Keeping your Friendships when Starting a New Relationship

Do you kick your friends to the curb when you are in a relationship and then expect them to be there for you when the relationship doesn’t work out?  If you do, you are treading on very thin ice.  It is easy to have tunnel vision when a relationship is first starting and to spend all your time and put all your focus on your new-found beau.  If you find yourself spending every waking minute (and every sleeping minute) with your new found love, you need to take a step back and rethink some things.

First and foremost, are you being true to yourself?  In the “la-la” phase of any relationship, it is easy to put all of your partner’s needs and happiness before you own.  But beware if this is the cycle that continues throughout a long-term relationship.  Did you stop doing things you enjoy?  Do you still have an identity?

Do you still have friends or did you kick them to the curb?  Make it a point, a priority, to spend time with your friends. Your friends were your friends prior to your relationship, and if your relationship doesn’t work out, your friends will still be your friends.  Well, maybe.  That depends if you still have time for them or not.  If your partner has a problem with you keeping your friendships intact, your partner needs to get over it and accept it.  Your friends can give you honest insight to their opinions on your new found love life.  They may be able to see warning signs that you don’t see or awesome, heartfelt things your new partner does that you are too “gaa-gaa” to notice due to the newness of the relationship.

While you and your partner may hang out with your friends, be sure to have time for your friends one-on-one as well. There is nothing sadder than someone dropping their friends because they found someone new to date or commit to.  If things go badly in your relationship, can you really expect your friends to come running to comfort you if you had no time for them during your relationship?

There is a balance that you have to create that will allow you to give to your partner while holding on to your friends, while holding on to yourself.  Commitment is not a word that only applies to your relationship with a member of the opposite sex.  You should also be committed to your friends.  If you have to schedule time with your friends, do it. Speak up for yourself.  Being in a romantic relationship is an awesome thing; however, so is friendship that stands the test of time.

Be respective of your partner’s desires to be with friends as well.  Do not live your life for anyone but yourself. And do not expect your partner to live life for anyone but himself or herself.  For real, would you do any of these things while falling head over heels in love?

  • Go for a weekend visit to another town at a friend’s request?
  • Go skydiving for the first time?
  • Spend a Saturday night with your nieces and nephews while your siblings have a date night?
  • Mow your parents’ grass on a Friday afternoon and spend the evening with them?
  • Go on a shopping trip or a fishing trip with your two best friends during a three-day weekend?

If you answer truthfully, probably not.  Why not?  These are things you probably have done many times before Mr. or Ms. Wonderful arrived on scene.  It is important to continue doing what you did prior to your new relationship.  Why? Because (and you don’t want to hear this) if it ends, you still are connected to others in your life who matter and who care about you.  If you stop doing everything you like to do and only spend time with your new love interest, you could end up alone with no support and no friends when/if it all falls apart.

The staff at the Relationship Center of Orange County can help you work through these issues and others stemming from things you do as the result of a new love interest.  Our trained professionals can give you advice and help you see the advantage of keeping strong friendships throughout your life.  Use our online tool to schedule your appointment today or call our office at (949) 430-7353 to make an appointment that fits your schedule.

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