Updated: Nov 11, 2019
Some relationships last for a lifetime, but others fade. The biggest problem I’ve found is trying to maintain healthy relationships.
I know it’s not something any of us think about often, but all types of relationships take work. It’s just not always easy to find the time.
A healthy relationship has the power to make your life and the lives it touches better. From a friend to confide in to sharing a dream vacation with a spouse, it’s well worth making the time and effort to maintain a healthy relationship with those you care about and that care about you.
Keeping Your Friends Close
In school, it’s so much easier to maintain a relationship with your friends. You see them constantly, talk on the phone and don’t have all the annoying adult responsibilities.
As we get older, we move away, get married (or not), have children (or not), start careers and explore new hobbies. That doesn’t mean you can’t still reach out to each other now and then. Being friends doesn’t mean being with each other 24/7.
It’s really not that hard to call each other, make plans to meet a few times a month (or year if it’s long distance) or even stay in contact on social media. The point is, both sides have to make an effort to talk to each other. It’s equal parts give and take and that’s what makes a healthy relationship.
Yes, some friends may not be worth the effort, but for those who are, please make the effort. They are worth your time and they need you too. We’re naturally social people and having friends is good for our health. If you can make time to exercise, you can make time to reach out to friends just to say “hi” and check up on them.
Marriage Takes Work
No matter how long you’ve been together, you still have to work to maintain a healthy relationship with your partner. Communication is key, whether it’s something fun or a straight up fight, you have to communicate with each other to understand and support each other. I read an analogy on Quora that I absolutely love. It said love is like a nuclear power plant and communication is the uranium that helps fuel it.
Isn’t that cool in a nerdy way lol? Plus, it kind of sticks with you. Set aside time, no matter how busy the two of you are, to talk. Keep dating each other (even if it’s been 50 years or more), supporting each other and most importantly, communicating with each other. Remember, communication also means listening, so talk and listen.
Family’s Your First Relationships
The very first relationships you have are with your family. Your parents, grandparents, siblings and so on become lifetime relationships. However, don’t take your family for granted. Just because you’re related doesn’t mean the relationship won’t fall by the wayside.
Sadly, this happens all too often. I can’t imagine my family not being a major part of my life. I know in some instances, toxic family members may completely push you away, but for those who truly love you, give that love back.
Just like with a friend or spouse, make time to spend together. If you have to mark a date on your calendar or daily planner to meet for lunch or go to dinner, do it! If they need you, be there to support them. If you need help, reach out to them. Support each other. If something’s wrong or something great just happened, talk to each other. Thanks to technology, the whole family can now group chat by video, even if they’re hundreds of miles apart. Make the time and you’ll never regret it.
Build Professional Relationships
Friends, family and romantic relationships aren’t the only ones you should try to maintain. Professional relationships make up a large part of our lives, but this doesn’t mean you should just discount them. Working to maintain healthy relationships at work makes your career better and helps everyone involved grow.
Once again, communication is extremely important. You should think and act like part of a team. After all, when everyone works well together, amazing things happen! As Science for Work points out, how well you communicate is crucial.
Of course, if you’re in a leadership position, you have to do more than bark orders. You have to be an effective leader who helps improve communication and helps everyone maintain healthy relationships at work. Much like your job, to be successful at professional relationships, you have to work hard.
Relationships will always be part of your life. Prioritize those that matter and work hard to maintain and keep those relationships healthy.
Signed – The Unbothered Goddess, a woman who’s been where you are