We all live in such a busy world. Sometimes it’s the people that matter to us most who receive the least amount of attention. Whether it’s your family relationships, husband, wife, or friendships, someone is usually being sacrificed when you’re trying to squeeze everything in. It’s definitely a balancing act every day, and one I’ve been trying to work on lately.
Something I’ve learned though, is that I have to be very intentional about it otherwise I fall right back into my old ways. It may feel like a chore at times, but it’s worth it to feel like I’m connecting more frequently and creating stronger relationships with my friends, family and partner.
Why We Need Close Relationships
Research shows that people are waiting longer to get married and start having families of their own, but that doesn’t mean the human need for close relationships has decreased or gone away. I think relationships with parents, friends and significant others are more important than ever, especially with technology slowly taking over our lives.
With social media and tech more accessible than ever before, I think it’s close relationships that keep us grounded. It’s these relationships that serve as the sounding board for who we really are, which is why focusing on making them stronger sounds amazing right about now.
Building Stronger Relationships
Building those close relationships with the people you care most about doesn’t come easy, though. We all have to work to make it a priority just like everything else in life. If this is something you’re looking to do, I recommend focusing on the following seven things:
7 Ways to Create Stronger Relationships
Be the One to Make the Effort
This is probably the most difficult thing to do as simple as it may seem. It can be tempting to hold out because you want your friend or partner to be the one to make the first move. Trust me, it’s worth it to swallow your pride and be the one to do it. Sometimes it’s not even the spending time together part that means the most. It’s that you called and made the effort. At the very least you’ll have an amazing conversation that you’ll both be glad you had.
Quality over Quantity
Quality over quantity is something I’ve really started to embrace the older I get. Especially when it comes to healthy relationships and the people I keep close to me in my life. But it’s also something to keep in mind for the kind of time you spend with those closest to you. If I can only see someone a few times a year, I want to make sure that time spent together is high quality. I want it to be filled with great conversation, no social media, or other distractions.
Thoughtfulness goes a long way in my book. So because it’s so meaningful and important to me, I try to make sure I give the same to others. That could mean leaving a sweet note for my husband. Something simple to let him know that even though we’ve both been busy lately, I’m thinking about him. Or with my friends. Sending a quick card or flowers to show I remembered their birthday even if I can’t be there to celebrate in person.
I think expressing gratitude is especially important in romantic relationships. There are so many things you do for your partner (and vice versa) on a daily basis that go unthanked—not intentionally, but it’s just easy to get caught up in individual routines. I know whenever my husband takes a second to acknowledge me cooking dinner or even just taking out the trash, it means so much to me.
Find a Way to Make a Meaningful Connection
This goes back to making sure you’re spending quality time together. Do things you both really enjoy or have a meaningful conversation about what’s going on in your lives. Even if you live together, I guarantee taking an afternoon to connect like this will go a long way.
In my experience, accepting someone for who they are makes all the difference. Accepting someone, flaws and all, is the best way to build a strong relationship with them. Of course there are exceptions. You shouldn’t spend time with people who make you feel less then or negative about yourself and others. However hinking you can change the foundation of a person usually won’t get you very far. If you know the person in question is someone you love and that they’re good at heart, just let them be themselves and your relationship will be stronger than ever.
Does Fighting Make Relationships Stronger?
Ok, so this is more of a question and something to ponder, but I think there might be something to it and wanted to include it as a tip.
This study shows that in relationships (at least romantic ones), having arguments in the beginning should mean you’re headed towards a steady incline in happiness. Some psychologists also say that fighting every now and then means you care about the relationship—it’s when you stop arguing about your issues that you should be concerned. It’s definitely something to think about, I admit.
Ultimately, just remember that we’re all doing the best we can when it comes to making time for one another, which also includes not being too hard on yourself if you’re feeling like an imperfect friend or partner. Just take a step back to prioritize every once in a while. Be sure to give the relationships you care most about the time and energy they deserve!