When I read the following it just didn’t sound right:
To my ear, it would be relationship ‘with’ Brussels. But I don’t know if there is a rule that would tell which is correct, or if it is the case that they are both correct.<2012 “In some ways, Cameron’s Euro-skepticism is nothing new. Ever since British entry into what was then the European Common Market 40 years ago, London has had an ambivalent relationship to Brussels.”—Newsweek, 19 March, page 33>
Here are some examples, which I again evaluated strictly by ear:
a) He had a good relationship with/to his parents. [I’d say ‘with’]
b) They formed a new relationship with/to a Swiss company. [ I’d say ‘with’]
c) He said he had a strong relationship with/to God. [I’d say both, with the ‘to’ being the weaker]
d) The punishment bore little relationship with/to the crime. [I’d say ‘to’]
e) What is the relationship with/to poverty levels? [I’d say ‘to]
f) They studied problem-solving skills and the relationship with/to student outcomes. [I’d say ‘to’]
However if the there is an ‘in’ out front, I would always use ‘to.’
a) Apparent size changes in relationship ‘to’ what’s in the background.
b) They studied growth in relationship ‘to’ rainfall.
c) We feel rhythmic patterns in relationship ‘to’ beat and meter.
Any guidance on this weighty question?
Ken G – March 16, 2012