It is so sweet to have your life partner as your best friend. To have someone in your life everyday that you enjoy traveling with, laughing with, watching shows with, talking about everything to and sharing core values.
It is easy to get in to a pattern where you don’t have much time with other friends.
Today I want us to think about the importance of our other friendships and the many reasons we need to commit to them.
Especially at the front end of relationships we can easily “forget” about our other friends as we enjoy the rush of falling in love. It is normal to want to just be together.
Let’s look at all the many reasons though for intentionally and purposefully nurturing our other friendships. This is focused on what you need but obviously, this is mutual with your friends for what they need too.
1. No one person can meet all your needs. Even if there are times when it feels like all you need is your partner, that is not accurate long-term. This happens regularly - to be fully alive and expressive of your personality there will be experiences that allow for that better than ones with your partner. (I have one girlfriend in particular that can make me laugh like no one else and likely no one else would find what we are laughing about all that funny.)
2. Other perspectives in our lives are vital. If something gets off-track or if you simply want another set of eyes and other opinions, good friends are so essential. If you or your relationship have developed some unhealthy patterns, loving friends can help you with that. Relying on only one person is not fair to either of you.
3. There are things we love to do that our partner doesn’t. Bill would have little to no interest in certain hobbies that I would really enjoy. That presents a great opportunity to nurture a friendship and have fun with a hobby. This captures a little what we call “guy time” or “girls’ night”, etc.
4. When crisis hits we need our friends. We never know when something difficult is coming our way. The crisis can be more ours or can be our partner’s. Either way the usual emotional and physical resources we have to give each other are diminished.
5. When your relationship is threatened or ends, friends are so critical. We need friends who know and like our partner. Many times I have been the person that people turn to to be able to talk through difficult things happening in your marriage or relationship. Almost always they want to know that I’m not going to be thinking badly about their partner. The fact that I can listen without the need or desire to talk about how awful their partner is really matters.
Time with our spouse or partner happens easily and naturally. We live together and so are simply together often. Time nurturing our other friendships has to be planned and intentional. Do yourself a favor and encourage the other friendships in your partner’s life. You can’t be everything for them, nor should you want to be.
As important as “date night” is, friendship time with other friends is also critical to your well-being and the well-being of your life partnership!
Here’s to your friendships!
Until next time,