You have heard it before – When one of your good friends gets in a relationship, he becomes “less fun,” according to some of your mutual friends. Because he or she is dedicated their time to their significant other, they simply have less time to focus on hanging out with the friends they had before they entered the relationship.
But what if you are entering a relationship and worried that this might happen to you? Well, it does not have to happen – that part is a myth. But it still can happen if you are putting too much energy into the relationship and not enough into your normal life. To keep friendship fresh on your mind, let’s take a look at five benefits friendships bring to the table even while you’re in a relationship.
Benefit #1: Some time apart can be a good thing. Not apart from your friend; apart from your significant other! Even though you should be able to spend lots of time with your significant other in a healthy relationship and not get on each others’ nerves all the time, it still can help you build a healthy relationship if you simply carry on with your life as usual in a variety of ways. One of these ways is simple: hanging out with the friends you’ve always hung out with. You’d be surprised at how sprinkling in some “time apart” can keep the spark in your relationship strong.
Benefit #2: Having friends reduces neediness. Neediness can be a killer in a relationship – both for men and women. It can make either party feel less attracted to the other, it can make the relationship less healthy, and can ultimately lead to a break-up. Having friends helps you feel socially validated and therefore less needy. After all, if you get your only real social fix from your significant other, that’s not a good thing.
Benefit #3: Friends bring something to the table. Of course, having friends isn’t only good for each member of the relationship on their own – it can also enhance the relationship itself. Getting out with a group of mutual friends can be a great way to spend some time together without feeling like it’s solely “time together.” Whether you’re traveling, camping, going out to dinner, seeing a movie – it all contributes to a healthy and active social life that both of you can enjoy. And when a friend invites you to use their boat, their cabin, or treats you to dinner – well, those perks don’t hurt, either.
Benefit #4: Friends offer a stabilizing force. When it’s just you and your significant other hanging out all the time, things change. You notice each others’ habits too much, you come to rely on their opinion too heavily – in short, it’s not always a healthy thing. But friends can offer a stabilizing force, offering you advice and presence that you simply can’t get from a significant other no matter how healthy your relationship is.
Benefit #5: Friends allow you to give. Thus far, all of the benefits have been about getting value from friends. But feeling happy is not all about getting – it can also be about giving. Sharing time with friends and being generous back at them is a great way to feel fulfilled and happy. And when you’re feeling fulfilled and happy, it has a positive effect on your relationship.
- By Staff