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What makes a good relationship

Key to heartWhat do you need from a relationship to feel content? Mumsnetters' non-negotiables range from the mundane to the sublime, via spider disposal, sex and soul-to-soul connection.

But as Aretha said, R.E.S.P.E.C.T is the bedrock of a lasting bond:

  • "Respect, first and foremost. Honesty. Emotional intelligence and strength. I think that's the 'holy trinity', everything else just naturally flows from these." Malifence
  • "Respect. Honesty. Loyalty." PosieParker

It goes without saying that equality and sharing are high on the list of relationship essentials:

  • "To see me as a person first, rather than a woman first." BertieBotts
  • "A soulmate who is my best friend, partner, confidante, ally, equal." TopHun
  • "Absolute equality in terms of childcare/chores/the boring stuff that goes with life and kids. And that includes the headspace stuff, so thinking about babysitters and book bags." Alphafemale
  • "A person who understands that in life we all have days when we are net givers to humanity and days when we are net takers." WannabeMegMarch

And what about sex?

  • "Ooh yes. That. Doing the Business. Disgusting." TheCrunchUnderfoot

No, seriously. What about sex?

  • "Someone who takes socks off first when That There Mucky Stuff <Les Dawson lips> is on the agenda." Bucharest
  • "Great, intimate, bonding sex. But it's not about being a great performer, it's about making that connection with each other." Kyte
  • "Looks at me and ping! The elastic on his pants snaps and they're flung across the room." JustHecate
  • "Pure filth in bed." Becaroooo

Are you having a larf? It's relationship glue:

  • "A sense of humour, especially when things are really dire." BearWith
  • "Ability to laugh at self." Panfriedstardust
  • "A blinding sense of humour." fuzzynavel

Grace under pressure is crucial, too:

  • "No shouting like a toddler when life gets hard." Cazzymaddy
  • "To be able to disagree without it becoming a huge argument, with swearing, shouting and sulking for a week after." ballstoit
  • "Someone who is able to see where they're wrong, apologise and then make a change." CrystalsAreCool

Then there's the metaphysical:

  • "A commitment to personal growth. If both people aren't aware of their flaws and committed to bettering themselves, things get pretty ugly no matter how compatible you are or how much you fancy each other." BearWith
  • "Shared dreams, values and priorities." MorrisZapp
  • "Someone to whom I can entrust the libraries of my mind in the hope that not all of me will be extinguished." WannabeMegMarch

And the mundane:

  • "To not fart on me in bed when I'm stroking your back." myTHINyear
  • "The ability to be able to (not even simultaneously, one action after the other would suffice) close a wardrobe door after extracting an item of clothing would be lovely." Bucharest
  • "To strip our bed from time to time and remake it with lovely freshly laundered bedding." MrsJAlfredPrufrock
  • "The ability to bake great cakes." Malifence
  • "The ability to make a good cup of tea." CailinDana

What about appearance? How shallow exacting are we?

  • "No white socks. Or brown trousers. Or moustaches. Or pants with cartoon characters on." Bucharest
  • "Very good standards of personal hygiene. Good teeth. Nice hair. Sexy looking." MistyMountainHop
  • "But most of all... nice legs." Panfriedstardust

Then there are the dealbreakers:

  • "Someone who'll dispose humanely of gigantic spiders." ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged
  • "Diamonds." EnjoyResponsibly
  • "A first-class, hands-on, loving father. That goes without saying." JustHecate
  • "Someone who doesn't call out the wrong answers during University Challenge." MrsJAlfredPrufrock
  • "Someone who has a grain or two of poetry in his soul." ViendoOvejas
  • "Somebody who knows what I want off the menu but who would never dream of ordering for me." MrsWembley
  • "Never, no not never, even in his subconscious thoughts ever to even consider for a nanosecond, saying, 'Well, my mother...'" Bucharest

And, finally, all together now, all you need is...

  • "Love - I mean to be truly loved. That's number one." JustHecate
  • "To feel I am utterly, utterly loved." TheMildManneredJanitor
  • "To be capable of receiving love in all its forms and give it back in multitudes, too." WannabeMegMarch 

Last updated: over 3 years ago