5 Practical Ways to Improve Your Relationships | The BridgeMaker

5 Practical Ways to Improve Your Relationships

By on Jan 23, 2013

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. – Buddha

The New Year stretches out before us, but many look back on the old one filled with regret.

This could be because of missed opportunities, the loss of someone special, or dreams unrealized. Instead of dwelling on the past, however, it’s important to take proactive steps to improve your future.

A common New Year’s resolution is to make deeper connections with friends and family. A successful relationship – whether platonic or romantic – takes work, but it’s within your reach.

These five tips will help you achieve your goals and create a bright future for you and your loved ones.

1. Build relationships on a strong foundation

Relationships are like castles; we work together to make them great and defend them when outside forces – whether other people or circumstances – that want to tear them apart.

However, without a sturdy foundation they crumble away. To ensure a relationship is strong enough to weather any storm, make sure it’s based on trust, understanding and similar ideals.

There are many success stories out there that will attest to the benefits of a partnership based on shared values. Make your foundations solid by seeking out like-minded individuals.

2. See things from the other’s point of view

Understanding and respect come from being able to appreciate someone else’s point of view.

This is vital in a romantic partnership, where conflict can arise in many situations. However, mentally switching places can help strengthen other relationships too.

The love we have for our children is unconditional, but there are moments when it can seem like they’re slipping away from us. From a young age they begin to assert their independence.

During the next tantrum take a step back and see the world through their eyes. It’s a big, strange place they’re beginning to know so don’t leap to anger – offer guidance instead.

3. Focus on the here and now

All too often, couples drift apart because they don’t focus on the present.

All those little moments that seem so ordinary are what you fall back on when times are tough. Make sure you are aware of your partner and their feelings – acknowledge what they say.

You could also share in an experience together to strengthen your bond. By being available right now, you’ll be there for each other in the future.

4. Work towards common goals

For a relationship to have longevity, both parties need to have similar goals and aspirations. For couples this could be the shared desire to marry, have children or travel the world together.

However, it might not be so specific. A shared life philosophy with particular outcomes is just as important. If you feel like you and your partner are out of sync, have an honest discussion to put your relationship back on track.

5. Find like-minded people in unexpected places

Another popular New Year’s resolution is to spend less time focused on work and more on socializing with friends. Lasting friendships can be found in unlikely places.

The new employee at work could be your best buddy if you struck up a conversation. Similarly, the person always sat opposite you on the bus could be your soul mate.

Breaking the ice can be tough, especially if you’re shy. Get help by visiting the eHarmony CA Google+ page. The inspiring stories will encourage you to seek out compatible people and create new connections.

Helen Smith writes about issues related to dating, relationships and finding love for a variety of blogs and clients. She works as a freelance writer and is based in Toronto.

  • Helen, I love your third recommendation — It’s a great reminder to use the present to our advantage! There’s no time like the present! Thank you! 🙂