How to Maintain Friendships in a Relationship

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Nobody wants to be single forever, and almost everyone looks forward to that special moment. The moment where the person you dreamed, prayed and wished for comes and steals your heart away. Most people also have friends who have been there from the beginning. Friends who have been by your side through thick and thin. Friends you’ve grew with and friends who were a shoulder to cry on after your last relationship. I’ve had experience both being the friend that is in a relationship and overwhelmed with maintaining my friendships, and the friend that feels a void from friends who are in a relationship.

Maintaining a friendship while in a relationship doesn’t have to be hard. In most cases, being in a committed relationship requires a lot of time, emotion, and effort that was once distributed in different ways. My belief is that having healthy friendships outside of your relationship is a key to keeping that relationship. Its important to have outlets and maintain individuality. You have to be aware of the relationships that you have with different people and be real about what they contribute to your life.

What happens when the relationship ends and you need your friends? Your expectation is that they are right where you left them. You hold them accountable for the support they are supposed to give you during hard times and 9 times out of 10 they will. Do your part during the relationship to nurture the friendships so they don’t feel like you only need them when you NEED them. I have a few tips that will help you in this effort:

Be considerate.

It’s one thing to go on outings with your friends and significant other, but in my opinion its better to go out with other couples. It’s probably not a good idea to invite your friends with your significant other and struggle managing both types of relationships. Quality time with both is key.  

Understand you are committed not sentenced to life.

Allow yourself to still maintain the life you had before the relationship. Don’t burry yourself in a relationship and lose sight of your personal goals and purpose in the world. Your friends are more likely in for the long haul and will be there before and after if it doesn’t work out. You are not your relationship and the amount of time you invest in your friends is just as important as the amount of time you invest in your partner.

Set boundaries.

The company can be mixed at times, but don’t make it a habit. Appreciate the time alone with both parties. Keep your topics and favorite restaurants special to your friends as you do with your relationship. This will give you something to look forward to when its time for weekly or monthly meet-ups with your friends. It’ll give you time to appreciate each other and yourself.

Again, it doesn’t have to be hard. Losing a friend to a relationship is like losing someone that didn’t pass. It’s a void that can never be replaced. Too many times friends feel unwanted or replaced by a significant other and its not fair when they played such a huge role in your life. Don’t take them for granted.