Why it’s Important to Maintain Friendships in a Relationship

Something that doesn’t get talked about very often is the importance of having friends while in a relationship. It can be easy to get caught up in a new romance and be swept away by the person now occupying your thoughts 24/7. You still need to maintain friendships, though. 

Don’t be “that” person

We all know at least one person who drops their friends the moment they get into a relationship. If they even still talk to you at all, they flake out of everything and basically become a ghost until they’re done with that relationship. Then they come slinking back, pretending they didn’t completely ignore you for weeks to months at a time. 

Don’t be that person. 

Your friends deserve better

It’s not fair to the people who care about you to ignore them when you have someone new to focus on. It hurts even if it’s just a temporary thing. Whatever excuses you make after the fact don’t mean much. Treat them with more respect than tossing them aside like a used napkin.

Dropping all your friends for some girl or guy, even if you end up with that person, isn’t healthy for anyone. It also hurts a lot to be the friend that gets abandoned. It can feel like you aren’t enough, that you aren’t important, and it can feel like you’re 2nd best even after some random stranger from Tinder. 

If for no other reason, that’s why you should want to maintain friendships even in a relationship. 

Healthy friendships will make your relationship healthy too

As much as you love and miss your partner when you’re apart, it’s better not to be glued to their side every day. There isn’t a rule of how much time you should or shouldn’t spend together before taking a break, but it’s important to take a break at some point.

Taking breaks from each other is especially important if you live together. There are multiple benefits to being away from your significant other for a little while.

Gives you an outside perspective

A healthy relationship isn’t without its own problems and conflicts, so maintaining friendships is a great resource for you. Your friends can be others you can go to for support who will allow you to reset and return to your partner with your head on straight.

In the worst-case scenario, you may have a really bad argument with your partner. Even if you love them fiercely, sometimes people can make you want to stab them. Having someone you can open up to about what happened can help you cool off and realize that maybe you overreacted or misunderstood what was happening. Or maybe they can help you realize you were 100% in the right, and you shouldn’t let your partner off the hook easily. 

Even if you don’t have conflicts in your relationship, it’s good to see how other people interact in theirs. Maybe you know a couple who does something that you want to try, or someone notices something off about your relationship. Having fresh eyes and ears to talk to will open you up to new ideas and enhance your relationship in ways you might not expect. 

Keeps you grounded and connected 

A lot of people can feel alone and isolated, even when they’re in relationships with wonderful people. Strong friendships can help you feel less alone and provide a social safety net on your worst days. 

The connections you feel with other people don’t detract from your relationship, and having a community outside your relationship will only help. Not everyone needs to have the same role in your life, and it’s good to have diverse people who know different parts of you that your partner may not know about or understand. 

According to one study, it is apparently normal to lose a couple of friends when entering a new relationship, but that means it’s all the more important to maintain friendships with the people you don’t lose. 

Puts less pressure on your partner

A good partner will always support you in your worst times… But only having one person to support you can mean a lot of work for that one person. If you’re both going through hard times, then what? How do you decide who has it worse or can cope with being the supporter rather than the supported? Being able to go to other people for support is crucial to a healthy relationship. 

As much as we may want them to, one single person cannot fulfill all of our social needs. Trying to make them is honestly a bit cruel. It often also leads to unhealthy, codependent relationships. If you’re unsure why that’s bad, check out our blog explaining codependency and why you should avoid it. 

On a lighter note, there are other good reasons to take some time apart and keep strong friendships with others. Taking time apart, even with other loved ones, can make the time you spend together even more special too.

Friendships help you explore more parts of yourself 

It’s pretty common for people to show different parts of themselves when they’re around different people. I know there are parts of me that I tone up or down depending on the crowd I’m with. If you’re around the same person all the time, those other parts of yourself can be forgotten.

Losing friends can be the same as losing pieces of yourself. Maintain friendships for your friends, your partner, and most importantly, yourself. 

It’s normal to have different interests from your significant other

As much as I love my partner, there are things that they love that I don’t and vice versa. Just because they’re obsessed with a certain band and I’m not doesn’t mean we aren’t meant to be. It’s normal for us to have differing interests. It would be weird if we didn’t have any.

Even though I enjoy listening to my partner talk passionately about the things they love, if those things don’t interest me, it’s hard to contribute to the conversation. We can all admit it’s a lot more fun to talk about the things we love with others who also love them and even over-talking about them with the people we love. 

Exploring our passions and sharing them with friends who share those passions is something we should all desperately hold onto. It’s a special bond that frees a piece of you that may not come out very often. 

If you don’t have anything like that currently, you never know when a friend might introduce you to something that will do it for you. 

At the end of the day, there are a lot of reasons to maintain friendships. Do it for them, do it for your relationship, and do it for yourself.

What do you think is the worst part about losing friends when they enter relationships?

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