Communication is the binding force that keeps people together, allowing them to work together, to share ideas, to build and develop relationships and to reaffirm their commitment to each other. Unfortunately, it is also a skill which requires constant attention and effort to keep those lines of communication open, active and interesting.
The best option is always to talk directly with them. Sitting down in peaceful and calm surroundings, focussing your full attention on them and talking openly and honestly about those things that matter to you both is the most immediate way of maintaining and developing that special connection. Each of these facets is an important factor in good communication. Calm and peaceful surroundings ensure that there are no interruptions or distractions, allowing you to concentrate on the person you are with. Giving them your full attention is critical to any communication. There is nothing as disruptive as to feel that the other person is not hearing you, is ignoring half of what you are saying, or is thinking about something else. And maintaining openness and honesty is critical. Hiding information or offering false information can only encourage distrust and disbelief in the long run, greatly risking the long term destruction of whatever bonds have already been formed.
This is as true for maintaining a good business relationship as for developing a close personal relationship.
However, even when you cannot always be together, there are a whole series of other options to ensure that the lines of communication remain open, and active. There is no doubt that modern technology has provided us with a myriad of new and different ways for people to stay in touch with each other, whether this is by telephone, email, instant messaging, forum blogging or via social web sites, but all of these are merely ways for people to meet one another, and means for you to remain in touch with one, or many, of their circle of friends.
Text messaging ensures that you can always send a short message to a friend to remind them that you are thinking of them, and that they are important to you. Email allows you to send creative messages to anyone in the world, expressing your thoughts and feelings in your own personal way, and with the option to include music and pictures to make the message a pleasure to receive, potentially to keep until you are back together again. Even a simple note, left where the person will find it at some later time (in the car, on their computer at work, or included as part of their lunch) can provide a welcome reminder of your shared bond and that they are always in your thoughts.
So there are many and varied ways to use any of these options to re-affirm and develop your relationships with friends, but especially with that special person in your life.
The key for each of us is to be actively involved in that communication, to be offering our own input, our own ideas and passions, and not merely remaining passively on the outside. Real communication requires you to be active, to be vocal and expressive, but also to be willing to listen as well.