As cliché as it may sound, relationships require work. The recipe for a healthy relationship calls for ingredients like communication, time together, conflict resolution strategies, shared interests, and a solid foundation of trust, among other elements. All parties involved in the relationship, whether it’s a friendship, parent/child duo, or romantic relationship, need to participate in these components to nourish a lasting connection.
5 Tips to Nourish A Lasting Relationship
The GenTwenty tribe believes in forming lasting connections with the people closest to us and those who help us become our best selves. Here are five essential tips to nourish a lasting relationship in your life, as we do in ours:
1. Never skip time together.
It is all too easy to succumb to chores, work, or other obligations, but don’t. Never allow an outside force to spill into your set time with the people in your life. Unless you work in a field where you’re on call 24/7, don’t let work emails distract you from time with your mother while you’re visiting for dinner. Avoid letting your seemingly endless list of chores keep you from date night with your beau. Don’t let life get in the way of time with your friends.
Everyone is busy and it’s far easier than it should be to let distractions come between you and the people important to you. A lasting relationship requires uninterrupted, devoted time together. Never skip scheduled time together.
2. Schedule time apart.
As important as seeing your beau, parent, friend, etc. is, having time apart is equally critical. If you’re living at home with your parents, make sure you’re getting out of the house to visit with friends. Say you and your romantic partner live together, be sure you both have space to do thing as individuals once in a while. If you’re renting an apartment with your best friend, take time to do things apart when needed.
Too much time with others, even the people you love most, can lead to overstimulation at times. People tend to get on each other’s nerves when there’s no space. Let your counterparts have time apart, just as you need the time to be alone for your own mental health and happiness. People need time away to make the heart grow fonder.
3. Support each other.
It’s easy to get lost in the tunnel vision you have for your own life and the big things happening in it, but try your hardest to support the people you love. If your mom is going back to school to earn a Master’s degree, congratulate her and attend her graduation. Say your friend’s parents are going through a gray divorce, take your friend out to dinner or pick up some sympathy flowers to show your bestie how much you feel for him/her. If your beau lost a job, be there to support him/her through the tough time.
Whether it’s a big moment or a low time in life, you need to support your loved ones as they should support you in return. Both of you need to feed valued and loved through promotions, weddings, graduations, loss, heartache, and so on. Being in a lasting relationship means being there for each other through all the good times, bad times, and milestones in between.
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4. Compliment often.
Unfortunately, we live in a day and age where people tend to gossip and judge others far more than not. The Internet, especially is a platform where people are judged by their social media photos and content. The desire to look and feel amazing is all too great.
These days, a compliment goes a long way! Avoid nagging the people you love when they’re not at their best. Instead, be positive by complimenting your dad’s new work suit, or commenting on your bestie’s new Instagram photo with a “#beautiful”, or giving your partner a loving whisper to make him/her smile. Compliments can keep your loved ones feeling good about themselves and in romantic relationships especially, compliments help keep the love alive.
The most important ingredient to keeping any relationship a long and healthy one is communication. So many problems could be alleviated by simply talking it out. Speak up when you feel slighted or wronged by a person you love. Say something if you feel threatened or upset. Humans are not mind readers. Sometimes people read situations poorly and do not fully understand why another person is upset or how to fix it. Communicate about the tough things, awkward moments, good times, and more. Communication is healthy and essential to make any relationship last.
Nourishing lasting relationships requires effort from you and all other parties involved. If you’re doing absolutely everything you can to maintain a friendship or keep a love alive and the other people involved are not meeting you halfway, then it does not matter how much effort or time you put into it. Both friends, lovers, siblings, etc. need to take initiative to keep the relationship healthy and fulfilling. If all parties involved are making the effort, your relationships are bound to last.
How do you nourish lasting relationships in your life? Share your tips in the comments!