Lucas Brenner » Articles » What Makes a Good Relationship

Whether it's a friendship or a romantic partnership, social relationships play an incredibly important role in everyone's life. In addition to our own health, good relationships are essential in a happy life.

For this reason, we should make sure that the majority of the relationships we have with others are positive in nature. Of course, it is impossible to avoid cutting certain ties or having arguments, but especially when it comes to friendships and partnerships, we should make sure to fulfill certain principles. This includes being present, on the one hand, and paying attention to the fulfillment of the following characteristics, on the other.

Similar Values

Whether you enter into a romantic or platonic relationship with someone, right from the start you instinctively try to match your own value system with that of the other person. We are automatically attracted to people who think similarly and have comparable values.

The challenge lies in recognizing a change in your own as well as the other person's values. Especially in long-term relationships, the values of the people involved will change sooner or later. Then it is important to check whether these new values are still compatible.

Recently, I met an old friend of my girlfriend. My partner had been in close contact with this friend during her time in high school, but this bond diminished after she graduated. At the meeting, we discovered that their values were not as compatible as before. This was evident from statements made by the friend that we would not support in this way.

Admitting this change and the accompanying changes in the relationship can be difficult.

Mutual Trust

Entering into a relationship with another person always means trusting that person to a certain extent. How strong this trust is depends on the nature of the relationship. Trust is also based on our own experiences that have shaped us in the past.

Especially in partnerships and friendships, it is important to trust the other person as much as possible. Above all, if there is no objective reason for mistrust, we should trust in the presumption of innocence when in doubt.

Blind trust is just as bad as exaggerated mistrust. But it does lasting damage to a relationship if we show too often that we do not trust the other person enough. In justified cases, mistrust is not reprehensible, but you should carefully consider whether the resulting damage is worth it should you be wrong.


In a good relationship, you not only trust each other, but you also tolerate the “rough edges” of the other person. Just as with trust, it is a matter of the right dosage. Too much tolerance leads to bad results as well as too little. Especially towards intolerance, you should not be tolerant.

It is important to accept the characteristics of the other person that you cannot change, but which are not so serious that you would have to change or end the relationship because of them.

Sufficient Distance

Last but not least, distance is also important in a relationship. This may seem wrong at first glance, because relationships are actually characterized by closeness. However, as with all things, the rule of moderation also applies to interpersonal closeness.

Too much closeness leads to the fact that you can no longer act independently and self-determined. Being so dependent on another person that other relationships or decision-making suffer is bad.

You should always keep enough distance from the other person so that you can still think objectively about the relationship and act on your own responsibility.

Social relationships are complex. However, due to our innate social skills, which we refine over the course of our lives, we can usually get along well with other people.

Nevertheless, the points touched on in this article should be kept in mind so that your own relationships are positively shaped and can develop well.

Relationships are always a matter of balancing, where you have to find a golden mean. Of course, this is not always easy, but if we keep the basic building blocks of values, trust, tolerance and closeness/distance in mind, it will be easier for us.