they’re leading you on about their intentions with your relationship.
  10. True friendship. Everyone reaches a point where their sex life takes a dive — maybe you’vve been really stressed at work, or maybe you’re having a really tough time planning out your busy schedule to include a romantic rendezvous. While these problems can be, and should be, fixed at some point, you know it’ll be easy since your partner is also your friend. They understand that this brief pause isn’t necessarily about them. Together you can work on it and get back on track, since you’re more than willing to work out problems with your closest friends.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.