As we grow and mature, we gain new relationships as we go on. Some are romantic, while others are friendly. And still others are professional.
When you form relationships, you may wonder: How do I know if my relationships are meaningful?
It’s not always easy to tell, especially since many relationships nowadays are quite superficial. If you’re at a point, however, where you do want to establish meaningful friendships and romantic relationships, there are ways to go about doing so.
Let’s take a look at some questions you can ask to help you tell whether or not your relationships are meaningful.
How Often Do You See Your Significant Other/Friends?
A great way to determine meaning in a relationship is by time spent with the person.
For example, if you’ve been seeing a romantic interest for a few months, how often do you see each other every week? As busy adults, it may not be practical to see one another every day, and that’s okay. However, if you’re only seeing one another once a week or a handful of times a month, then the relationship probably isn’t incredibly meaningful. It takes time and effort to establish intimacy in a relationship. Otherwise, it may easily fizzle out.
You can apply the same logic to friendships. How often do you hang out with certain friends? If it’s not often and limited to drinks after work, then the relationship is probably more of an acquaintanceship.
What Do You Talk About?
Another great way to quantify meaning in a relationship is through your conversation topics. What sorts of things are you talking about?
If you’re telling your partner tidbits about your past, childhood, and more intimate secrets, then that’s a sign you two are getting closer. However, if conversation topics remain a bit superficial, then it could be a sign that the relationship doesn’t have a great deal of depth.
It could also signify that you simply aren’t ready to open up yet—and that’s okay! There is no rush in sharing or talking about things that you don’t want to just yet. However, if you want your relationship to become more meaningful, you should certainly consider what comes up in conversation.
What Do You Do Together?
When you see your partner or friends, are you going out to enjoy some activities together? Or, more often than not, are you simply staying in and watching TV? Both are fine, but a constant stream of TV watching may not feel like a meaningful relationship.
Furthermore, consider sex in your romantic relationship. Does it seem like that’s all there is to it? Again, there’s nothing wrong with having a sexual relationship with someone. Ultimately, though, those that are based solely on sex and not much else are not going to be extremely meaningful.
How Does Your Partner/Friends Make You Feel?
When you like someone, you tend to just know by a feeling. Sure, there are other ways to measure meaning in a relationship, but intuition goes a long way.
After spending time with your partner or friends, do you feel connected? Do you feel a strong sense of compatibility? This feeling alone can often be a great indicator of how meaningful a relationship is (or can be). Even if you’re still uncertain about where the relationship may go, don’t underestimate the natural connection that you may have with someone.
Establishing and Building Meaning In Your Relationships
If you want meaningful relationships but feel as if you don’t have them, it’s definitely not a lost cause. Whether it’s romantic or friendly relationships, really take the time to put yourself out there.
If you don’t spend as much time with people as you’d like, be the one to initiate plans more often. Try to open up more about more personal topics. Make yourself more available to just simply talk to, hang out, or offer a helping hand.
The more effort you put into a relationship and maybe make yourself a little vulnerable, the more you’re opening up the possibility of establishing a deeper connection. Don’t settle for superficial!