By Rachael Tulipano

As cliché as it may sound, relationships require work. The recipe for a healthy relationship calls for ingredients like communication, time together, conflict resolution strategies, shared interests, and a solid foundation of trust, among other elements. All parties involved in the relationship, whether it’s a friendship, parent/child duo, or romantic relationship, need to participate in these components to nourish a lasting connection.

5 Tips to Nourish A Lasting Relationship

The GenTwenty tribe believes in forming lasting connections with the people closest to us and those who help us become our best selves. Here are five essential tips to nourish a lasting relationship in your life, as we do in ours:

1. Never skip time together.

It is all too easy to succumb to chores, work, or other obligations, but don’t. Never allow an outside force to spill into your set time with the people in your life. Unless you work in a field where you’re on call 24/7, don’t let work emails distract you from time with your mother while you’re visiting for dinner. Avoid letting your seemingly endless list of chores keep you from date night with your beau. Don’t let life get in the way of time with your friends.

Everyone is busy and it’s far easier than it should be to let distractions come between you and the people important to you. A lasting relationship requires uninterrupted, devoted time together. Never skip scheduled time together.

2. Schedule time apart.

As important as seeing your beau, parent, friend, etc. is, having time apart is equally critical. If you’re living at home with your parents, make sure you’re getting out of the house to visit with friends. Say you and your romantic partner live together, be sure you both have space to do thing as individuals once in a while. If you’re renting an apartment with your best friend, take time to do things apart when needed.

Too much time with others, even the people you love most, can lead to overstimulation at times. People tend to get on each other’s nerves when there’s no space. Let your counterparts have time apart, just as you need the time to be alone for your own mental health and happiness. People need time away to make the heart grow fonder.

3. Support each other.

It’s easy to get lost in the tunnel vision you have for your own life and the big things happening in it, but try your hardest to support the people you love. If your mom is going back to school to earn a Master’s degree, congratulate her and attend her graduation. Say your friend’s parents are going through a gray divorce, take your friend out to dinner or pick up some sympathy flowers to show your bestie how much you feel for him/her. If your beau lost a job, be there to support him/her through the tough time.

Whether it’s a big moment or a low time in life, you need to support your loved ones as they should support you in return. Both of you need to feed valued and loved through promotions, weddings, graduations, lossheartache, and so on. Being in a lasting relationship means being there for each other through all the good times, bad times, and milestones in between.

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