Forging & Maintaining Meaningful Relationships — The Personal Side

I am old enough to have experienced several seasons of life. Some life seasons are easier to forge and maintain relationships in than others. In my late teens and early 20s I felt like I had all the time in the world to forge relationships. During grad school, while working, interning and taking classes simultaneously, I had very little time to forge new relationships and not much more time to maintain the ones I already had. Nowadays, the amount of time I have to invest in relationships is more balanced—somewhere between the amount of time I had in my 20s and my “crazy busy” grad school years.

So, how about you? How much time and resources do you have to invest in relationships in this season of your life? Do you have meaningful relationships with people you can confide in and count on—in good times and in bad?

If you find yourself lacking in the relationship department, here are a handful of possible reasons for this:

1)      Your season of life: Maybe you are very busy and do not have much time to invest in relationships. Or, perhaps you just moved somewhere and are still in the process of meeting people. Maybe you just had a baby and are too exhausted to even think about relationship stuff outside of your immediate family.

2)      It’s you: Sometimes we have trouble forging and/or maintaining relationships because of personal reasons. Maybe you are shy, depressed or have low self-esteem. Maybe you are extremely introverted. Or, perhaps you have never had an emotionally healthy relationship and do not know how to forge one because you are unsure what that looks like. 

3)      It’s them (and maybe you too—a little): Do you feel like it is impossible to find quality people who will make good friends? Do you have a long history of ending up in relationships with negative people who hurt you? It is impossible to have healthy, thriving relationships with people who have major emotional issues. As the saying goes, “hurting people hurt people.”
While “the problem” (not being able to have a healthy relationship) lies with them, it may also suggest that you need some insight into the underpinnings of your relationship history as well.  A good therapist can help you gain awareness into why this pattern exists in your life and how to stop it.

No matter what stands in the way of you engaging in healthy, thriving, long-term relationships, a trained mental health counselor can help you. She can provide emotional support and a safe space for you to identify and process your feelings in any season of life. She can help you identify any barriers preventing you from fully engaging and investing in life relationships. And, a psychotherapist can teach you the skills and practices needed to identify and attract good relationship partners AND maintain those relationships throughout all seasons of life. 

Human beings were made for relationships—to know and be known. If you are missing out on the vital life experience of honest, authentic relationships, a licensed mental health counselor can help you.  Moreover, if you are having relationship trouble of any type and would like to speak with a trained mental health counselor, please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey