Good relationships are the ones that make us happy. Having someone we trust and can be ourselves with is an amazing feeling. You should have a friend who makes you laugh and smile, feel safe and understood, supportive, accepting of your flaws and quirks, and above all, someone you trust without question. Great relationships take effort to maintain but the rewards are worth it. When you have good friends in your life, it helps you cope with stressors and challenges in life. Friends help us grow as individuals, support us when we are at our lowest point, and provide a listening ear if we need to vent about something that is bothering us. Great friendships not only improve our quality of life but also extend our lifespan by as much as 10 years! Here’s how to make your relationship last forever:
One of the best ways to foster a healthy relationship is by communicating. You’ll have a better understanding of each other’s needs and wants if you are open with each other. Start a conversation by asking how they are doing, how their day went, or if they need help with anything. A little goes a long way. Communication is not only verbal but non-verbal as well. Be mindful of how you are communicating with your friend. Are you turning towards them while you are talking or are you facing away? Are you making eye contact? Practice good communication by making sure you are listening to your friend, not just waiting for your turn to speak.
Don’t Take Each Other for Granted
Friendships are fragile. You have to nurture and nourish them to make sure they last. Life gets busy. People get jobs and go to school, have kids, and get sick. It’s easy to take each other for granted and let the relationship slide into the background. Not taking advantage of the time you have to spend with your friend can result in the relationship losing its spark. You could even end up having a falling out and not even know how it happened. You can avoid taking each other for granted by making an effort to be around each other. If you have a friend who is going through a rough time, be there for them. If you have a friend who is going to school or working, offer to help them with whatever they need. Don’t wait for them to ask you, step up and volunteer your help.
Define the Good Relationships Boundaries
Good relationships have healthy boundaries. What this means is that you know what is okay and what is not okay to do in your relationship. Some examples of good boundaries are being okay with your friend being who they are, not having expectations of them that are not in line with their personality, and not being in their business when you have no business being there. What is okay and what is not okay in your relationship will differ from relationship to relationship. Take the time to define what is and isn’t okay in your friendship and make sure the other person understands. What if your friend does something that goes against the boundaries you have set? If they do, do not be afraid to confront them and let them know what they did is not okay. You can’t just ignore it and hope it doesn’t happen again.
Schedule Time to Spend Together
One of the best ways to strengthen your friendship is by scheduling time to spend together. Meeting up and doing something fun on a regular basis will help build trust and strengthen your friendship. This is true for both long-term relationships as well as new ones. What do you and your friend like to do? Do you have a shared hobby? If not, why not? Finding something you both like to do and making it a part of your regular meeting will strengthen your relationship immensely. What if you can’t meet up regularly? Make sure you talk to your friend regularly. Send them a message to let them know you are thinking of them or have something to share with them. You can also send them a letter. This has been used as a romantic gesture through the ages. A letter lets you take your time to share how you feel without feeling pressured to say everything at once.
Good relationships come from putting effort into them. If you want to have lifelong friends, you need to make sure that you are making an effort to stay in touch with them. Don’t forget birthdays, Christmas, and other special days. You might be wondering if it is even worth it to try and make relationships last. Well, it is definitely worth it. You will have someone who has your back and can help celebrate your successes with you. Having good relationships with the people in your life can make you happier, healthier, and can even help extend your lifespan! There are lots of ways to make your friendships last. The key is to communicate, be mindful of boundaries, and make sure to put effort into keeping the relationships strong.