The importance of friendship in a relationship

In this article I will explain how important is friendship in any relationship and why you should put your relationship with your partner first. I will also explain the benefits of staying positive in the relationship, the importance of working as a team and how to approach arguments.

Relationships are the union of two people with their unique personality, values and quarks. Finding a way to support your partner’s dreams and desires without having to lose yourself or compromise your values and principles is what you should expect from a healthy relationship.


Understanding successful relationships

The most successful relationships have one thing in common: they have managed to keep the positive thoughts about their partner higher than the negative ones. Moreover, they embrace and accept each other’s needs and they tend to see disagreements as a challenge they shouldn’t resist, but work on.

Creating an inner life together, sharing a deep connection with your partner and having common goals and values are important when it comes to healthy relationships. The more meaning you find together as a couple, the more rewarding your relationship will be.

Honouring each other’s dreams even when not shared is a great example of connection and teamwork.

Being able to talk honestly with each other even when you encounter differences in values, dreams or ideas creates a safe and strong environment for the relationship to develop.

Keeping a positive attitude about your partner is essential for a healthy relationship. It keeps the romance alive, allowing both partners to have fun, be adventurous and learn about each other.

Emotional intelligence plays an important role in any relationship. People with high emotional intelligence are more likely to solve conflicts and understand their partner’s needs.

Most relationships end as the partners don’t understand the value of their commitment until it is too late. People tend to take their relationship and partner for granted and fail to nurture and improve the relationship.

Happy couples are not only happier, but also healthier. In his studies, J Gottman has found that the immune system of couples who were satisfied with their marriage functions considerably better than those who were not.

Moreover, J. Gottman conducted a study on children that were raised in homes where parents were hostile towards each other. He found that the stress level of these children was significantly higher than those whose parents were in a healthy and happy relationship.

Communication and active listening are important skills that can help improve your relationship. Read more about how to improve communication here.

However, listening without judgment when you are the person who is criticised is not an easy task for anyone. Moreover, research has found that approaching arguments in a different, calmer way can decrease the level of stress but cannot dramatically change the relationship or rebuild romance.

What doesn’t work?

Unhealthy relationships lack mutual trust and understanding and both partners assume the worst about each other. They also believe that their partner doesn’t have their back and their actions are selfish.

These relationships tend to lead to emotional betrayal, where one or both partners decide to put the needs of themselves or others above their relationship’s needs. Research has found that emotional betrayal stands at the basis of any failed relationship.

Prolonged negative feelings about your partner will lead to criticism, sarcasm, condescending and defensive behaviour in arguments.

When these techniques have been exhausted and the negativity becomes overwhelming, one partner might decide that there is nothing else that can save their relationship and they will become a passive receiver.

This is a defence mechanism used when one partner becomes physically and psychologically overwhelmed by the negativity and criticism from their partner.

In most fights, partners can face extreme emotional anxiety which leads to one of the two responses that is a result of high levels of adrenaline in the body: fight or flight.

Moreover, when relationships have a strong basis of negativity, the partners will rewrite the past and even the happiest moments they had together are remembered in a negative way.

Couples in a long term relationship tend to forget all the things that brought them together and focus on the negative things that keep them apart.

Same rule applies for positive relationships. When people are in a happy and healthy relationship, they remember their worst moments and struggles as something they have faced together and built their relationship stronger.

What works?

Couples with a strong friendship that know each other at a very intimate level, are more likely to understand, trust their partner and keep connected when facing difficult times.

In order to improve your relationship or keep it on the right track, think about all the things you admire or you used to admire in your partner.

The basis of any relationship should be a strong friendship and mutual understanding between the partners.

Once at the basis of the relationship is a strong friendship, there are more positive thoughts and feelings attributed to the relationship.

Assuming the best about each other and understanding your partner’s perspective, even when you disagree, are important traits of a healthy relationship.

Also, supporting your partner’s hopes, aspiration and desires and be there for them when they need you the most are extremely important for your relationship.

To maintain a positive friendship, both partners need to cherish, admire and respect each other more than they disagree or dislike certain personality traits.

Any happy relationship needs to have a high degree of admiration and respect. When these feelings are not present, the relationship slowly damages.

One way to keep the admiration present in your relationship is to keep track of all the positive traits of your partner and not to take them for granted.

Expressing gratitude is also extremely important when it comes to strengthen your relationship. Letting your partner know the things you are grateful for will bring about more similar behaviours.

Paying attention to your partner’s feelings and emotions and letting them know that you are noticing their frustration is also important when it comes to building a strong friendship in your relationship.

For example, by noticing the things they like to do less in the household and help them with the task, you are showing your partner that you support and understand them.

Little gestures should not be ignored. Healthy couples tend to strengthen their connection by performing little nice gestures for each other.

Also, taking into consideration your partner’s opinion and feelings before taking decisions is extremely important for maintaining a healthy relationship.

How to approach arguments

Couples who have worked through their differences are the ones who have learned to live with the problems they cannot change and approach it with good humour, whilst working on the problems they have control over.

You don’t need to agree with your partner or have the same opinion in order for the relationship to work, but you need to consider your partner’s point of view.

Knowing that your partner has your back no matter what happens, understanding and trusting each other with sensitive issues are the cornerstones of a happy relationship.

Compromise is the only way to solve relationship problems. Even when you are convinced that you are right, you cannot always get the things your way.

However, you cannot reach a compromise when you are angry or anxious. Compromises should be reached when both partners are calm and ready to make the relationship work regardless of their personal needs and desires.

Finding a way to accommodate each other’s needs only works when both partners are ready to accept each other’s influence and take into consideration the opinion of their partner.


