Having a hard time feeling connected with a friend, family member, or partner? Here are 10 ways to develop your relationship. Relationships are one of the most cherished things we have as human beings in this world. Connecting with the ones we love consistently is difficult. This is true ways to help enhance your relationship.
The touch of a human is so incredible. Whether it’s a hug, a kiss, sex, or a pat on the shoulder it means something. It can be really uplifting to receive a hug or get a pat on the back, especially by someone who does not give it often. It can further feelings and emotions towards others as well as relay some silent communication.
Here’s some different ways to use human touch:
- Giving a hug, fist bumping, or a handshake.
- Holding hands in the store or cuddling on the couch. (I am a huge cuddler. I love cuddling with my family.)
- Breastfeeding. (This is something I do everyday and the touch of a tiny human so close to you is amazing. Their little hand kneading your breast just makes your whole world stop.)
2. Listen & Be Interested
Listen and be interested in what they are talking about. Even if it’s not interesting to you, act like it is. If you’re talking to someone and they seem disinterested or are ignoring you, it’s frustrating and makes you not want to invest any time in that person. I find this happens to me with my husband or brother the most, they love to talk about motors and dirt bikes and tools and as a wife and sister I get completely lost. Because I value my relationship with each of them, I ask questions, or say “I don’t really understand can you explain it to me”. They are more than happy that I am interested and taking part in what they love. Being interested for sure serves it’s purpose in developing a relationship.
Here’s a few examples:
- If someone is having a conversation with you about something you may know nothing about try asking “Can you explain this part to me?” Or “Why do you like (whatever it is)?”
- My husband yells from outside “babe I got the turbo out!” I think to myself “I think a turbo makes more power?” I say “That’s awesome babe, can I see it?” He shows me all the parts and what’s broken and all the things, and that makes his day.
- Maybe your friend or your mom is talking about work, and how it’s going or mentioning their co workers. Of course you have no idea who any of these people are, or the work they do may not be interesting to you. You make yourself interested by asking about the co workers they are talking about or a current project happening at work.
3. Remind Yourself
This is something I do often, sometimes not even on purpose. I love to write and take pictures of my friends and family. If I am having a difficult time in my relationship with one of them I will look back at pictures or letters I wrote to them, or poetry I wrote about them. Reminding yourself of a good memory with people allows you to take a step back and see how thankful you are for them and your relationship you have with them. I do this most of all with my husband, but also my siblings, parents, and in-laws.
Here are some things you can do to remind yourself:
- Find your wedding vows, look at them, say them to yourself.
- Another one is pictures, find pictures of them or both of you together and just reminisce for a second.
- Write something about that person when you’re feeling thankful and loving, then go back to it whenever you feel you need to. (Click here for an example of this).
Being inclusive is a smaller action in developing a relationship, but it is easy and can mean a lot to an individual. Including the person is a great way for them to know you are thinking about them and want to spend time with them. Even if you know they will say no to whatever you may be offering, still offer. It’s the fact that you asked them.
Here are a few ideas to include:
- Invite them to yoga class with you or to go on a walk.
- Instead of saying “I’m going to go out to the patio with a glass of wine” you could say “I was thinking of going out to the patio with a glass of wine would you like to join me?”
- “Would you like to cook dinner together this evening?”
5. Be Vulnerable
Vulnerability is amazing because it allows you to sometimes find extraordinary things or people in life that you otherwise would not have experienced. The key to being vulnerable is offering up something of yourself first. This shows the other person trust and capability in creating or having a relationship with you. Vulnerability in a relationship is essential for prosperity.
Here’s some examples:
- Telling someone how you feel about them (“I love you” or “You really made me sad”)
- Asking someone to go do something (Every time you do this you are putting yourself out there knowing you may get rejected.)
- Admitting when you are wrong or when someone else’s idea has better potential.
