Lifestyle

Finding A Balance Between Friends, Family and Your Partner

Phaytea’s Pulse is participating in the A to Z Challenge for April 2018. The Theme is ‘Building and Sustaining a Meaningful Relationship’ and ‘Finding A Balance Between Friends, Family and Your Partner’ is our entry for letter F. This challenge will run for 26 days in April except Sundays. Please stop by the blog daily for subsequent posts as we read the letters of the alphabet together. Enjoy.

The need to sustain a balanced relationship between our friends, family and partner have become an important issue that cannot be overlooked. Males and females alike have lost their identity just because of a partner’s preference and this have burnt bridges that may never be fixed.

Some days ago, I read a story shared by a lady who had to deal with depression because her bestfriend abruptly stopped communicating with her.

Picture this – A and B have been bestfriends for a long time. They basically did everything together, from vacations, attending events, flatmates at a point, meeting family e.t.c.

Suddenly, B stopped contacting A without any explanation. A tried to find out if she had done anything wrong but didn’t get an answer. A managed to pass that phase and only found out months later that B stopped communicating with A because B’s boyfriend wanted B to choose who to spend more time with. At this point, B had ended her relationship with the boyfriend but it was too late, A had moved on and was in a good place.

At the end of the story, it felt like a script from a movie and I had all kinds of emotion running through me. I was angry that B would yield to losing years of friendship because of a boyfriend. I was even more angry that B’s boyfriend could be so manipulating.

This is just one out of many instances like this. A lot of individuals in a relationship are being made to choose between family or partner, friend or partner and even friend or family.

While I know people have personal reasons for making decisions, it is important to also realise that everyone in our life has a role to play. As an individual, we need family, we need friends and we also need our partner. They may not all have equal amount of significance but they definitely have unique importance.

It is the duty of every individual to find a balance between handling family, friends and a partner. This also involves making sure that no party feels abandoned. In the long run, it creates a rift in relationships that could have been beautiful and sometimes one might lose all including one’s self.

A common scenario is reducing time spent with your friends when you start a relationship and trying to jump right back into their arms when the relationship falls apart.

Another scenario is, avoiding single friends once you get married because somehow, you think they will influence your behaviour.

Whatever reason you have for making a decision, always ensure you are not burning bridges because you may have to take that route again. Every relationship is important and to ensure you are not losing any, here are some ways you can create a balance between your friend and your partner:

Set A Different Time To Spend With Friends And Your Partner.

The start of a new relationship comes with so much excitement and there is tendency to spend a lot of time with your new partner. From experience, this is true but another true fact is, there were also people who you previously shared your day with.

It is unrealistic to totally abandon old friendships because of a new one. It is even worse to abandon family for either friends or partner. To ensure the sustainance of meaningful relationships, plan days to conveniently spend time with your friends without living your partner disoriented and vice versa.

Share your plan with your partner so that he/she does not plan a surprise activity and then you are absent. Let your friends know early enough if you cannot make the spa date. Tell family ahead of time if you cannot make it at Christmas the offer to reschedule.

Never assume any party will understand your absence just because they did not speak about it. Talk about an invitation you missed or plan to turn down.

Show That You Respect Every Relationship You Have.

This is what I think, a partner can only tell you to stop communicating with friends or family when you suggest that they are not a significant part of your life. You might have dropped unconscious clues as to how they tire you out and this might my picked up as not caring about them as much.

To ensure you are not being misunderstood, talk about your friends and family in good light especially if you need your partner to respect what you have. This goes both ways do not talk about your partner in a condescending tone unless you want friends and family to do same.

If a guy makes it a habit to talk to his friends about his girlfriend in a negative manner and without respect, his friends will pick up that behaviour sooner or later.

Remember Special Dates Of Friends and Partner.

If you have always celebrated birthdays and milestones together, ensure this does not change. If you will be unavoidably absent, make an effort to call or send a video across. This gets rid of the notion that new events have overtaken your previous relationship.

You must also put in effort to ensure that your partner, friends and family know you truly care by acknowledging their special dates. It can be a lot of work, but if they truly matter to you, it will not feel like a chore.

