As I’ve said before (and will say again) relationships are hard, and that’s okay. One of the most difficult things in having a relationship (I find) is maintaining your relationship. Maintaining your relationship with someone, is often like maintaining your home. At first, you keep it clean, and spotless and are very proud of the work you’ve put into cleaning your home (or starting your relationship), but after a while, you start to neglect small parts of it. After a while, it’s messy all over again. In maintaining a relationship, we often find ourselves making time for the other person in the beginning of that budding friendship, but as time goes on the only thing you have time to do is write on their Facebook wall once in a while….sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Maintaining relationships is one of the hardest parts of your relationships and can either lead you to having a lifelong friend, or losing a good friend entirely. One tip I have when maintaining your relationship is that in this day and age it’s actually easier to maintain a relationship with technology. (While many people think that this takes away from the aspect of a good relationship in the first place, I find it helps your relationship blossom and it’s easier to see each other when it’s so easy to coordinate meetings.)
Here are some more tips on maintaining a healthy friendship:
Be sure to check in.
Many people feel very lonely in this world and just having someone check in on them once in a while is a blessing in disguise. If you see their Facebook status is kinda negative, or if they’ve just been on your mind lately, let them know. They will feel so much better and they will know that you care about them. Keep up a good mix of face to face chats and technology. If it’s been a really long time since you’ve seen them, pop by with their favorite snack, say hello and if they invite you to, stay a while.
Ask how they are doing.
Notice things going on with them, and not just yourself. Sometimes people can be very good at hiding what they’re feeling. While a fake friend will not delve deeper into the true problem, a real friend will root out the truth. Even though it might seem awkward at the time, getting down to the nitty gritty to see what’s wrong with your friend is almost always what they need. Let them know that you are a shoulder to cry on, a reliable friend and someone who isn’t going to leave them for having a bad day.
Having fake feelings or emotions when with friends can really be damaging to your relationship. While at the time, being excited about their new boyfriend (whom you don’t like at all) might be a good idea, in the long run it’s probably not. While I don’t advise bashing your friends feelings, being honest with them is a very important policy.
Let them know that you’re there for them.
People often feel alone and alienated, even when they have many offers of people willing to support them and be there for them, not many people follow through. Be a person who follows through; whether at 3am or in the middle of a good book. Be the friend that puts aside time to help take care of their needs.
Follow through and keep your word.
When you say you’re going to do something. Do it. There’s nothing worse than bailing on a friend over and over again. It gives you a bad name and it really deteriorates your relationship.
Make it a point to schedule time to be with them.
In this day and age it’s all about rushing about, make sure to take time and fit them into your schedule at least once or twice a week if you live close, or even over Skype if you don’t! People like feeling important and remembered, so if you haven’t talked to your friend in a while bring over some snacks, or if they are far away send a care package. Knowing that you’re thinking of them will make their day. I promise.
Remember their birthday!
Seriously, without Facebook reminding you! This is such a little thing that could mean so much to one person! Send them a card, a well wish or even a little gift!
Know that a well maintained relationship is maintained by two people!
You should not be the only person putting effort into your relationship! Let them know that you need a little more love if you’re not feeling it! Everything mentioned here should not just be done by you, but by both people in the relationship. If you notice that they’re not working as hard to be your friend, ask them why. What’s up. Get to the bottom of it. We all deserve good friends.
Love them for who they are, not who the world says they are!
Judgement is all around us, be sure to make your friendship a judgement free zone! No matter their religion, race, beliefs or oddities, love your friend for who they are. They make your friendship unique and special, no one else can do that but them.
Having an awesome friendship is a beautiful thing to behold. There is no greater joy than a good friend. How do you let your friends know you appreciate them? Leave a comment below!
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