Five Important Characteristics of Relationships

Relationships can relate to friendships, romantic or business.Relationships can relate to friendships, romantic or business.

A good relationship helps us to meet our needs and give to others and makes us feel fulfilled. It is based on the belief that both partners are equal, and that as a team, they can achieve their goals. By understanding the characteristics, we are better equipped to build new, healthy relationships and strengthen the ones we have.


Respect is key in maintaining a healthy relationship with a spouse, coworker or friend. Respect involves listening to the other person in a non-judgmental manner and valuing her for her opinion. It's also important to try to put yourself in her shoes and respect her right to her emotions.

Support and Trust

Both sides need to be willing to listen, but also must give what the other needs, whether that's empathy, love, a pep talk or even a harsh truth. This support builds trust; both parties are more willing to open themselves up to the relationship because they feel safe. This trust helps you to value your partner as an individual, rather than as an extension of your own life.

Honesty and Openness

Without trust, we cannot hope to have an honest and open relationship. Misunderstanding is one of the basic relationship problems. That’s why it’s essential that both sides are open to each other. Both sides need to speak up, in a respectful manner, when something is wrong and admit fault when they know they are to blame. Honesty builds bridges to open communication; dishonesty or miscommunication cause a rift that gets wider with every new thing left unsaid.

Shared Responsibility

If both partners support and trust each other, they can share responsibility when times inevitably get difficult. When a problem occurs, both should want to find solutions, not rely on the the other person entirely or go in it alone. This collective responsibility fosters a shared effectiveness in both working and personal relationships.

Integrity and Compromise

Both partners should act in accordance with what they think and say. They keep their promises and negotiate to seek mutually satisfying decisions. Through open communication, both partners can trust that the other will do what they say and share the workload when needed. These factors foster a strong and healthy relationship.

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About the Author

Errin Reaume started writing in 2005 for publications including college brochures, camera informational websites and vegetarian food blogs. Reaume is pursuing a Master of Arts degree at the University of Florida.

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