Take Your Relationships to the Next Level
Your relationships, whether it is with your family, spouse, children or friends are so important for your well being and health: they offer support when dealing with stress and / or depression, and they produce moments of great joy, laughter and closeness.
When trying to build into, connect, or communicate with someone you value and have a personal relationship with, it’s important to spend face to face quality time with one another.
Living in a Digital World
Today, we live in a world where people, in all stages of life, are addicted to the tech world consisting of
- gaming systems
We can text and talk to people across the world in seconds and constantly have any desired information at our fingertips. Being tech-enabled is a good thing. Being tech-dependent is not.
Technology is an amazing tool for connecting with people “outside of your room”. However, it is not a great tool for connecting with people “inside the room” - this is when technology starts to interfere with the relationships of the people right in front of you. In short, we like it, we want it, but we must know when to use it and when not to use it.
Challenge yourself to not use technology when you are inside a room with an individual that you have a relationship with. Focus on developing a deeper understanding of who they are instead of finding out how many people have liked your Instagram photo since the last time you checked.
Try to avoid being rude to another person who may seem more interested in their phone than in you. Simply modeling right priorities will help others catch on. If you model no tech at the table and face to face relationships, one on one time, people will notice. Many times they will mirror your behavior and will be engaged in a conversation with you if you are engaged with them.
Take time to notice the emotions and facial expressions of the other person you are spending face to face time with. We can learn so much about each other if we knew how to connect properly.
Get the “Human” Relationship Back into Your Relationships
Here are 8 simple ways to help get the “human” back into your human relationships.
People crave communication and food! So, it’s easy to connect over a meal. If the person you are with pulls out their phone, simply say “hey at the table, let’s not do that.” And it’s an easy “rule” for them to follow because people are eating - both hands are busy. And when both hands are busy eating, the hands can’t be on the technology and the mouth is free to talk.
This can be at home or out to eat. If you are going out to eat, phrase it as a date night and that you are “actually going to talk” without anything interfering with your interpersonal communication.
A great way to begin is to “remember the little things.” Say something like, “Do you remember when you said Olive Garden has the best bread sticks? Let’s go grab some!” Now that you’ve suggested a restaurant and a particular food item that you know they like, you have a much better chance of connecting with them.
2. Movies / Shows
Watch movies and shows together. You don’t always have to be talking to bond, and some down time watching a show can be a good way to spend time together. Sitting beside another person can strengthen your physical and emotional bond because they are there for you. Plus you can decide together what show to watch, creating a common excitement for what will happen next.
3. Car Rides
Taking a drive whether that be a 3 mile or 300 mile joy ride is a great way to open up. If you want the other person to open up, then make sure that they drive because the driver has both hands on the wheel and unable to have technology interfere. And if the driver tries to take out their phone, all you have to do is express, “I feel safer if you pay attention to the road. You can always look at your phone when we get back.” They should understand the safety factor and only focus on you and the road the rest of the ride.
Try baking together. Cookies are simple and who doesn’t like a warm chocolate chip cookie? Everything about them is tempting, the cookie dough, the aroma when baking, and the warmth and gooeyness of the cookie when they come right out of the oven. Baking cookies isn’t rocket science either. Even if you have to cheat and use the Betty Crocker mix, it is still great! It’s not the cookie itself that matters, it’s the quality time of the activity.
5. Community Service
Community Service is often overlooked and forgotten. Volunteering together at the Open Door Mission hanging clothes or serving food in the kitchen is great for strengthening and deepening your relationship. It may take a little effort to find opportunities, but there are many in Omaha, NE you just have to be willing to get up and go. It’s worth it to serve together!
6. Take a Walk
Go on a walk together. It can be as simple as walking around your neighborhood, or going for a hike at the local nature center, or even going to the Zoo. Where doesn’t matter. What matters is the who and what you talk about. If it’s your significant other or child, walk holding their hand. All that they have to do is walk and talk with you. This is a great way to spend quality time with someone who you are trying to understand and communicate better with.
7. Pick and Play a Sport
If the person you are with enjoys activities like playing sports, remember that it’s not always a take-take world. Give some time to them and bond over shooting hoops in the driveway or nearby park, kick a ball back in forth, or toss a football in the backyard. This is simple but also powerful for a relationship because you are being active together and making a memory. This is a great choice if you don’t feel like talking or don’t know what to talk about because you can engage in the physical activity.
8. Board Games
When it’s time to get to know a person’s competitive side, play a board game to find out if they are a good winner and / or loser. This is another easy activity that doesn’t have to require a lot of though. You are playing the board game with each other, which will be the center of your conversation. This is also a great way to encourage one another and build them up if they make a good play or move on the board.
Make an Effort
Quit fantasizing about “the perfect relationship” or the “what could be’s” when you can make it your reality by making an effort to bond and develop deeper relationships with those you have already established.
There are many activities, such as the 8 above, that can fuel your personal relationships and build deeper, lasting ones. Take practical steps in not missing out on great bonding opportunities. Rediscover listening to one another face to face without any face to phone action involved.
Deepen Your Relationships
Strengthen your relationships with your spouse, significant other, family, children, and friends. It helps you be a better you. It’s simple to start applying these 8 activities to your life today to develop deeper relationships with the people around you who matter the most.
If you are interested in not only deepening your relationship with your loved ones but with God, Candlewood Church in Omaha, NE is excited about helping you get closer to God. We strive to build strong families, provide a place where people can reach their full potential, and we genuinely care for the needs of our communities. We hope you join us at our Omaha church location. We offer two Sunday services at 9:15am and 11am. Learn more here.