RICH – A relationship model

Relationships can be complex, messy, and confusing. It not easy to simplify ideas on how to have a good relationship, even friendships. That said, I had an intriguing idea for 4 basic attributes for establishing a good foundation for a strong relationship, including friendships.


Have respect for the boundaries, limits, and sensitivities of others. Spend the time to try an understand your friend’s and partner’s needs, desires, and tolerances. This not only serves to strengthen any bond that is formed, it can also quickly identify incompatibilities or possible toxic concerns. It plays to developing a more secured network of connections.


Have the integrity to express your own boundaries and needs. Your connections may want to support you as best they can, and they can’t do this without understanding what you require. Being able to open up about your own social needs can be a position of strength, if done without expectation. Some will seek to use this knowledge against you so do so within your sense of feeling safe to do so.


Having the consent of others when you are doing things that may involved them signifies empathy to each others spaces. This also applies to your own spaces. People who do things that impact you, without getting your consent, are encroaching on your safe space. Consent is a two way street and should never be one side conceding their consent.


Relationships are, or at least should, be built on trust. Trust comes from everything that has come before, and more significantly from open, honest communication. Regular check ins and discussions help to maintain respect, integrity, and consent as our desires, attitudes, and needs change over time. It also important that you are honest with yourself as you develop your self-awareness.

These are just my personal thoughts, so I am sure that they could be improved.

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