5 Ways to Build Meaningful Relationships – and Keep Them

love quotes, quotes about love, lana del rey quotes, build meaningful relationships, sharon koenig, life coach portland

How to build meaningful relationships with these 5 tips!

love quotes, quotes about love, lana del rey quotes, build meaningful relationships, sharon koenig, life coach portland

Is something missing in one, or several of your relationships? Do they need a bit more ‘oomph’? There’s a chance that you could be missing out on some important habits for building meaningful relationships.

The current state of all your relationships – whether good, great, or not so great – are the manifestation of the time and energy given to each of them by you and the other person.

You may have been told before that every relationship you have needs to be a 50/50 effort between two people to succeed, but this is actually a poor example, if you really think about it.

Why is the 50/50 effort such a poor method for building meaningful relationships?

It’s because 50/50 only means that each person will only fight for it when and how they feel like they are comfortable with, and it’s left to the other person to pick up the slack. Each person ‘does their part’, and hopes that it’s enough to keep it together.

This means each person will likely be left feeling fulfilled in some ways, and unfulfilled in others… and only 50% of the joy they could be feeling if it were a 100/100 effort. Not so efficient after all, is it?

Recommended reading on how to build meaningful relationships… Love at first sight: How to Find your Soulmate and Manifest Love

Relationships are like a living organism. Both people require attention and energy given to all of their needs in order for the relationship to thrive.

To give love is one thing, but to give love in the way that the other person best perceives it is how you will keep them happy.

When needs are neglected by either person, then the person on the receiving end of that neglect may seek to fulfill that need from other sources. They get their needs met through different relationships, or otherwise. Over time, they slowly drift further away from the other person.

The best way to build meaningful relationships is to think about how you can give rather than what you can receive. In a healthy relationship, unconditional love comes back to you in just the same way.

5 simple tips to improve your social life and build meaningful relationships

1: Work on yourself before you work on the relationship.
In most cases, as the honeymoon phase wears off, what was once just a “quirk” may soon become something seen as a bad habit instead.

Continuing to have a bad habit that affects the other person may be misconstrued as a lack of caring. This may not be the reality to you – because your bad habit is “your problem, not theirs” – but by continuing the problem at all, it feels like you don’t care about their feelings.

If this habit is bad for you, too, keeping the relationship alive may be a great motivator to get rid of it. Is this behavior harmless to you and other people? This is when it may be time to call into question whether the other person is right for you.

Harmless habits, behaviors, and things that you continue to do for joy are an important part of who you are. You should only keep a relationship if you can feel free to be who you naturally are, because relationships founded upon what someone else wants you to be will never fulfill you.

2: Focus on what you can provide to the other person, rather than what you can get from them.
Learning HOW other people see love is the easiest way to make them happier.

Learn the language in which your partner or friend perceives love. Does their face brighten whenever you invest your time and attention into simply talking to them? Does your spouse see love as physical connection? Do they see love through small favors to make their life easier?

What comes around goes around. When the other person is happy and content, they’ll be in a better position to make you happy, too.

3: Engage in conversations that give more than they take.
One of the most common ways that people perceive love is through feeling special. Everyone wants to feel special.

Wondering how to make someone feel special? It goes SO much deeper than making them feel unique. It means showing them that they are worth taking an interest in. It’s showing them that they mean something to you. It means letting them know that they matter. 

  • ALWAYS address them by their name, or favorite nickname when you’re greeting them. Everyone loves to hear their name said by someone else.
  • Take note of important details of their life. We all dislike when someone forgets our birthday, or doesn’t ask us about our first day at a new job. Keep up with the things that are important to your friends and family. If it’s one of the first things they said when you asked them “how are you”, it probably means a lot to them, and it would mean even more if you remembered to ask about it later.
  • Relating to someone’s feelings or situation is a healthy part of a conversation, but it should be used in moderation in order for both people to feel fulfilled. Talk about the other person first before you direct the spotlight on yourself. You can be the star of the show when they ask about you!

4: First impressions DO matter, but you can learn to look at each interaction as a chance to make a new one.
They might forget exactly what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. If you can make the other person feel good around you, your relationship will grow.

If they see love through feeling significant, then you will need to be conscious to avoid common bad conversational habits that make them feel insignificant.

Bad communication habits to avoid include…

  • Talking at length about yourself without expressing any interest in them first. They will feel emotionally drained after talking to you if all they are doing is giving their attention to you.
  • Neglecting to address important details they may have told you. It’s worse if you don’t even remember it later on.
  • Not rising to their level of enthusiasm about a topic. If you don’t know anything about it, don’t change the subject as your first defense – ASK! People naturally love to teach.
  • Interrupting. Come on, you learned this in Kindergarten. You don’t have to raise your hand, but you do have to let them finish! By interrupting, you may not even realize it, but you’re showing them that you’d rather talk than listen to them… ouch.
  • Ask without accusation. If you want to question someone else’s decisions, avoid sounding like you’re judging them by beginning a question with a “How” instead of a “Why”. Again, they will be happy to teach you something.

5: Stay connected.
We all have the friend that ignores our emails, phone calls, and texts. Sure, maybe it could be justified as the other person being busy.

It’s good to have the intellectual knowledge that it’s not about you, but we can’t help how it makes us feel. By making an effort to send something as small as a ‘hello’, you’re proving that the other person is still on your mind.

Show them that they matter by keeping in touch regardless of how busy you may be. You are showing them that no matter how overwhelmed or bogged down you feel, you still care enough to think of them. Awww, how sweet.


Are your relationships everything you’d like them to be? Having a meaningful relationship with the people in your life is one of the key components of happiness. Give your relationships the time and energy they deserve to blossom and flourish. You will not only feel more loved than ever, but you will also feel a satisfying sense of contribution.