6. Know Your Roles
Knowing your roles in a relationship can be fragile unless you communicate. Having specific roles gives the relationship some natural harmony. It just gives extra good vibes when you know your place in the relationship and they know theirs. Roles can take some time to figure out, especially if its a new relationship. Harmony and consistency in a relationship can go a long ways. You have to decide what roles each of you wants and is good at. It doesn’t mean you can’t switch it up every once in while or change roles, but knowing your roles and the other persons roles is very beneficiary to the relationship.
Here are some roles different people can have in a relationship:
- You can call your brother if you’re broke down on the side of the road, he’s there for that and you have that comfort that he will help you.
- Your little sister comes to you for relationship advice whenever she needs.
- If your best friend had a bad day they can call you and you’re right there to listen with a bottle of wine and some Kleenex.
- In my personal life, one of my roles is making dinner and one of my husbands roles is fixing our vehicles. Another one of his roles is taking the dog out to play and mine is getting everything ready to go camping.
7. Do Nice Things for Each Other
The other night I was putting my daughter to bed and I came out and my husband had the lettuce out, onions chopped, and vegetables ready for me to cut and put in our dinner salads. He said “You were taking care of our daughter so I figured I could help you out and get dinner ready for you.” Things like this are what doing nice things for each other can look like. Leaving notes and giving gifts is always nice, everybody loves those. But more likely everyday things you can do for that person to help them get through their day is an excellent way to develop your relationship.
Nice things to do to foster your relationship:
- Walk out to the car with them in the morning or hold the door open for them.
- Drop a coffee off to them at work
- Offer to babysit their kids for a few hours or even a night
8. Make Time for Each Other
Making time for someone you have a relationship with does not always mean going out to dinner or taking a whole day to do something. It could be as simple as texting them “have a good day or how are you”. Making simple efforts to let them know you are thinking about them and they matter to you will reciprocate back. In developing a relationship, making time for one another shows you are interested in them and their life.
Here are some ways to make time for each other:
- Sit outside and drink a beer or have a glass of wine and watch the sun go down.
- Send a morning text telling them to have a good day and something you love about them.
- Facetime them to be able to look at them, hear their voice, see what you’ve done new with your hair or your house.
9. Be Honest
Honesty is crucial in a relationship so that trust can be met. Being honest is an excellent way to develop a relationship with somebody. It shows the other person that you are vulnerable and worthy of their companionship. I love honesty because it cuts the bullshit right out, and allows you to get right to the point. Honesty, especially with someone you love can be difficult because it makes you reflect upon yourself and admit when you’re wrong.
Here are some examples of honesty:
- “I really don’t like when you do (the action), because (the reason).” Speak your truth, this is a huge part of having an efficient relationship.
- “I know we have a pact to not go to the bar without each other. I went to the bar with so and so and had a drink to celebrate his retirement.” This kind of honesty brings situations to the forefront of the relationship and tends to be scary because you don’t know how the person is going to react and you don’t want to let them down. It is worth the time and effort.
- This example is my own personal experience that I had today. “I have realized that I have been creating excuses for (the reason), when really I am getting in my own way.” This is perhaps the hardest kind of honesty. Self reflection and admitting when you’re wrong or not being the best you you can be.
Lastly the most important thing you can do to develop your relationship is communicate. Ask for what you need, offer up how you feel, and come to a compromise. Communicating is key in having a successful relationship. Maybe your sibling pissed you off and now you aren’t talking, or maybe you had a misunderstanding with a friend, or you and your partner are not agreeing on a lifestyle choice. No matter what may be causing your relationship to need some development, communicating how you feel in that relationship as well as how you can be supported in that relationship will clear up the possible animosity happening.
Here are a few examples of ways to communicate in a relationship:
- “I am feeling (a feeling), because (the action that hurt you). I would have felt better if you (how they could have responded).”
- “What is your idea? (other person states their vision). My idea is (state your vision). How can we use parts of both of our ideas to compromise?”
- “I would like some space right now to calm down and think, can we come back to this in a little bit?”
Now that we have discussed 10 ways to develop your relationship, you can implement some or all of these things in yours with a friend, family member, or partner. Always feel free to come back to this if you need a reminder or come check out my other blog posts. Thanks for reading!