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What's the most important thing in (or reason for) a relationship?

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In a recent conversation, it became clear that Amanda and I had very different views on the most important thing in relationships.

“I want someone to go on adventures with,” I said. “To have fun with. That’s the most important thing to me. To watch stupid TV shows with. Someone to simply have fun with and talk with. What about you?”

“For me, the most important part of a relationship is getting things done. I want a partner to help me take care of things,” she said. “I don’t want to have to take care of everything by myself.”

“That sounds… depressing,” I said. “That almost sounds more like a business contract than a relationship.”

“Everyone has to do the boring stuff, so why not have someone to help you?. Sure, adventures are fun, but life isn’t always fun. And if you’re only in a relationship because it’s entertaining, aren’t you going to split as soon as it gets boring or routine?”

“Would you split as soon as someone had problems doing their share of the housework? Isn’t there something more to life than just work?”

It was pretty obvious that either of our viewpoints - if taken to extremes - was unbalanced and potentially unfulfilling. But I think that conversation between friends is an important one for people in the early stages of a relationship.

The people in the relationship do not have have to agree, nor do they need to put the same value on the same portions of a relationship. But they do need to know what is most important to the others in the relationship, so they can make sure that everyone’s needs… including their own… are being met.

Do you agree with either of the views above? Or is there something else that you think is most important?

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