Building and maintaining healthy and loving relationships takes work and dedication from everyone involved. Whether it be a platonic friendship or a romantic partnership, relationships are a fundamentally important part of people’s lives. In the modern day of quickly changing interests, instant gratification, and much of our communication done through a screen, relationships seem increasingly difficult to build and maintain. Here are some ideas to help you build, improve, and maintain those relationships.

Communicate with one another. According to the Opera News website, this means talking openly and honestly with each other about your needs, feelings, and concerns. Part of communicating includes actively listening and making an effort to understand where your loved one is coming from. Communication is the foundation of healthy relationships.

Show appreciation and gratitude. Something like a surprise coffee one afternoon or a positive text helps show the other they are loved and appreciated in the relationship. Doesn’t need to always be big. Knowing each other’s love language helps ensure they understand the meaning of your gesture.

Prioritize quality time. With busy lives, it’s easy to forget to spend time with the people in our lives. But it’s important to make time for your relationship, and whether it’s a 15 minute hands-free call while driving home from work or a full day date at the lake, time spent together reminds us of why we have a relationship with that person in the first place.

Be supportive. Hype up your friends and partners, and be a soft place to land when things get tough. This doesn’t mean supporting harmful behaviours, but it does mean understanding everyone goes through challenging times. Be equally supportive through the good times and the bad times.

Compromise with one another. Every relationship faces times when there are differences of opinions and conflicts. The Trusty website states, “This doesn’t mean that you have to agree on everything, but it does mean that you should be willing to meet in the middle on important issues.”

Trust and honesty are a must. In fact, trust is so important that it forms the basis of a healthy relationship. Be reliable so that trust does not get broken.

Work through conflicts in a healthy way. It’s normal to run into disagreements and conflicts in a relationship, but you can resolve them without resorting to insults or intentional harm. Practice assertive communication when you face this situation. Talking about concerns or issues when they come up is one way to resolve conflicts before giving them time to turn into resentment.

And last but not least, have an inside joke or two between yourselves so you can make each other laugh when needed. Have fun and enjoy the time you spend with your friends, family, and partners.

Maintaining a loving relationship takes effort and commitment, but it’s rewarding. By following these ideas, you can help strengthen your current relationships and create new ones that are healthy and loving. Every relationship is different, so it’s important to communicate with each other, be open and flexible to new ideas, and always show the other respect.