What You Want In A Relationship Versus What You Actually Need

There are a lot of different opinions about what you need to have in a relationship in order for it to be successful. Everyone has a list of standards or qualities that they’d either like a potential partner to have or even that they require, but still things don’t work out. The things we desire matter, of course, but oftentimes, what we think we need out of a relationship for it to be healthy and happy aren’t always right.

  1. Financial security versus emotional security So many people out there think that money and financial security are the most important things in relationships. Many people worry that if they don’t end up with someone who regularly has cash in the bank and a solid hold on their finances, their relationship won’t work and they won’t be happy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, taking vacations and having nice things is fun, but financial abundance doesn’t even hold a candle to emotional security. When you have a partner who makes you feel safe, loved, and understood, the subject of money won’t even cross your mind.
  2. Romantic gestures versus genuine gestures Everyone loves a grand gesture and it’s definitely nice to be on the receiving end of something super sweet and romantic, however, it’s frustrating to hear people claim that if your partner doesn’t constantly perform these giant acts of undying love for you that they don’t care about you or that their feelings for you aren’t real. Everyone shows love in different ways, and just because it’s not your partner’s style to go all out in these very public and crazy ways definitely doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. Pay attention to the small and subtle ways that your partner expresses their love to you. Those are the ones that really count.
  3. Patronizing treatment versus reality checking You may think the best thing you could have in a relationship would be a partner who never disagrees with you or tells you when you’re wrong and always makes you think that your way is the best way, but unfortunately, that’s not real life. What you really need for a successful relationship is a partner who will keep you in reality by letting you know when you’re wrong or when you need to be grounded a bit.
  4. Sugarcoating the truth versus honesty You might think that the best thing for you is a partner that never holds you accountable and always makes everything seem sweet and fine no matter what. The truth is that honesty, real honesty, will carry your relationship further and make it stronger than almost any other quality. You need a partner who isn’t afraid to tell you how it is, calls you out when you need to be called out, and gives things to you straight. It may not always be fun but it’ll be the best thing for both of you.
  5. Future promises versus present commitment Everyone wants someone who’s ready to promise them the world from the get-go. You might think that you need someone who is ready to talk about marriage, kids, and your whole future after a week of dating, but instead of wishing for someone who’s ready to promise you the next ten years of their life, look for someone who is ready to commit to you, right here and right now and shows you that commitment. Anyone can promise something that seems like it’s lightyears away. It’s what’s happening in the present moment that’s what holds someone accountable.
  6. Someone who likes everything you do versus someone with a passion for anything A lot of people place a ton of emphasis on having things in common with their partner. Sure, it’s important to be on the same page about some things but when it comes to likes and interests, you don’t have to be into all of the same things. Instead of searching for someone who enjoys every single thing that you do, look for someone who has a passion for something. Having a passion is important because it can tell you so much about who they are and what their dedication and commitment are like.
  7. Someone who agrees with everything you think versus someone who challenges you You might think that you need someone who never disagrees with you and always assures you that your opinion is the right one and that you’re always right, but how boring is that? What you really need is someone who isn’t afraid to challenge you and question your opinions from time to time. If we never see things from a different point of view or question our own beliefs, we never grow and evolve as humans. The right person for you will want to grow with you.
  8. A perfect sex life versus connecting deeper than physical We place a lot of importance on sex in our relationships. It’s great to have an awesome sex life and be able to connect with your partner on a physical level, but it’s definitely not the most important thing. Connecting with your partner on a deep, emotional level will affect you so much more than sex will. In addition to that, connecting on that deep level with your partner will only make an already good sex life even better.
  9. Someone with a spotless reputation versus someone who learns from mistakes. Background and past are very important to a lot of people when it comes to finding a partner. Many people base their opinions on others based on where they come from, the family they were born into, and what they’ve done in their past. You might think that you need to find someone who has a flawless past and comes from a clean-cut, perfect-looking family and there’s nothing wrong if they are. The thing is that no one has a perfect past or a perfect family. Instead of focusing on things that neither you nor your partner can change, focus on how they’ve overcome those things, how they’ve learned from their mistakes, and how they’ve used their past to make them a better person.
Shelby is a journalist and fiction writer raised in the South but built for the big city. She's a book nerd (well, an overall nerd, honestly) and coffee addict and obsessed with all things leather and lacy.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Sam Houston State University and worked for her university newspaper, The Houstonian, as well as serving as a producer and part-time entertainment anchor for Cable 7 Huntsville. You can follow her on Twitter @shelby777.