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  • Writer's pictureRuchi Sarna

Putting Effort into Relationships Looks Like This: Tips for Building Strong Connections

Relationships are an essential part of our lives, and they come in many forms. Whether it's a romantic partnership, a family member, a friend, or a colleague, relationships provide us with a sense of connection, support, and belonging. However, maintaining a healthy relationship takes effort, and it's important to invest time and energy into building and nurturing these connections.


Putting effort into a relationship means being intentional and mindful about how you engage with the other person. It involves making a conscious effort to deepen the connection and build a strong foundation of trust and respect. Whether you're in a long-term partnership or just starting to get to know someone, putting effort into the relationship can help ensure that it remains fulfilling and meaningful for both parties.


In this blog post, we'll explore some key ways that you can put effort into your relationships, including prioritizing quality time, active listening and communication, practising empathy and understanding, cultivating shared interests, and prioritizing self-care and boundaries. By implementing these practices, you can create a relationship that is grounded in mutual respect, trust, and love, and that brings joy and fulfilment to both parties.


Prioritizing Quality Time

Quality time is a key component of any strong relationship, whether it's a romantic partnership, friendship, or familial tie. By spending intentional time with the people you care about, you can build and strengthen connections, deepen your understanding of each other, and create lasting memories.

However, in today's fast-paced world, it can be easy to let quality time fall by the wayside. Work, school, social obligations, and other commitments can all take priority over spending time with loved ones. That's why it's important to intentionally prioritize quality time in your relationships.

One way to prioritize quality time is by setting aside dedicated time for connection. This might mean scheduling regular date nights with your partner, planning a weekly phone call with a long-distance friend, or organizing a family game night every month. By setting aside dedicated time for connection, you're sending a clear message that the relationship matters to you and that you're willing to invest time and energy into it.

Another way to prioritize quality time is by being present and engaged during the time you do spend with your loved ones. This means putting away distractions like phones, laptops, and other electronic devices and focusing on the present moment. Whether you're having a deep conversation, enjoying a meal together, or simply spending time in each other's company, being fully present and engaged can help deepen your connection and create a sense of shared presence and intimacy.

Finally, it's important to recognize that quality time can look different for different people. Some people might prefer quiet one-on-one conversations, while others might thrive in large social settings. Some might enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or biking, while others might prefer indoor activities like board games or movies. By taking the time to understand what quality time looks like for the people in your life, you can ensure that your time together is meaningful and fulfilling for everyone involved.

By prioritizing quality time in your relationships, you're sending a clear message that you value the people in your life and that you're committed to building and maintaining strong connections with them.


Active Listening and Communication

Active listening and effective communication are vital components of any successful relationship. They can help you better understand and empathize with your partner, friend, or family member, reduce misunderstandings and conflicts, and build a deeper sense of connection and trust.

Active listening involves not only hearing what the other person is saying but also fully understanding and empathizing with their perspective. This means giving the person your full attention, refraining from interrupting or interjecting, and making an effort to understand their point of view. You can demonstrate active listening by nodding your head, maintaining eye contact, and reflecting back on what the person has said in your own words to ensure that you fully understand their message.

Effective communication also involves expressing your own thoughts, feelings and needs clearly and honestly. This means being assertive but not aggressive, using "I" statements to express how you feel rather than placing blame or making accusations, and being open to hearing the other person's perspective. By expressing yourself clearly and respectfully, you can help the other person better understand your needs and perspective, which can lead to more effective problem-solving and conflict resolution.

Another important aspect of effective communication is practising active communication skills during both positive and negative interactions. It's easy to fall into patterns of communication where we only express ourselves when we're upset or frustrated. However, it's equally important to communicate effectively during positive interactions, such as when you're expressing appreciation or celebrating success. Active listening and effective communication can help to deepen the connection and trust between you and your loved ones, making it easier to navigate any challenges that arise.

One way to improve your communication skills is to practice mindfulness. By being present and focused on the current moment, you can be more aware of your own thoughts and emotions, which can help you communicate more clearly and effectively. You can also practice empathy by putting yourself in the other person's shoes and trying to understand their perspective.


Practising Empathy and Understanding

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It's an essential component of any strong relationship, as it allows you to connect with the other person on a deeper level, better understand their perspective, and respond to their needs with compassion and sensitivity.

