Cultivating Lasting Relationships - Tay Meets World

Cultivating Lasting Relationships

6:00:00 PM

Now, more than ever, relationships matter most. Never in my wildest dreams did I think a global pandemic would bring us to where we are now, but here we are - isolated. I've been single for over a year now and I took that year to cultivate some of the best relationships I have ever had. Relationships with friends and family that in my opinion, are everlasting. I will say however, going through quarantine without a partner, is incredibly lonely and defeating.

I'm the type of person that longs for human connection. While I'm very independent, I rely heavily on communication with others and love the quality time spent. Relationships that are meaningful and deep, do not come easy. Relationships are work; think of growing and cultivating a garden. You have to water the plants, remove the weeds, prevent the bad bugs, fertilize, and maintain. I'm in no way saying I'm perfect at relationships, I have however, found the key aspects to cultivating a successful relationship.

Check on your people. | We all get busy, and we all use that as an excuse to not check-in or follow-up. I'm going to shed some light on this, it's not a valid excuse. You are prioritizing everything before the relationships in your life. I 100% love to work and would choose work over most things on a day-to-day but I realized last year that the five free minutes I had or the long drive that I had during the day that I needed to utilize those moments to check in on my people. The more I talked to those in my life, the closer we became. I prioritized them and my relationship with them, even when I was incredibly busy. I also knew that there would be times when that simply wasn't going to work. Take for example if you travel for work. Traveling for work is exhausting and the average person puts in at least 12-15 hour days. I always made it a point to let "my people" know I was traveling and would be disconnected for a few days.

When you find yourself thinking of someone, send them a message. | This is something super easy that will help cultivate your relationships. Throughout the day, if I find myself thinking of someone (sister, bestie, friend far away, etc.) send them a message! I will even just send a "Miss you friend!" Something so simple can make their day but it also keeps you connected.

Give to the relationship. | Relationships require sacrifice - you have to give something to them. Just as you give your time and effort to cultivate and grow a garden, this requires the same. What value can you add to a relationship? If a friend or family-member ever asks for help or if I can do something, I will always do whatever I can to do so. That may just be the giving nature in me but I feel fulfilled in the relationship knowing I contributed. Whether that be in advice, in help with kids, or resume writing or design help, etc.

Realize that you are in a different season than others, acknowledge the differences. | Every single person in my life is in a different season. They are single, engaged, married, married with children, divorced, etc. They are employed, in school, starting a business, chasing after a dream, living paycheck-paycheck. We are all in very different situations. With that being said, it's important to be considerate to those differences and acknowledge that being different is OK. For example, the weekends for me, are the worst. It's more time by myself which I do not love. For my married or engaged friends or those with kids, that is their family time and are typically busy when I have ample amount of time to talk. This does not mean we are any less friends, we are in different seasons and have to be cognizant to the differences that set us apart. 

Ask, Create & Challenge. | In my opinion, the relationships that result in the longest relationships are those where you ask questions, create experiences, and you challenge them. Always asking, "How are you really doing today?" Pushing them to open up and to talk to you on a deeper level. Creating experiences with one another, traveling, trying a new workout class, or spending quality time. And finally, challenging them to be better, take risks, go outside of their comfort zone, and to understand their worth.

Be Excited. | Most of my friends and family will undoubtedly say when they have something positive or happy in their life, I freak out. Screaming, jumping, yelling, using a thousand exclamation points - that's me. Why? Because it's coming from a place of pure joy and happiness for them and they deserve nothing less than someone celebrating their joys with them.

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