We live in a time of instant gratification. With communication being so fast and easy, we can end up feeling like our relationships and friendships are on auto-pilot.
But the great news is, I’ve found any friendship or relationship can grow when people are willing to make the effort. It all comes down to being more intentional when spending time with people we care about.
“Intentionality refers to acts being deliberate or purposeful. [Being intentional means] deliberately spending time together, purposefully placing the need of others above your own” (source: I’ll Push You).
I’ve found a few things help me practice intentionality in my close relationships.
Plan Quality Time
I often lose touch with people I care about because I assume we’ll talk or get together. And sure enough, life and its distractions get in the way.
Planning quality time and making sure to honor our engagements is a great way to practice intentionality. Whether it’s setting a reminder in your phone to call your parents or putting a lunch with a friend on the calendar, small steps like these make a big difference when it comes to building emotional intimacy over time.
If you’re looking to be more intentional in a dating relationship, scheduling a date night is a great way to do so. And you don’t have to break the bank to be there for your boyfriend or girlfriend. There are plenty of creative date ideas that will bring you together without overspending.
Greater focus is key to being more intentional. But focus doesn’t always come naturally, especially when life gets busy.
It is important that when you are spending time with your friends or significant other that you can really focus on them and what they are saying and not be distracted.
You can practice meditation or deep breathing to improve focus. Spending time in prayer each day is also helpful. Building your faith in God and asking for His help will no doubt help you find more meaning and joy in your friendships.
It’s easy to take people we care about for granted. Once we get used to spending time together, we fall into an easy rhythm. That rhythm can be pleasant, but it can also keep us from getting closer to one another.
Asking questions is a great way to make a deliberate effort to connect with family and friends. See how life, work, and school are going. Ask about their latest interests or hobbies. Showing an interest is also showing you care.
While technology can help us in our relationships, there’s no end to the distractions our phones and computers put in front of us every day. Unplugging from our devices (or at least putting them on silent) is a great way to be more present when we’re with people we care about. That way we never miss an important moment with those we love for something buzzing in our pocket.
Sometimes we need more ideas about how to build stronger friendships and relationships. TheHopeLine can help. Talk to a Hope Coach whenever you need guidance. We’re always here to listen, and we’ll do whatever we can to support you in your relationships.
Are you having trouble making and keeping friends? Check out my blog, How to Make Friends with these 4 steps.