How to Connect With Your Loved Ones

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One of the most valuable parts of any relationship is connection. Learning how to connect isn’t something that comes naturally, and must be a commitment both members of the relationship is willing to do. Here are some tips to connect with your loved ones to cultivate a healthy relationship.

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image created by Brandi Clevinger using the stock photo from Unsplash
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Importance of a Healthy Relationship

When I use the term ‘relationship’, I don’t necessarily mean just your spouse or partner, but rather any relationship in your life. It could your friend/best friend, children, parents, siblings, etc. and a healthy relationship, regardless of who it’s with, is important. According to youth.gov Characteristics of Healthy & Unhealthy Relationships, the healthy relationship includes:

  • mutual respect
  • trust
  • honesty
  • compromise
  • individuality
  • good communication
  • anger control
  • fighting fair
  • problem-solving
  • understanding
  • self-confidence
  • being a role model
  • healthy sexual relationship (when applicable)

As long as both parties are practicing the above characteristics, the relationship is sure to bloom and be a lasting one.

Talking About Fibromyalgia

You may feel as though you’re relationship is prevented from reaching its full potential because of fibromyalgia. You have the hesitation on how to talk about it, how it affects you, and how it could (possibly) affect the relationship. It’s okay and normal to feel this way. Many of us living with fibromyalgia have this struggle. Check out these articles for guidance on how to guide the conversation regarding fibromyalgia and talking to your loved ones about it.

How to Connect with Your Loved Ones

First, determine how much of a commitment you want to make to the relationship. The degree to which you commit to each relationship depends on the level of that relationship. For example, I am willing to commit to a bigger degree with my children than I would to a friend. Not to say my friend is less than, but it’s a different quality of a relationship.

Second, make the time. Each of us makes time for obligations, errands, and appointments, so make time for your loved ones on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be at the same time every day, week, or month, just so long as it’s regular to avoid disconnection.

There are various ways to spend time together. My best friend and I enjoy gardening together. Even though it’s not that often, it’s an activity we both thoroughly enjoy and enjoy doing together. My kids and I enjoy snuggling on the couch and watching movies together. There are various ways to connect, but here are some ideas:

  • Have coffee together at your house or at a cafe
  • Enjoy a movie marathon
  • Go to yard sales together
  • Ride bikes, hike, or other outdoor activity

Lastly, do regular mindful check-ins on the relationship. A connection with another person can go bad – fast – and without warning. Do a mindful check to ensure the relationship is maintaining a healthy connection and hasn’t turned into a toxic one.

Cultivating a Healthy Relationship

To sum it up, to cultivate a healthy relationship, both parties must be doing the following:

  • Practicing the characteristics of a healthy relationship as listed above (this one MUST be present)
  • Committed to the relationship
  • Spending regular time together
  • Doing periodic mindful check-ins

Really listen to the other person talking and keep in mind what they value in a friendship or as a person. Use that information to do something kind and thoughtful for them from time to time. For example, if they’ve been talking about needing a break, offer to take them for a drink or invite them over for some downtime. If you know they value certain actions such as receiving a card in the mail, send a card periodically to let them know what a great friend they are and why. It doesn’t have to be a long letter just a short ‘thinking of you’ type of deal. Sometimes less is more.

Brandi

Hi, I’m Brandi, the writer and creator of Being Fibro Mom and My Fibro Journal. Aside from my work on Being Fibro Mom, I run a group called Fibro Parenting on Facebook. I've been writing for the Fibromyalgia Magazine since 2016 and recently became the Secretary and Fibro & Families program director for International Support Fibromyalgia Network. Facebook-+-Twitter-+-Instagram

22 thoughts on “How to Connect With Your Loved Ones

  • September 10, 2014 at 2:42 pm
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    What a sweet idea! I am always looking for ways to connect with my husband, and it is def. true it has to be so intentional, or it will get swallowed up with everything else. Blessings.

    Reply
    • September 11, 2014 at 7:20 am
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      I like that you used ‘swallowed up’ because that is exactly what happens. Thank you for reading!

      Reply
  • September 10, 2014 at 7:28 pm
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    Great idea! Due to my husbands work we need to look creatively, every week! sometimes we make it sometimes we dont, but I’m inspired to keep at it. Thanks for sharing your solution!