Practising empathy involves actively putting yourself in the other person's shoes, imagining how they might be feeling, and responding in a way that demonstrates your understanding and support. This might mean acknowledging their feelings with statements like "I can understand how that would be frustrating" or "That sounds really difficult. I'm here for you." It might also mean actively seeking out information about the other person's perspective, such as by asking open-ended questions or reflecting back on what they've said to ensure that you understand their point of view.

Understanding is another important component of practising empathy. Understanding involves not only recognizing and acknowledging the other person's perspective, but also actively seeking to understand the reasons behind their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. This might mean asking questions to clarify their perspective or seeking out additional information to better understand their situation. By seeking to understand the other person's perspective, you can better empathize with them and respond in a way that is sensitive and supportive.

One way to practice empathy and understanding is to practice active listening, as discussed in the previous section. By actively listening to the other person and reflecting back on what they've said, you can better understand their perspective and respond in a way that demonstrates your empathy and support. You can also practice empathy by putting yourself in the other person's shoes and imagining how you would feel if you were in their situation. By doing so, you can better understand their emotions and respond in a way that is compassionate and sensitive.

Practising empathy and understanding is essential for building and maintaining strong relationships. By actively seeking to understand the other person's perspective, acknowledging their feelings, and responding with compassion and sensitivity, you can deepen your connections with the people in your life and build relationships that are based on mutual respect, understanding, and support.


Cultivating Shared Interests

Having shared interests can be a great way to strengthen your relationship with another person. When you share an interest with someone, you have a common bond that can bring you closer together and provide a source of enjoyment and fulfilment. Additionally, sharing interests can provide opportunities for spending quality time together, exploring new experiences, and building memories that can last a lifetime.

Cultivating shared interests involves actively seeking out common activities or hobbies that both you and the other person enjoy. This might involve trying out new activities together, such as taking a dance class or going on a hiking trip, or finding new ways to enjoy existing interests, such as attending concerts or sporting events together. By sharing experiences and exploring new activities together, you can create a sense of shared purpose and enjoyment that can deepen your connection with the other person.

It's also important to be open to trying new things and exploring new interests, even if they may not be something you would normally pursue on your own. By being open-minded and receptive to the other person's interests, you can show your support and appreciation for them, while also expanding your own horizons and discovering new passions.

When cultivating shared interests, it's important to remember that it's not just about the activity itself, but also about the time spent together and the connection that is formed through shared experiences. Whether it's trying out a new restaurant, attending a concert, or simply spending time outdoors, the important thing is that you are actively engaging with the other person and creating meaningful experiences together.


Prioritizing Self-Care and Boundaries

Taking care of yourself is an essential component of any healthy relationship. When you prioritize self-care, you are better equipped to show up for the other person and contribute to the relationship in a positive way. Additionally, setting boundaries can help ensure that your needs are met and that the relationship remains respectful, supportive, and fulfilling for both parties.

Prioritizing self-care involves actively taking steps to care for your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This might involve engaging in activities that promote relaxation and stress reduction, such as practising yoga or meditation, getting enough sleep, or eating a healthy diet. It might also involve seeking out therapy or counselling to address any underlying issues or challenges that may be impacting your well-being.

Setting boundaries is also an important aspect of prioritizing self-care. Boundaries can help you establish clear guidelines and expectations for the relationship, while also ensuring that your needs and values are respected. This might involve communicating your boundaries with the other person, such as by setting limits on the time and energy you are willing to invest in the relationship, or establishing guidelines for how you prefer to be treated.

In order to set and maintain healthy boundaries, it's important to communicate your needs and expectations clearly and assertively. This might involve saying "no" to requests that are outside of your comfort zone or that you do not have the capacity to fulfil, or communicate your feelings and concerns when they arise in the relationship.

Prioritizing self-care and boundaries is important in any relationship, whether it's with a romantic partner, family member, or friend. By taking care of your own needs and setting clear boundaries, you can show up for the other person in a way that is respectful, supportive, and sustainable over time.


In conclusion, putting effort into a relationship requires a conscious and ongoing effort to nurture and strengthen the connection between two people. By prioritizing quality time, active listening and communication, empathy and understanding, cultivating shared interests, and prioritizing self-care and boundaries, you can build a relationship that is grounded in mutual respect, trust, and love. Remember, relationships take work, but with dedication, patience, and an open heart, you can create a relationship that brings joy and fulfilment to both parties. So, take the time to invest in your relationships, and watch them grow and flourish over time.


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