Final thoughts

Let this quote from Trent Shelton be the foundation of your relationship:

“A relationship means you come together to make each other better. It’s not all about you, and it’s not all about them. It’s all about the relationship. Support them in their dreams/visions just as much as you would expect them to support you. Make each other better. Challenge each other to go beyond average. Pull out the greatness from within each other. Make sure they can find their biggest fan in you, and you can find yours in them.”

I hope this article helped you understand how important is friendship in relationships and what to do to nurture and develop your friendship in order to improve or reconstruct your relationship.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer them.

All the best,


  (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists)

For counselling and coaching appointments scan the QR code or press here.

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14 thoughts on “The importance of friendship in a relationship”

  1. Hi Ioana,

    A thoroughly enjoyable read and you make some valid points too.

    I wholeheartedly agree that friendship forms the ideal basis for any relationship, and without it, well I guess you’re just fighting a losing battle.

    I like that you’ve mentioned that it’s also important to feel as though your partner “has your back”, as this helps both the friendship and intimacy grow as a couple.

    However, as you say, there will be times when any relationship can feel strained, and it’s likely that you’ll argue every now and then (I mean what couple doesn’t have the occasional argument?)

    I feel I may need to work on walking away in the heat of the moment rather than just blurting out whatever’s on my mind, but that’s easier said than done. You are perfectly correct in saying that any disagreement is best resolved when both parties are calm.

    I think I also have to learn to strike compromise every once in a while and view things from my partner’s perspective.

    Anyway, thanks for such a great article.


    • Hi Partha,

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy to see that you relate to the advice given in the article. Friendship and being there for your partner even when you don’t agree with their decisions is very important. Also, compromising and understanding your partner’s perspective can improve your arguments considerably.

      Kind regards,

  2. Hi Ioana
    I am sure like many others reading your article I reflect back on past relationships that failed and see how the mechanics of that or those failures is so clearly reflected in the processes you describe. It is so important to feel nurtured and supported in a relationship and that is reflected in our daily activities whether career, or personal creative endeavors. Giving support to our partners in their passions is so important but is often a delicate balance. This can be a particular challenge if one person in the partnership wants or needs to spend more time and energy pursuing the activity than the other partner would like. I was reminded of another quote that comes at a key turning point in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield
    “There can be no disparity in marriage like unsuitability of mind and purpose.”
    And if there is anything sad in that its that Dickens clearly failed to learn or at least apply this lesson in his own life.
    Thanks for a very thought-provoking article.
    Best regards

    • Hi Andy,

      Thank you for your comment. As you mentioned, having a nurturing and supporting partner can help you thrive in many other areas. You are absolutely right, supporting your partner if they choose to spend all the time and energy perusing their goal is difficult.
      In this case, I would recommend communicating your differences and reaching a compromise with your partner. Constantly working and developing your relationship is essential for the happiness of the couple.

      Kind regards,

  3. I agree with you. Friendship is fundamental for any relationship to grow. One must put the needs of his partner first, support them in pursuit of their dreams and definitely have their back no matter what.
    Of course all this must be reciprocated. This is a true definition of friendship and from there a relationship can grow. Thank you for the informative article. Do you happen to have an article on finances. Whats the best approach to handle finances in a relationship?

    • Hi Kadango,

      Thank you very much for your comment. Like you mentioned, it is important that both partners are nurturing their relationship, put their partner first and always have their back.
      To answer your question, I don’t have an article on finances yet, but I will definitely write one in the future. I will inform you as soon as I publish it.

      Kind regards,

  4. I loved the quote that you used to end your article. Many relationships fail, unfortunately, and today I was actually thinking about that … We often tend to complicate things, but it is very true that disagreements should be considered as an opportunity to grow as a couple instead of a fight. We should focus on all the positive that brought us together instead of focusing on the negative and bringing it all up again, which will only cause more damage.
    It is important to be best friends as well, it will certainly form a stronger basis and help solve any conflicts. I can certainly believe that happy couples are healthier. When you are happy and you laugh a lot, you boost your immune system in a way.

    • Hi Christine,

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy to see that you enjoyed reading my article. A lot of research concluded that happy couples are healthier. This being said, it is essential for all of us to nurture our relationships.

      Wish you all the best,


  5. Hi Ioana,

    When I was younger, it was just like what you mentioned here that I took it for granted. Now, I get older and have more experiences of getting along with my partner, and you are correct in many aspects. I like what you said that keeping positive and having a common goal are the key to a successful relationship, and it’s never too late to improve my mindset about my relationship with my partner.

    Good article for today, love to read more from you.


    • Hi Matt,

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy to see that you enjoyed reading my article and you are going to improve your mindset about your relationship.

      Wish you all the best,

  6. Hi Ioana,

    There is a lot to learn from friendships with no romantic attachments. Friends tend to focus on one another positives and not duel on the negatives. This helps friends to develop positive sentiments about one another and brush aside issues that could jeopardies that feeling.

    Thank you for your insightful articles.

    • Hi Ali,

      Thank you for your comment. I cannot agree with you more. It is important for couples to have a strong friendship, focus on their partner positive traits and work together as a team to overcome any problems they might encounter.

      All the best,

  7. This is a wonderful article, I wish most couples could read this. Communication is key in any relationship, that’s true. One question though, how can you avoid taking your partner for granted, I mean sometimes we do it unconsciously, it’s not as if we mean to. So how can we avoid it?

    • Hi Age,

      Thank you for your comment. To answer your question, I think the best is to remind yourself that you can lose your partner and to imagine how your life will be without them. This exercise always works for me when I feel like I am taking my partner for granted. Also, practicing gratefulness is essential. This way you will always remember how wonderful is to be with your partner.

      All the best,



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