Relationships are an essential part of life—as the age-old saying goes, “No man is an island.” No one can survive on their own without having someone to talk to, spend time with, or love (whether platonic, romantic, or familial). From the day we were born, we’ve already had relationships with our families—and as we grew older, this circle grew, as we now have friends, significant others, and sometimes, children of our own. However, it isn’t always easy to keep things peaceful for any relationship; there will always be clashes, misunderstandings, and at times, fights.
But we should always try and find a way to keep our relationships healthy, peaceful, and loving, especially this February as we celebrate Relationship Wellness Month. My Pope lists some advice from Pope Francis himself, from his document ‘Amoris Laetitia’, on maintaining loving relationships.
Make time for each other
In this fast-paced world, we tend to get caught in the hustle and bustle of life. Work and school can admittedly take up the majority of our time, but that shouldn’t be the case for our personal relationships. No matter how busy we might be, Pope Francis says that we have to make time for our loved ones. “Time is needed to appreciate one another and to build a stronger relationship,” Pope Francis adds.
Sometimes, all we need is someone to listen to our problems and rants about life. It’s comforting to know that another person is willing to listen and acknowledge our problems without judgment. According to Pope Francis, “Often the other spouse does not need a solution to his or her problems, but simply to be heard.” And that’s one thing you can do for your loved ones, listen intently, and acknowledge their dreams and struggles.
Never go to bed angry
Clashes are unavoidable in any relationship, as everyone has differing opinions on issues that are sometimes on opposite sides of the spectrum. But no one should end the day without making peace in the relationship. It isn’t a good feeling to sleep with a heavy heart. Pope Francis says, “And how am I going to make peace?… Just a little caress, no words are necessary.” But he also emphasizes the importance of saying sorry and the acknowledgment of the other’s perspective and your mistakes.