What are you looking for in a relationship?

What is Fundamental, Important, and Additional in a Relationship?


Marilyn Lane

9/13/20221 min read

What are you looking for in a relationship?

The first question we must ask ourselves is, what is my definition of “relationship”? In reality, many couples start a relationship without knowing honestly what they want.

An exercise that I invite you to do is the following:

  • What is fundamental in my relationship? - What are some of the components in that relationship that I absolutely could not sacrifice or compromise on that would end the relationship? For some people, fidelity, loyalty, and communication are fundamental; if our partner is unfaithful or not loyal, we withdraw from the relationship.

  • What is essential in my relationship? - What is it that my relationship should have, that if it doesn’t have, it can generate conflicts in the couple? In the previous example, suppose our partner is unfaithful to us, and yet we decided to stay in that relationship; fidelity was not fundamental but essential, and we are willing to rebuild it.

  • What is an additional (accessory) in my relationship? - Identifying what it is and when it is presented nourishes me and the relationship? Go to the movies together, find a joint project, ride a bike, etc.

This exercise gives us a little more clarity about what we want and don’t like; it teaches us another way to set healthier boundaries and helps us see how we choose our partner.