- Gender and Relationships
7 Tips for Meaningful Long-Lasting Friendships
Let's Be Friends
Establishing close, ongoing friendships is something everyone wants, but few people really know how to do. This is because people are so hot and cold and lack the patience to see a relationship through the tough times to attain intimacy. This hub discusses seven tips to establishing meaningful, long-lasting relationships.
Meaningful Friendships Take Time
First, intimate relationships take time to establish. If you want to generate a close friendship, you must clear your schedule to spend extended time with the person. This can be difficult when living life in the fast lane called the 21st Century. But face-to-face time is still essential for maintaining deep close friendships. Go out for coffee, schedule lunch, take a walk in a park, or meet them at their house or apartment. Meaningful friendships take quality time to form and grow.
What do you think or feel is the most essential ingredient for meaningful friendships?
Intimate Relationships Take Communication
To cultivate close ties with another person, you must master the art of communication. This means learning how to actively listen and ask questions and how to share your heart when it is your turn to speak. Active listening means keeping eye contact with the person; not thinking about what you want to say; and asking clarifying questions that show you are engaged in the conversation. When speaking, it is important to use gentle language especially in heated moments.
Close Friendships Take the Heat
In order to establish meaningful friendships, you cannot be afraid of conflict. Conflict is a natural part of life; it is inevitable. In fact there is a Cambodian proverb that says "two people are not friends unless that have had an argument." No one is perfect; we all have bad days which can lead to conflict. Hoiwever, the Bible says "love covers a multitude of sins." True intimacy occurs when you work through your differences and the relationship becomes stronger because of it.
Good Friendships Take the Hit
Strong bonds of friendship are knit together through loyalty in and out of the presence of your mate. Stephen Covey, writer of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, likes to talk about "being loyal to the person not present." This means protecting your friends honor when other people want to gossip about and slander them. Good relationships are unified when you are willing to take the hit for your bosom buddy.
Unexpected Gifts at Unexpected Times
A fifth tip for forging meaningful friendships is offering timely, appropriate gifts. In the movie Finding Forrester the main character noted that the key to a person's heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time. The kicker on this tip is knowing the person well enough to offer the right gift that is appropriate and at the same time relevant to the person. A book by their favorite author, concert tickets to their favorite music artist, or a gift card to their favorite restaurant or coffee shop, all fall under possibilities in this category.
Appropriate and Timely Touch
A sixth tip for establishing close and meaningful relationships is to use timely and appropriate touch. Asexual touch can be extremely endearing when done in a way that offers respect and empathy. Many people are touch deprived especially in this age of hyper-sensitivity to sexual harassment or abuse. Yet the human species was not meant to be an island. Many of the happiest people are those who practice friendship that includes appropriate touch.
Acts of Service
Random but relevant acts of service is a seventh tip for growing and maintaining deep long-lasting relationships. Picking up their dry cleaning, driving with them to a doctor's appointment; fixing meals and taking a trip to the grocery store when some in the household is sick or injured are all examples of acts of kindness that can instill a sense of closeness and asexual intimacy.
In the fast-pace of the 21st Century most relationships are starved for meaningful relationships.Most friendships are superficial and rarely get to the levels that move and satisfy the soul. This hub presented seven tips for overcoming these obstacles for meaningful, long-lasting friendships.