We incorrectly learn that the responsibility of the relationship is on us. The question is not "How do I build a relationship with God?" it is "How do I begin to recognize how God is building a relationship with me?" He loves us so that we may live through Him and He live through us.
Our willingness to respond and rest is what ultimately makes the relationship happen because a relationship does take two. But when people think the responsibility of the relationship is ours we will make up or perform practices that we think will help us "get to God" that actually make a real natural relationship impossible. We will attempt to define what the relationship is when God should be doing that. Instead of trying to connect with the true God in spirit we follow performance based practices (religion) which cause us to ignore or write off God's advances towards us.
We can't force God to respond to us and trying to is an attempt to control Him. We can respond to Him and let Him reveal His love to us. Taking this burden that is not ours will lead us to work in vain & severely limit God. "Unless the Lord is the builder of the house (people/relationship) those who labor to build it labor in vain" (Psalm 127:1). "Christ is in charge of God's entire house and we are God's house" (Hebrews 3:6).
Religion puts the responsibility of the relationship on us. It tells us to love God before we explore His love for us. It tells us to work for God as an unquestionable slave master who has already given out His assignments instead of walking with a Father and doing work on that journey with Him when He tells us to.
Human relationships involve people trying to figure things out together. We are equal in that regard. God already has everything figured out. He already knows what is best and has already prepared good things for us to do. If we don't let Him be responsible for the relationship then He will still clean up our messes and work things to our benefit as much as He can (Romans 8:28). His love allows Him to do nothing less.
God is the ultimate expert on life and love that is why we follow Him. Most think of submission to God as obeying the scriptures and avoiding destructive behaviors but submission in the bible means "relational cooperation." It only takes place in a living relationship where God is presenting you with something to cooperate with.
We do have a say in our relationship with God. We can choose love or we can choose self and I don't mean selfishness I mean self-effort. We can let Him be who He wants to be, the greatest love and experience of our life, or we can take the responsibility of the relationship on ourselves thus trying to make Him be who we want Him to be for us in our short-sightedness.
The truth is that it isn't about us giving our lives to God, it is about Him giving His life to us. The difference is a life of recurring misery vs. a life of rich joy.