Fulfilling relationships require time, effort, and attention. While communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship—romantic or otherwise—there’s more to finding fulfillment from the people in your life than being a good listener.

If you feel like your relationships are struggling or you aren’t feeling as fulfilled as you want to, don’t expect things to transform overnight.

Taking baby steps toward finding fulfillment is the best way to make changes. Not only will you benefit, but the other people in those relationships will feel more fulfilled and connected, too. It’s a win-win for everyone, but it takes some work.

So, what can you do to make your relationships feel more fulfilling?

Let Go of Expectations

One of the biggest reasons relationships struggle is because people are flawed and they don’t always live up to our expectations.

No matter how close you are with someone, it’s unfair to put unrealistic expectations on their shoulders. No one can read your mind or fully understand what’s expected of them unless you openly communicate your wants/needs.

Even then, if those wants are unrealistic or too much for someone to handle, you’ll end up feeling dissatisfied when they fall short. That’s no fault of their own, but it can cause some disappointment in your relationship.

Instead, let go of your expectations. It’s okay to need things from the people in your life, but make sure you aren’t holding them to unrealistic standards.

Set Boundaries

It might seem like boundaries would push you further away from a friend or partner, but that isn’t necessarily true.

Setting healthy boundaries in any kind of relationship will instill a sense of respect and understanding. You’ll know which lines not to cross, and others will know the same. Not only does that sense of respect make you feel good, but you won’t have to stress out or “walk on pins and needles” around the people in your life.

Don’t let any negative stigmas surrounding boundaries keep you from making yours clear.

Look Inward

If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your relationship, look inward and see what is it that brings you to feel this way.

It’s often easy to point fingers at other people or try to make excuses as to why you don’t feel satisfied. But, starting from within is the best way to go.

Maybe you’re holding onto a grudge from the past. Maybe you’re not speaking up about something you should. Or, you might be letting your own insecurities or self-esteem issues impact your relationship.

The reality is, everyone has flaws, and no one is perfect—that includes you. Instead of playing the “blame game” with everyone else, first look at your own flaws and determine what you might need to change to find more fulfillment in your relationships.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

You’ll never experience a truly fulfilling relationship with someone who is negative all the time. If you’re constantly dissatisfied with someone in your life, talk to them about it. While no one can be happy all the time, those who are always negative or even hurtful can end up doing more harm in your life than good.

In some cases, you might need to cut ties in a relationship for your own well-being. Dealing with toxic individuals never gets easier if they aren’t willing to change.

Surround yourself with people who lift you up and act as a support system. You can do the same for them in return, establishing mutually fulfilling relationships everyone can enjoy.

Keep these ideas in mind to find more fulfillment in your existing relationships and any future ones. Nourishing your relationships is one of the best things you can do for a happier, more satisfying life.

About the Author

Roma Williams is a Houston-based licensed marriage and family therapist, who is also licensed in the states of Georgia, Florida, and California. Her specialties and clinical interests are systems and relationships. Roma enjoys working with couples, including LGBTQ+ and those who live in polyamorous relationships. As an African American woman, Roma has donated time and efforts to causes championing black women and mental health. Roma also enjoys working with individuals on their relationships with themselves and others. Being a California native, and moving to the south in her adult years, Roma has had plenty of experiences that have shaped her cultural development both professionally and personally. In her spare time, Roma enjoys fashion, all things wine, and traveling.

If you are in Houston or in any part of Texas, Georgia, Florida, or California and are ready to work with Roma click here.

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