If you’re in that honeymoon beginning stage of your relationship where there are all butterflies and good feelings and lots of affection, it may be tempting to put all your time and energy into your partner. However, maintaining your friendships is equally as important now as when you were single.
Having friendships outside of your relationship is essential, not just for your sake but for your partner’s sake and for the health of your relationship. If you’re struggling with balancing a new relationship with your existing friendships or find it difficult to make friends, BetterHelp has professional resources that can help.
Why are friendships so important, and why do you need friends outside of your partner?
Importance of Friendships
Having meaningful friendships has a significant impact on your mental and physical health. Good friends can improve your overall health and wellbeing, provide support during hard times, and help celebrate the good parts of life.
Your friends help keep you from isolating and being lonely while pushing you to be your best. Strong friendships make you happier and more confident. They help reduce your stress and make you feel like you belong and have a purpose in life.
Friends are some of your biggest supporters and help you cope with the difficult parts of life, such as trauma, loss, death, or death. They also hold you accountable for your actions and encourage you to change your unhealthy habits.
In addition, friends can make you healthier. If you have deep friendships, you are less likely to have depression, be overweight, or have high blood pressure. Friends can help you live longer because they improve your physical and mental wellbeing.
Reasons to Maintain Friendships Outside Your Romantic Relationship
It is tempting to spend all your free time with your partner when you’re in a relationship. While you should be friends with your partner, you need to have friends outside of your relationship.
Our relationships reflect who we are. When we have different types of relationships, whether romantic, platonic, or friendships, we start to view ourselves from various perspectives. In addition, each relationship we have provides a different type of support.
Having various relationships and connections with different people that relate to you differently can add joy, laughter, inspiration, and clarity to your life. They can also fulfill different needs than your partner can.
There are many reasons why you need to maintain friendships and hobbies outside of your relationship. In this article, we’ll focus on six of them.
1. Friends Keep You Accountable
Romantic relationships are challenging. Conflict can arise no matter how long you’ve been with your partner. Whether you’re struggling to communicate with your partner, establish boundaries, or define household roles, friends you trust can give you advice.
If you’re in a relationship, it’s crucial to have friends who are also married because they understand the difficulties of relationships. In addition, because they know relationship dynamics, your friends in a relationship can offer an unbiased perspective on conflicts within your own.
Your friends can hold you accountable when you make a mistake and encourage you to apologize to your partner if needed. In addition, they can offer a safe space to talk through the hard times. By being a safe space, you can have the time away from your partner you need to cool down and reflect, making it easier for you to treat your spouse with compassion and love.
2. Friends Can Encourage You
By holding you accountable, your friends can also be a source of encouragement and support. When life gets hard, and you can’t decide whether your relationship is worth the work, having friends can encourage you to weather the storm.
Your friends can lift you up when you need a self-esteem boost. They can also support you when your partner isn’t available. Whether you need someone to help watch your kids, provide occasional meals, or be there for you, your friends are only a phone call away.
While your partner should be a source of support and should meet your needs, there are times when they are unable to. Having friends won’t make you feel alone and abandoned when your partner is busy, away, or going through their own difficulties.
In addition, relationships are more likely to last if there is encouragement and support from others outside of them.
3. Friends Keep Life Fun
You have different hobbies than your partner. Even though you may have some activities you enjoy doing together, you both have your own interests as well. For instance, your partner may be athletic and enjoy playing sports; you may enjoy going shopping or crafting.
Having friends who share the same hobbies you do allows you to spend some time away from your partner while being refreshed and refilled. In addition, pursuing your hobbies makes you a more well-rounded person and can create conversation starters with your partner.
4. Friends Help You Stay True to Yourself
In addition to giving you time and space to pursue your hobbies, your friends help you stay true to yourself. They make sure you’re not sacrificing who you are or your values to satisfy your partner. Your partner should give you room to live your own life and engage in activities you love.
You must have friends that are willing to call you out when you start changing who you are. A relationship should be two individuals committed to growing together and working through the hard times. By being true to who you are, you allow your partner to enjoy the person they fell in love with while giving them permission to be who they are as well.
5. Friends Reduce Codependency
When you rely on your partner to meet all your needs, you become codependent. If you make your partner your only source of support and friendship, your relationship will be unhealthy. Once your whole world revolves around your partner and you start cutting your friends and family out of your life, you risk losing yourself in your relationship.
In addition, if you’re in a codependent relationship, you may attach your identity to your partner. When conflict starts to develop, your self-esteem may plummet, and you may worry your partner will leave you. If your relationship does end, you may lose yourself completely and have a hard time finding your way out of the sadness.
6. Friends Keep You Connected
Humans are meant to be connected to others. The more connections you have, the more fulfilled and happier you are. Having close friendships with people with similar values makes you feel more loved, secure, and peaceful.
As mentioned, a community provides support and encouragement. By being part of a community, you can offer others the same support and encouragement.
Whether you’ve been in a relationship for years or are still in the beginning phases, making time for friends is essential. Having your own set of friends and friends you share with your partner is beneficial for you, your partner, and a lasting relationship.
Having supportive friends with similar values, morals, and experiences can add support and be a source of life-giving energy for your relationship. The key is finding the balance between spending time with your partner and your friends.
Establishing boundaries and enjoying time spent with your partner and friends leads to greater happiness and a longer, more fulfilling life.