Australian couples have nominated trust as the most important factor needed for a relationship to work, while shared domestic duties has been ranked least important.
A new national survey commissioned by Slater and Gordon family lawyers found that almost one in three Australians (29 per cent) thought trust was the most important factor in a functioning relationship.
Other important factors included shared values (21 per cent); mutual appreciation (14 per cent); friendship (13 per cent) and clear communication (11 per cent).
More than 2000 Australians - who are either married or in a de facto relationship - were surveyed.
Family lawyer Heather McKinnon said she was pleased to see that trust topped the list across all age groups - from 16 year olds through to the over 55s.
“Trust provides a very solid foundation upon which a couple can build a happy relationship,” Ms McKinnon said.
“In my experience, if a couple trusts each other then they can get through almost anything together. Once trust is breached, it’s very difficult to repair the damage.”
Less than one per cent of respondents (0.4 per cent) nominated sharing domestic duties as being the most important factor for a functioning relationship. Spending regular quality time together (3 per cent) and passion and intimacy (4 per cent) also ranked low.
“Who’s going to unload the dishwasher and take out the bins just isn’t as important anymore as family dynamics change,” Ms McKinnon said.
“Most couples are sharing responsibilities, including employment, housework and children.
“The downside to this is that couples have less time to spend together,” she said.
Ms McKinnon said clear communication ranked higher with those aged between 25 and 44, while the over 55s thought mutual appreciation was more important.
“Couples aged between 25 and 44 usually have mortgages and children to worry about. Being able to talk to each other openly and honestly is vital.
“Older couples are more concerned about whether they are appreciated by their partner. They’ve probably been together a long time and may have started taking each other for granted.
“At the end of the day all of these factors – trust, shared values, communication and mutual appreciation – are really important in giving a relationship the best possible chance of lasting.”
The top 10 factors for a harmonious partnership:
- Shared values
- Feeling appreciated
- Appreciating your partner
- Clear communication
- Common goals
- Passion and intimacy
- Spending regular quality time together
- Sharing domestic duties