During the pandemic, I moved from NYC to my hometown of Vancouver, Canada. I was eager to reconnect with my old community of friends once restrictions lifted. I’d coordinate dinners, host people in my home, and was the one who’d initiate plans.
For a while, I shrugged,
Oh, they’re busy. They have kids so it’s too hard for them to initiate. Or <insert excuse here>.
But I realized, even though they were not showing up in the relationship – I was holding on to the friendships because of history. This would leave me resentful and disappointed. I’ve learned that history alone, is not enough for someone to be in my life in the present and future.
Our relationships require nurturing.
I stopped over-performing in these friendships. I paused before impulsively trying harder to make plans happen. I told some friends how I felt and what I desired. A few stepped it up and our friendship has since grown. And with others, I’ve accepted that they’re no longer part of my inner circle, and that’s okay.
Here’s what I learned is the KEY to relationships: MUTUALITY.
Mutuality means there’s an interactive relationship between two people – a balance of energy and exchange. Without it, you’re in a one-sided relationship with someone who is not in a relationship with you.
Take an inventory of your one-sided relationships.
For the ones where you’re the only one investing, take a step back. Stop taking three steps to make up for their lack of steps. Communicate what you want and give people the opportunity to step up. If they don’t want to, then you have your data.
If you realize you do not make an effort with those you love – take action to nurture the connection. Initiate plans, send flowers, tell them how much you care… do something, anything, then passively wait for people to happen to you.
There is no such thing as not enough time. There is only what you prioritize as important enough for your time.
Invest wisely. Love fully.