Creating happy long-term relationships with friends can be challenging in our modern-day world. But, with the right mindset and approach, we can create friendships that last the test of time. Since “friends are the family we choose”, creating healthy, harmonious friendships (that support and empower us), is essential to being happy.
Creating Happy Long-Term Relationships
In today’s relationship guide, we talk about how creating happy long-term relationships helps us grow and evolve.
I recently caught up with an old friend (since the age of 5!). Getting together inspired me to think about all the life changes we’ve gone through, the current stages of life we’re in, and the natural evolution of our relationship.
At age 5, life was simple. We met on the jungle gym and instantly became play pals.
By age 15, our interests changed. We talked about boys, shared personal stories, and acted like sisters.
In our 20s, we lived in different places and thereby saw each other less often (mostly for holidays and special events). We enjoyed living life as single young gals, exploring the world, and figuring out we who wanted to become. Our relationship was changing, which we learned how to accept.
By our 30s, everything was different. We had growing careers, were establishing new relationships with other people, and learning how to live as independent women. Although we now lived in the same area, we didn’t see each other often, but that was a healthy choice for our relationship at the time. We had different interests, life paths, and career choices. But, we still stayed in touch (by phone and social media), and occasionally got together.
Nowadays, when we catch-up, we simply enjoy the comfort and camaraderie of each other, just like it was yesterday. Even though we’re very different than who we were at age 5, over time, we’ve let go of expectations, gave each other freedom to grow and evolve, and released the need to rely on each other. We now just accept each other as we are and appreciate the time we have together, which makes us both happier in our relationship.
Throughout the journey of any long-term relationship, there will be times that we’ll feel close with someone, and at other times – we’ll need space and distance. There will be times when we feel let down, disappointed, or even angry. There will even be moments when we ask our selves why we still care. But in the end, we remind ourselves that “real friends” will always be in our lives, because they’re the fabric of our lives.
Creating a happy long-term relationship takes patience, understanding, acceptance, flexibility, and empathy. Each friendship is unique and different, so no one approach will work. Some relationships require more maintenance, while others need a sense of freedom. It’s up to us to figure out what it takes to keep each relationship going.
Our “real friends” will sometimes try our patience, challenge our belief systems, and even catalyze our growth. Because of them, we learn, grow, and evolve, which helps us become better friends in the end.
Why are happy long-lasting relationships important to you?
[Image credits: Shutterstock]