With all of the curveballs, ups and downs, triumphs and trials that life throws at us, it’s difficult to find people who can identify with our struggles and successes equally and empathetically. Whether these people be family, lifelong friends, spouses, or partners, once you find them (or even perhaps discover that they were there all along), these are the most meaningful relationships you’ll ever have, and maintaining them is essential. Unfortunately, schedules can get in the way and make it hard to maintain the relationships in our lives sometimes. When that’s the case, follow these tips to make sure that you’re always giving your friendships and relationships a little TLC, even when your calendar is jam-packed.
1. Find the Time for Quicks Texts or Calls
Over the course of a busy day, even if you think about your loved ones in passing, they have no way of knowing unless you reach out to them. Whether it’s a five-minute call or a ten-word text, at the very least, the people in your life will know that amid your busy schedule, you took the time to see how they are doing or what they’re up to. It might even be helpful to set reminders for yourself to shoot your friend, relative or significant other a quick message during your busiest days.
2. “Pencil” Your Loved Ones in Whenever Possible
In the midst of a busy schedule, you’re unlikely to be able follow through on spontaneous plans, so it may appear to others that you’re indifferent to spending time with them. But busy folks have their weeks and weekends planned out in advance, so the best thing to do is to actually schedule social time. Even if it seems like you don’t have time during a busy week to sit down to lunch with a loved one, planning these ‘dates’ is potentially essential. It illustrates that you’re not turning down spontaneous outings due to disinterest, but because you are busy (and that you’re willing to make the time when it’s planned and fits your schedule). And if the relationship is important to you, you’ll schedule an allotted time in your planner, and treat a casual lunch date like any other important commitment in your life. Treat it as an obligation, and it will become one.
3. Try to Kill Two Birds with One Stone
If you know that you have an event or obligation this weekend that you can’t eschew, invite your friend or relative along for the experience. You’ll be fulfilling your obligations while also getting important quality time with your loved one – and it will again show them that you are making an effort in the relationship.
4. Leave Room for Compromise
A major component of healthy and successful relationships is compromise. If there’s a great deal of distance between you and your loved one that’s making it impossible to spend time together because neither of you can ever really make it all the way to the other, consider finding a more convenient spot to hang out that’s halfway between both of you. Each of you will have a shorter trip to take, and the reduction in travel time will mean more time spent together.
5. Make the Important Moments
The reality is, you’re not going to have time for your loved ones 24/7. What matters the most is whether or not you’re present for the big moments, like birthdays, holidays anniversaries, and weddings. Keep important dates open when you know you’ll need to be free, and they’ll know you’re there for them when it really matters the most.