Love

Why You Shouldn't Put Your Relationship Before Your Friendships

Photo: DavideAngelini / Shutterstock
group of women friends

By Larissa Martin

I haven’t been in many romantic relationships, but I have seen my friends in them over the years.

Unfortunately, I’ve also seen a fair share of these friends prioritize their partner over their friends (especially in the honeymoon phase).

Usually, I’ve taken a backseat while my friends were in relationships. However, when things would go south, I was there to help them through it.

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At the beginning of many relationships, people become slightly obsessed with their partners; that’s understandable. But I don’t think people should prioritize their relationships over their friends.

This signals to your friends that your romantic relationship is more important than your friendships. This can also make your friends view you as selfish. It can even lead to the end of some very important friendships — it did for me.

I lost a best friend because of it, and we didn’t speak for four years. We finally reconnected last year, and we’re in a better place now. And this situation taught me a lot.

Do I think it’s important to dedicate time to your partner? Absolutely.

But you shouldn’t make it your sole focus because it means you’re neglecting other parts of your life, like the people and things that deserve just as much attention.

Your intentions may be good at first, but eventually, you’ll realize that both you and your partner need to spend time apart sometimes in order to grow as individuals.

If your romantic relationship is taking control of your life, it might be time to re-evaluate whether it’s healthy and worth continuing. In the end, no single relationship should come before everything else in your life.

When people get into relationships, especially in the beginning, they tend to go all in.

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For many people, their partner becomes their whole world — a world talked about non-stop to friends and family.

Your friends can tell when you’re preoccupied with thoughts of this new person. They also see when you’re texting your significant other back and forth while you’re supposed to be hanging out with your friends.

And this rude behavior signals to your friends that they aren’t important and that your partner comes first. I know this feeling because I’ve experienced it countless times over the years.

It’s very important to remember you had friends before your relationship. Don’t forget to prioritize them along with your romantic relationships because when you have problems with your partner, you’re going to need your friends’ support.

It all comes down to balance. Don’t live solely for one relationship that’s taking over your life. Remember who you were before you found your person.

Make time for your partner but make time for your friends, too.

Show them that they matter and don’t let them feel forgotten when someone new comes into your life.

If more people set these boundaries and priorities within their relationships, fewer people would feel like the third wheel. And a lot more friendships would still be intact when (and if) your romantic relationship comes to an end.

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Larissa Martin is a writer whose work has been featured on MSN, Yahoo Lifestyle, Thrive Global, Unwritten, YourTango, and The Mighty.

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This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.