Last Updated on August 4, 2022 by Joshua Isibor
Making friends and keeping friends is not a big deal until you are in a relationship. You begin to think through various means of how you can manage the multitude of friends you have gathered outside your relationship. Sometimes you try shutting them out, only for life to snap you to the reality that, the world doesn’t revolve around you and your lover.
There are billions of people on earth and thousands circled your life. You get to meet with these guys now and then; in lectures, church, and association. That’s a large variety of persons to relate with. Let’s do a little rewind to when you are not in a relationship, it is very much easier managing new friendships in your relationship than dealing with past friendships.
If you are a social person, you are prone to attract a lot s of friends, which is a very beautiful thing. Extremely social people find it easy to glue people to themselves even unconsciously, they are naturally friend magnets. Such individuals can make friends in one day, at one single meeting or conference, In every single location they’ve lived, they have grooves there. Even though you are not social, there are a group of people you tend to walk closely with most times, you hang out together, share the same lifestyle and everything. Whether you consider them friends or not, these people have become co-shareholders in your life.
The whole situation appears interesting until you enter into an intimate relationship or fall in love. Now one person is placed above many. Your partner appears to be and is much more important than all of them. You are expected to spend more time together, get to know each other, and build intimacy. Still, you don’t want to lose your good friends.
Here, the problem of striking an even balance comes up. This is a highly consequential situation, there could be positives and negatives. The negative part appears to be more glaring, so let’s first look at the negative consequence or impact.
ALSO, READ about the influence of social media on relationships
1. It will slow the growth of your relationship
Every relationship needs time and space to grow, and solidify. When you are entering a relationship, you need time, space, and the right atmosphere for it to germinate and bear good seeds.
If you pack a lot of sand into a plastic bottle to the brim and try adding stone into the same bottle, that stone can’t enter without you pouring out some sand. That’s how it is in a relationship. Your partner needs a very high percentage of you and your time if you decide to share this time with others. It will affect your relationship to a very large extent. You will need to spend more time than necessary building intimacy.
2. It can make your partner feel insecure
Naturally, we tend to want to hold onto something or someone we cherish dearly. You want all or most of the person’s attention and be the chief candidate in the person’s life. Therefore, there’s this overwhelming feeling of insecurity once there are so many other candidates in the person’s life, almost measuring up to your position. You don’t feel the strength of commitment anymore, no matter what your partner does.
Every of your partner’s friend or ally begin to appear as a threat or competition to you. Although insecurity could be an underlying self-esteem problem, it could be re-fired by some actions. A person with this self-esteem problem should be handled with delicate care in a relationship.
3. Breach of privacy
Having a large number of people around you can choke up the private space of your relationship if you don’t manage it well. Some friends can be so poky, they want to know everything that is happening in your relationship, offer counsel, and even take supportive actions. Some even go as far as involving themselves directly in your relationship issues.
Most especially, mutual friends can be quite poky and noisy. As nice as this might appear, it can extinguish the privacy of your relationship and before you can say jack, your relationship is a public affair.
Now we’ve pointed out the negatives, we can now carefully lookout for the positives. Yeah, there are some deep positive impacts friendship could have on your relationship. Some psychologists even advise building friendships as a solution to solve some relationship problems. But why would they give such advice?
1. They prevent you from being over-possessive and over-dependent on your partner
people with self-esteem issues or social problems tend to rope themselves around their partner. It can be very choking to be someone’s all in all. you won’t know until someone tries it on you.
The exasperation and tiredness it brings that you have to give maximum attention and support to one person continually are so intense. But many times, there seems to be no way out of doubling or tripling your commitment.
This is why making many friends are advised in these cases. If you are in this situation, you will want to consider loosening the rope on your partner’s neck and attaching yourself to a few other persons. It will add a very good distraction from putting all of your life’s focus, hope, and expectation on one person. Our life is not just made up of us but the people we allow into it. A few more persons will help you become emotionally independent and stable.
2. Keeps you self conscious
Relationships can be overwhelming. You can be so immersed with feelings for one person that you tend to lose consciousness of yourself, your life, and your dreams. Especially when there is a strong tangle, you have both blended into one another. It can be quite intense. The presence of friends will help keep you in check, and add a little cold to the flames when necessary.
3. Motivates your partner to be committed
Nobody likes competition but the sense of a competitor can be very challenging and motivating. This is not the best way to enhance commitment but it is one sure way. When a person feels there is a likelihood of competitors, it motivates them to double their efforts. I’m not saying making your partner feel jealous will enhance your commitment.
No, that’s a poison and a dangerous spice to add to your relationship. what we are saying is that your partner can be motivated by the friends around you to be up and doing.
Friendship is one of the most beautiful gifts life can ever give you. Hence, you must accept it carefully with both hands carefully outstretched. However, being in an intimate relationship without someone you love is incredibly powerful and beautiful. Handling both isn’t easy, especially when you have a handful of the former.
You just need to draw the line in your friendships, so they don’t encroach into your relationship. This is one big problem many people are having in their relationships, they fail to identify where they are to draw the line, and the relationship ends up failing.
Having many friends outside your relationship is not bad in itself unless you fail to manage them. You need to practice the self-management skill of defining the position of every individual in your life with defined boundaries or borders. If you know you can’t manage the system, avoid keeping many friends.
ALSO, READ HOW TO EXPRESS NEEDS IN A RELATIONSHIP
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