Investing in anything requires time, thought, effort, energy and resources, especially if you hope to profit from the investment. The same is true of relationships with close friends and especially in marriage. Let’s look at a five simple steps to help enrich your relationships.
- Value the Relationship. If we consider something to be of value we are more motivated to take care of it (or we ought to be). Reinforce the fact that you do value the relationship you have with this person. Let the person know that you value your friendship/relationship/marriage. Don’t play the ‘if they don’t know I’m not gonna tell them’ game. Use your words or put it into action. If you believe something is valuable, treat it as such.
- Make Regular Deposits. If you had an investment account that you plan to retire on, you need to make regular deposits into the account. No one builds equity in an investment if they don’t put anything into it.In a healthy relationship, both parties are putting regular deposits into the mutual investment. Sometimes one makes a withdrawal. Sometimes the other does. But overall, both people are investing into the relationship account. This includes time, energy, resources and prioritizing the investment.
- Plan. If you want to buy a house or property you have to save up enough money for the down payment. You can’t just wish yourself into home ownership! So what’s the plan to establish and enrich your relationships? How are you going to accomplish this? If you don’t have a close relationship with anyone what are some starting points to make yourself a good, safe friend/partner? Build qualities into your life that you would appreciate in others. Reach out and get involved — volunteer for a cause.
- Be Grateful. Have a thankful heart. Appreciate the simple everyday things. Say ‘thank you’ for the little things your partner/friend does, even if it’s something you might expect from them. “Thanks for the coffee…thanks for picking that up for me.” Practicing gratitude enriches your relationship, as well as your own life. Don’t take things, especially loved ones, for granted. Rather than thinking about the things you don’t have, be mindful and grateful for all that you do have. It will literally make you feel better.
- Have Fun. Be Fun. Do Fun! There is an excess of stress and pressure in this world and an apparent shortage of laughter and enjoyment. Relationships need fun in order to flourish. They need moments of laughter and sheer enjoyment. Fun is kind of like fertilizer — enriching the relational soil so the roots grow deeper and more fruit grows. Relationships with an ability to have fun and laugh together are more likely to last. One of the greatest predictors of divorce is the absence of laughter in a relationship. What an easy thing to fix!