    Reply
    • September 11, 2014 at 7:19 am
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      You’re welcome! There are many ways you can reconnect, but finding something that works for the both of you gets tricky. Don’t give up!

      Reply
  • September 11, 2014 at 10:37 am
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    What a great way to stay connected! I love that idea. I know it won’t really work for us, but something similar just might. As it stands, we connect somehow in small moments throughout the evening when he’s off work. We might “sneak” in a kiss (or two or twelve), we tell each other things we’re thinking about, things we’re worried about, tell each other we love the other, we hug, and we cuddle (or pretend to cuddle with Baby Boy interrupting). Sometimes we don’t do these things and we’re left with touching, or holding hands in bed.

    I can definitely see that the more children we add to our family the more difficult things like this will be. But setting time aside will always have to be a priority for me. 🙂

    Reply
    • September 11, 2014 at 11:04 am
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      This specific activity may not work for you, but knowing that reconnecting is a priority is the most important part! Don’t give up!

      Reply
  • September 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm
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    These are great ideas. I’m soooo not a morning person, but you’re right, it’s so worth it. My favorite thing to do with my hubby right now is reading The Meaning of Marriage together. It’s a great book by Tim Keller, and we feel closer to each other, just spending the time once a week reading together. (Found you on Thoughtful Thursdays)

    Reply
    • September 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm
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      My husband decided this week to start a blog (yay!!), so now we have a project that we work on together in addition to our new traditional Wednesdays. It’s so great to work on things together!

      Reply
  • September 11, 2014 at 11:23 pm
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    We just grab little moments here and there as we can. Flirting throughout the day, snuggling up at night…

    Reply
  • September 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm
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    Thanks for sharing ! We need to reconnect as couple and it’s so hard sometimes ..

    Reply
  • September 13, 2014 at 6:43 am
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    I love, love, love the idea of having a breakfast date! How creative is that?! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Coffee and Conversation this week. 🙂
    ~Candy

    Reply
  • September 13, 2014 at 11:28 am
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    When my boys were little – we would have a date night after they went to bed – and get to-go with candle sticks and a movie:) I love your tips – no negative, no talking kids, no talking work – THAT is a great idea! I just might try your scrabble idea!

    Reply
    • September 13, 2014 at 11:38 am
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      Thanks! We tried to have some time after the kids were in bed, but now their bed time is my bed time! haha

      Reply
  • September 15, 2014 at 10:31 am
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    Thanks for linking up the the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party! Your post has been pinned to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board.

    You are so right! We can make the time if we make it a priority. I get up an hour earlier every day just so I can make and have breakfast with my husband before he goes off to work. And I just recently made a commitment to get off the computer by 8pm every night that my husband is home so we can reconnect.

    Reply
    • September 15, 2014 at 10:49 am
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      Setting a time to cut off screen time is a great suggestion, too, Michelle! I’m going to propose that tonight.Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  • Pingback: 27 Thoughts on Love and Marriage - Monthly Inspiration #003 - The Happiness Blogger

  • February 26, 2015 at 10:24 am
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    My husband and I started our relationship long-distance. Almost a year of skype dates, with visits spaced out every 3 weeks (if we were lucky!) to 3 months. While conversation was certainly a big part of those skype dates, when you skype every single day for 1-2 hours (more on weekends!), you do eventually run out of interesting things to discuss. So we started playing an off-brand Scrabble called Wabble! It was free, we could set up a private game for just the two of us, and we had so much fun with it. Now we own two different Scrabble boards, plus a separate 3D word game. We don’t have kids yet (we’re newlyweds! ish!), but I love this morning date idea.

    Reply
    • February 26, 2015 at 3:04 pm
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      That’s so awesome! We also had a long distance relationship (we were both military) so I can relate with the skype, etc. We also have two types of Scrabble boards and we also play Words with Friends. It’s a lot of fun and he teaches me lots of new vocabulary words!

      Thansk for reading!

      Reply
  • June 3, 2015 at 1:45 pm
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    That’s such a great idea, Brandi! You’ve not let the “box” of parenthood stop you and your hubby from connecting in a meaningful and fun way! I love it! Thanks for sharing and I’ll be sharing this in the Twittersphere as well. 🙂

    Reply
    • June 3, 2015 at 3:56 pm
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      Thank you, Beth! I’ve got to keep the connection real somehow with four littles running around.

      Reply

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