Friendship is not background noise to your love life!!!! Friends are not secondary characters in your romance plot!!!!
Fall in love with your friends! Treat them well! Treasure your friendships!
i feel like the people who have the toughest time getting over a breakup are the ones who treat friendships like background noise.
Okay yes but not everyone has a lot of friends or wants a lot of friends. people move a lot or are just private people or don’t like to talk about their love lives. I’m very close to my partner just because there is so much else going on in my life with my mental illness, school, financial troubles. I’ve never lived in one place for more than 2 or 3 years. Everyone I’m remotely close with lives far away so I don’t speak to them on a regular basis. As for people who have trouble getting over a relationship - I think that has more to do with co-dependecy or with lack of self-love/self-esteem than with not valuing your friends. I’m not saying it’s wrong to treasure your friendships but I do think that on this website we tend to place the onus on lonely people that they are lonely. It takes me years to feel comfortable opening up to people. I’ve been accused of not valuing my friends by people who I did not consider myself close to and who felt they were entitled to my time and feelings. So yea value your friends (if you have them) and love on them but also don’t grab onto people and expect them to approach friendship the same as you. Friendships can be just as toxic as romantic relationships and I’ve been the victim of too many manipulative friendships to buy into this “uteruses before duderuses” crap.
so i actually disagree with none of the points you made. some relationships shift and supersede others—romantic over friendships—for valid reasons you’ve already mentioned. ultimately, it is not my place to judge how someone manages his or her relationships when i’m not privy to the dynamics of their personal life.
that said, i feel like you are projecting and twisting my comment that’s equally reflective of my personal experiences, as much as your arguments are of your’s. i (proudly) have a relatively small circle of friends, and have had my fair share of manipulative friendships, but my point has little to do with how many friends you have, ‘girl power’, or how much time you spend with your friends—toxic ones notwithstanding—once you’re in a romantic relationship. it’s about maintaining balance among your support network; being able to lean in to those friendships even when a romantic relationship has rightfully earned that center in your life.
also, when i reflect on my experiences in dating/intimacy/heartbreak, and those of my friends, i feel secure stating that i think there is a correlation between a lack of supportive friends and co-dependency in relationships. that’s not a condemnation, but it’s a reminder—to myself, if no one else—to maintain that balance.
when i started dating this past fall, yes, time management did shift and some friendships (that weren’t significant to begin with) did fall into the periphery, but that shift hasn’t minimized the importance of friendships in my life. quite the contrary; that experience made me realized how important friendships are (which is not to say that who my friends are can’t change). my friends helped put my experiences in dating AND life in perspective.
I feel you, and I agree with you, and I think I’ve seen enough of your posts to understand where you are coming from. I also don’t necessarily disagree with the original post (by no means do I think that you should treat friends poorly), but I do get this very 16 year old bff vibe from a lost of posts like this and it rubs me the wrong way. Balance is important! Maintaining friendships is important! But supporting your friends in their romantic endeavors (if they are romantic people, not everyone is) is also important, and not everyone who says that they are your friend (especially when you are in your teens or 20s) are worth keeping around.
My partner was my very good friend for a long time before we started dating. We both struggle with mental health and trying to make it through life on a liberal arts degree. We have a lot in common that way and work to support each other. When we started dating, a handful of my college acquaintances/former roommates began showing this very nasty, judgmental side and lashed out at him under the guise of protecting me. They made assumptions about his character and intentions, while simultaneously taking advantage of him (Caleb is a very eager to please person and has a car, a dangerous combo in NYC).
I don’t speak to most of these people anymore, and when I first broke off the friendship they made me feel like I was the one betraying them, that I was selling out to be a gooey girl with happy feelings who lived with a boy and didn’t appreciate my girlfriends. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have continued being friends with these people after college anyways, we would have drifted apart because they didn’t respect me and we didn’t have that much in common besides attending the same school. On the other hand, my friends who voiced their concerns about my relationship early on yet stuck by me and supported my choices are the ones I’m inviting to my post-elopement party next summer.
I love the idea that we need to nurture platonic relationships the same way that we feel compelled to nurture romantic ones. If that’s the case, however, we should also look for abuse/manipulation red flags in platonic relationships. We need to hold our friends accountable the same way our friends keep telling us to hold our significant others accountable. Make sure that the people you surround yourself with and who you care about treat you the same way, and don’t let anyone (your parents, your spouse, your friend…) discount your wishes out of some misguided attempt to protect you. That’s not love, and that’s not support, and you don’t owe those people an explanation or your time.