1. Shared reliability/commitment – to have a close relationship, I must be able to depend upon my friend to be there for me when I need her or him.
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2. Shared trust and respect – within any relationship we use trust tests which allow us to know whether the other person is trustworthy or not. This requires sharing private information but with a sliding scale beginning with not so private (preferred not to be shared, but not critically private) to intensely private (secret). Once those privacy boundaries are established I know whether I can proceed deeper into the relationship or hold steady.
3. Commonalities and laughter – relationships require some interests in common, and they need to have depth. If all you have to share is Saturday afternoon soccer practice, you can’t have much depth to the relationship. I must be able to laugh inside a relationship or I wither.
4. Shared Christianity – I have found I can’t have a really close relationship with someone who is not Christian. I'm talking about sharing secrets and sharing trust.
5. Shared Spiritual maturity – to be intimate with someone, the other person must have the same maturity spiritually or greater. I can be close with a baby Christian, but when the maturity level is much higher on one side or the other, then it becomes a mentor or teacher/student relationship rather than close friendship. In a romantic dyad, if the woman is more mature, then she becomes the spiritual leader and that is just too hard.
What are your 5 things for a great relationship?