Have you ever wondered what it takes to build and maintain a meaningful and healthy relationship?
Let’s face it, relationships are challenging.
And the quality of your relationships has a huge influence on the quality of your life.
Relationships are a living and breathing organism. They require effort, attention, and energy to thrive. When they’re ignored and deprived of attention, they tend to become stale.
The connection and intimacy are lost and you move away from each other more and more. In essence, you become strangers.
Let me ask you a question…How many friends or significant others have drifted away from you over the years?
What did you feel when that happened? Lonely, rejected, lost, depression, disillusioned?
If any of this sounds familiar, I have 10 eye-opening secrets to help you build and maintain healthy and meaningful relationships.
Here they are…
Work on yourself. Do you have any past relational traumas? The people we bring into our lives are sometimes a reflection of what we have been through. Sometimes, we use others as distractions and allow toxic people to stay because we desire and need connection like we need food. When you have healthy boundaries, you will naturally raise your standards and not allow toxic people to stay in your life.
- Our friends and lovers are often very much like us. If you’re routinely having challenges in your life, you’ll feel comfortable with others who are similarly challenged. When you have your own life together, you’ll find similar people are attracted into your life.
Consider what you can bring to the relationship. It doesn’t take much to make a person happy. Love is a choice to take action on a daily basis to show your person that you love them. Actions speak louder than words. When the other person is happy and content, they’ll be in a better position to make you happy, too.
Do meaningful things together. Find common interests with your person. It’s more meaningful to share your dreams and interests with someone. You’ll find that you enjoy watching others enjoy themselves, even if the activity isn’t interesting to you. Share meaningful experiences, and those emotions will spill over into your relationship.
Have deep conversations and learn to be vulnerable. If all you talk about is superficial stuff like work and the weather, the relationship won’t reach any meaning or depth. While friendships and romantic relationships tend to start out at a casual level, things must become deeper over time by building trust and closeness. If you truly love your person and you are willing and able to take the risk of being vulnerable, the relationship will become more meaningful and your connection will be deeper and more intimate.
Consider important details in your person’s life. We all dislike when someone forgets our birthday or doesn’t ask us about our first day at a new job. Take notes if you have to, but stay on top of the important events going on in the lives of your person.
People always remember how you made them feel. They might forget what you said, but they never forget how you made them feel. If you can nurture and support your person and help them feel loved, respected, and accepted, your relationship and connection will grow.
Be good to yourself. The thing is, we teach others how to treat us. If our boundaries aren’t healthy and we don’t love and respect ourselves, others will be less likely to love and respect us. When you’re good to yourself by creating healthy boundaries and standards of treatment, others will respect you and treat you well, too.
Get back to others quickly. We all have a friend that ignores our emails, phone calls, and texts. Avoid becoming known as the person that rarely returns messages. That behavior quickly sends the message that you don’t care and it can create resentment. Boundaries are important here but talk about them so you are both clear about expectations.
Be patient and forgiving. Every once in awhile, you’re going to experience some pain in your relationship as a result of bad or flawed behavior. That is the risk we take when we get into relationships. Abuse is never okay, however, we can learn to forgive and forget the occasional outburst. Hopefully, you’ll receive the same consideration.
Be Intentional and listen carefully. Being proactive in a relationship goes a long way. The more you get to know your person, the more you are able to anticipate what they need and what makes them tick. Listen to your person’s body language and observe what they are not saying out loud.
Are your relationships everything you’d like them to be?
Meaningful relationships are one of the key components of happiness. Participants in a U.S. and Canadian research survey rated having a loving relationship as number one over a satisfying career and financial success. (Hold me Tight, Dr. Sue Johnson, 2008)
Give your relationships the time and energy they require to blossom and flourish. Great relationships can bring new meaning to your life. Be a great friend, family member, and partner.