Relationships That Last Share These 3 Specific Qualities

There are lots of factors that contribute to the success or failure of relationships, but these particular qualities are absolutely essential.

Last updated on Jan 18, 2024

man and woman in love Irzhanova Asel / Shutterstock

How do you know what to look for in a relationship? It all depends on three specific qualities.

Find a relationship with only one or two of these traits, and you will forever feel like something is lacking in your partnership.

Find a relationship with all three of these qualities, however, and you may find yourself in the best relationship of your life, even with someone you thought wasn't your “usual type.”


RELATED: 5 Ways To Figure Out Exactly What You Need In A Relationship ( & How To Get It)

Relationships That Last Share These 3 Specific Qualities

1. Sexual attraction.

One of the key differentiating factors (and for many people the only differentiating factor) between all of your relationships and your romantic relationship is the fact that you have sex with each other. If you don’t find your significant other physically and sexually attractive, then it’s a non-starter.



How to know if this is missing: If you lack sexual attraction, then they will feel more like a friend.


How to know if you have this: You enjoy kissing/cuddling/having sex with them. You find various physical things about them appealing. You get turned on by them with relative ease.

RELATED: 15 Men Explain The Major Differences Between Sexual Attraction & Intense Chemistry

2. True friendship.

A common phrase that I’ve heard from my clients' mouths over the past several years has been that their partners are their “best friends.” And while you don’t necessarily need to describe them as your best friend, they should definitely feel like a friend that you feel safe and comfortable spending ample amounts of time with.

Do you feel safe telling them your secrets? Do you make each other laugh? Are you kind to one another? Then you are likely compatible on a friendship level.




How to know if this is missing: If you lack friendship compatibility, then you will like sleeping with them and enjoy the occasional conversation, but you won’t want to spend Sunday afternoon with them year after year. Their company will grow tiresome.

How to know if you have this: You enjoy each other’s company, you have fun with each other, and you would willingly spend your weekend with them just hanging out.

RELATED: 11 Signs That Your Significant Other Is Also Your Best Friend


3. Intellectual compatibility.

This point is often the most overlooked one. If you don’t feel like your partner is your intellectual equal, then the relationship might have a tough time getting off the ground.

Obviously, there are an infinite number of ways that someone can be intelligent/intellectual/smart. Intelligence is entirely relative. And it only matters that they are smart in the ways that are important to you and what you’re looking for.

Maybe they’re traditionally book smart. Maybe their interpersonal skills are finely tuned. Maybe they are experts in movement, physical creation, or in their manual dexterity.

If you feel like you can run intellectual laps around them, the relationship will probably suffer. Conversely, if they challenge you, your worldview, and their thoughts and opinions push you to grow into a better version of yourself, then you’ve found a keeper.




How to know if this is missing: If you lack intellectual stimulation, then you will feel bored. Or unchallenged. Or like something subtle is permanently missing. You might even gradually lose respect for them because you don’t feel like you are with your equal.

How to know if you have this: You look forward to the conversations you have with them. You are able to frequently be in awe of them and their unique form of intelligence. You value the form of brilliance that they bring to the world.

RELATED: 8 Ways To Tell If A Man Is Intellectually Compatible With You


Can you make your relationship work if you don't have all three of these traits?

Of course. You can make almost any relationship work. It’s a matter of whether or not you want to and what your core values are.

If you consider yourself asexual, or sex isn’t a huge part of your life, you don’t have to agree with the first point.


If you have a thriving social life with your close dozen friends that you see a few times per week, then it might not matter to you if your partner feels like your best friend or not.

If you don’t consider yourself someone who values intellectual debate (or you knowingly prefer a partner who isn’t as intelligent as you) then maybe finding a partner who is your intellectual equal is low on your priority list.

My assumption? If you’ve found your way to reading this far in the article, then you most likely want a relationship that offers you a high degree of all three relational compatibilities. So that’s it: you have to connect physically, emotionally, and intellectually.

RELATED: If Your Relationship Doesn't Have These 5 Things, It Won't Be Successful


Relationship coach and writer Jordan Gray helps people remove their emotional blocks and maintain thriving intimate relationships.