What Does Loyalty In Relationships Look Like?

Updated April 1, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
”It’s not easy for everyone to stand up for those they care about, and it can be even harder for some people to stand up for themselves. We should ask ourselves to whom are we loyal, and no matter what we decide, we should always seek help when we are no longer able to provide unconditional love to ourselves. Loyalty to ourselves and our own needs is just as important as loyalty to others." - Nicholas DeFazio, MRC, LPCC-S, LICDC

In relationships, the existence of loyalty can be paramount. When someone is loyal to their partner, it can contribute to the relationship’s success and speak to their character. People can choose to be disloyal emotionally or physically, and each instance can hurt just as much as the other. In any relationship, it can be important for both parties to be on the same page about loyalty, what loyalty means, and why loyalty matters in their relationship. Being on the same page about expectations and boundaries can be an important aspect of a healthy relationship.

Loyalty can be central to a healthy relationship

Loyalty in relationships

When most people think of loyalty in relationships, not cheating or romantically straying outside of the relationship generally comes to mind. Of course, it goes without saying that not cheating can be a major part of loyalty in a relationship, but it may not be the only part. Being loyal in a relationship can mean so much more than not sleeping with someone who is not your significant other. Often, issues arise when someone in a relationship feels that loyalty is absent, even if their partner has not physically cheated on them.

In both the short-term and the long-term, it can be crucial to know what loyalty in a relationship looks like. This can help you determine what to accept and what not to accept; it can also give you an idea of being a loyal significant other to your partner. Understanding what loyalty looks like in relationships does not mean that you’ll never have any troubles with your significant other; however, when both parties are consistently loyal to one another, this can greatly reduce various issues in the relationship and contribute to greater satisfaction. 

Examples of loyalty in a relationship

In relationships, loyalty is all about honesty, trust, and commitment. It means sticking with your partner through good times and bad times, even when it isn’t easy. Of course, there are certain caveats here; loyalty doesn’t mean that you should accept abuse or mistreatment. As a matter of fact, any person who subjects their partner to abuse or mistreatment of any nature could be considered inherently disloyal. Loyalty is a two-way street, and both parties in a relationship need to maintain a clear picture of how to be loyal. The following can signal loyalty in a relationship: 

Not hiding anything from your significant other

Being open with your significant other and not hiding parts of who you are can be an immense part of loyalty in a relationship. Healthy relationships and bonds are fostered when both parties know one another as individuals beyond surface-level information. It can be important to note that while opening up to your significant other can be a part of loyalty in relationships, it can also take time. Strong relationships don’t form overnight, but as you get to know your partner more, being open with them often comes more naturally with time. 

Being patient during tough times

Even the healthiest relationships go through ups and downs. Some of the strongest relationships were formed because of what both parties overcome as partners. In relationships, being patient with your significant other can be a critical hallmark of loyalty. Nobody is perfect, and everyone has their good days and bad days. Realizing this and being a necessary support system when your partner needs it is often an act of loyalty. Sometimes, being patient during difficult times means listening to your partner when they’re going through something or simply letting them know that you’re there for them. Being patient during tough times goes both ways and can be anticipated from anyone you’re in a relationship with.

Defending your significant other

At some point in your relationship, your significant may run into challenges or conflicts with other people. If you believe or know that your partner is wrong, it can be important to let them know; however, in cases where you are supportive of your partner and their position, articulating this support can be a critical part of loyalty. As you can imagine, the extent and manner of defending your significant other can vary based on the specific situation at hand. However, a good rule of thumb is to ensure that your partner knows that you empathize with their situation and what they’re going through. This can critically turn into emotional loyalty; sometimes, defending your significant other means letting them know that you understand their point of view and have their back.

Not badmouthing your significant other

All partners get into disagreements and arguments at one point or another. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but how you go about handling disagreements with your partner can be deeply important. Some people tend to badmouth their partners to other people when they have arguments. This is an ill-advised idea and may even signal disloyalty in a relationship. If you have an issue with your significant other, this is something that the two of you can try to work out amongst yourselves. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have friends or confide in your friends about certain aspects of your relationship; however, when it comes to critical details about your significant other or specific issues or complaints, try to keep it within the relationship. Badmouthing your partner may be a sign that the relationship needs to be reassessed. 

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Why you deserve loyalty in your relationship

Loyalty in relationships is something that can be crucial to hold out for, even if that means that certain unions must come to an end. In the long term, being with someone who truly cares for you enough to be loyal can contribute to a higher-quality relationship and greater satisfaction. If you’re in a relationship where loyalty is absent, letting go may not always be the easiest thing in the world, particularly if you have an extensive history with this person. Nevertheless, as difficult as a breakup can be, sometimes it can lead to a healthier relationship with someone else later down the line. 

Mutual effort can be paramount to any healthy relationship. If disloyalty is an issue in your relationship, discuss it with your significant other and take note of whether they’d like to work on the problem with you. If both you and your partner are willing to take steps to improve your relationship, there may be hope that things can improve.

Loyalty can be central to a healthy relationship

Online counseling with Regain

No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your life is currently like, everyone has their own struggles. Sometimes, those challenges deal with relationships; in other cases, they can pertain to entirely different matters. Despite the specifics, it can be crucial to know that you are not alone. There are resources for help in the world, which you deserve to be aware of. Regain is an online therapy platform that can connect you with a licensed therapist regardless of the issue you’re facing. Whether you’ve been burned by disloyalty or are processing a breakup, a therapist can help you move forward. Online therapy is often more cost-effective and less time-consuming. You don’t need to wait on a long waitlist to begin getting care; instead, you can start getting the support you need when you need it most through Regain.

The efficacy of online counseling 

Discovering that your partner has been disloyal to you can be difficult to come to terms with. You might develop PTSD, depression, or anxiety—each of which can be helped with online counseling. In one study, researchers found that internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) successfully reduced participants’ symptoms of a variety of psychiatric disorders. These included anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, adjustment disorder, and more. CBT is a framework that helps people turn their negative, unhelpful thoughts into more helpful ones. 

Counselor reviews

“I don’t know what I would have done without Harry. I was in a super low place and I was not sure what my problems were or how to solve them, but he was able to help me get to the bottom of my problems and work through them. Today I am happy and feeling like myself again. He was so easy to talk to and worked with me whenever I needed him. Even on vacation, he took time to call me and talk through whatever I was going through. I would highly recommend him.”

“With Cassandra’s help, we’ve been able to bring our relationship to a new, healthier, and much happier level, working through painful situations, growing as individuals and as a couple, and with tools to stay on this path. She’s very responsive, and it has been great to have her facilitate our messaging through the app all week. I highly recommend Cassandra. She’s skilled, supportive, and down-to-earth. We feel totally comfortable with her.”


Loyalty can be a vital aspect of any healthy, safe relationship. While anyone can claim to be loyal, most people must show their allegiance through consistent words and actions. When loyalty is absent in a relationship or disloyalty occurs, restoring a sense of trust can be challenging. If both you and your partner are committed to working things out, participating in online couples counseling can be beneficial. Regain can help you address the area you need support in and allow you to heal from situations that could be impacting the relationship.

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