Plan Joint Dates.

From weddings to Christmas lunch to joint vacations and outing, it is sometimes necessary to have everyone that is important to you in one room. If you will be hosting, get everyone you really care about to be present.

This definitely builds and sustains individual relationships, it promotes friendship, builds trust and leaves everyone happy and accepted.

Discuss Boundaries

This is a bit dicey but then again, it is important to discuss boundaries with your friends and your partner too.

A most recent example is from Big Brother Nigeria which is still on going. A lady and her love interest started to have issues when her love interest allowed every other girl in the house to either sit on his laps or touch him ‘inappropriately’. The guy did not think much of this but the lady found this very disrespectful. By the time she decided to discuss boundaries, things had gone really sour between them. Her presentation was also a huge turn off as she appeared to be domineering.

Related: Communication Errors That Can Hurt Your Relationship

A lot of lessons can be picked from this narration. If you have a partner, talk about everything, discuss boundaries especially if you will be attending public events together. Talk about how much alcohol to consume so that the ride home can be hitch free, talk about what respect means to you, talk about the conversations that should be kept private e.t.c

Related : Boundaries in Relationships (What To Talk About)

Do not abandon signification relationships because of a new one. Your important relationships can be sustained, you only need to find a balance and make sure they do not compromise your goal.

Share your thoughts

How do you find a balance between Friends, Family and your Partner?

Have you ever lost a friend because of a new relationship?

I will like to read from you

Evolving

16 Comments

  • Jasmin N

    I’ve always been good at balancing all of these well. Although, I used to have a close friend who disappeared from everyone after she started going out with her boyfriend at the time. Didn’t hear anything about her for years, then received an invitation for her wedding. Probably because I invited her to mine, but she didn’t show up so I kind of didn’t show up to hers either. I hope she’s doing well though.

    • Phaytea

      Good to know you’ve been able to find a way to balance both easily.. fingers crossed* your friend is doing well

  • Karoliina Kazi

    I’ve been pretty good with keeping the balance with all these relationships, but it has not always been easy. I find it quite natural that when a friend or family member meets a new boyfriend/girlfriend that they are MIA for little while – as long as they don’t dissapper completely 🙂

  • helenevlacho

    Balance is the key, exactly! And setting bundaries can also work in some cases. It’s nice to have friends in and out of the relationship!

  • Dreamer Achiever

    I wish I would have read this when I started dating my ex! I basically lost a lot of friends because of him. However, I’m happy I’ve learned from many of my mistakes and I’d say that nowadays there is a pretty good balance between friends, family and my fiancee. I could probably spend even more time with my friends but my busy schedules are making it quite hard sometimes.

  • Beth Berger

    This can be tough, especially when a relationship is new and you want to spend all your time with your new SO. I definitely lost a friend because of a new relationship. Thankfully, we were able to reconnect a few years later (after I’d realized the error of my ways!!) and pick back up where we left off (well, after some apologizing on my part).

  • Alicia

    Thanks for the tips. It can be hard to find a balance and I know that the scenario you spoke about with person A and person B is actually quite common. I value my friends dearly but I also realise that my husband is more important to me than any friend I have ever had. He is my best friend.

  • Tiffany Khyla

    Making sure I maintain my close friendships in spite of having an S/O is so, so, so important to me. It’s crucial to find balance and make sure you make enough time for everyone who cares about you. This post has some great tips!

  • Gary

    Balance is always something that escapes the present and haunts the future. Realising too late something you are doing now might cause deleterious consequences later on. Early romance is never mindful really. Caught up in a wave of emotion. Ties can be cut with friends really easily there. Time causes the damage and as you say, people move on. It’s hardly ever the same going back after as often trust has been breached. Close friends neglected aren’t so willing to undergo hurting on your behalf again.

    So hard to be mindful at the time though. It also happens in low mood and depression. Isolating from friends, feeling ashamed to speak out.

    Both scenarios are bad outcomes not just for the friends, but also for ourselves.

    Great post and it certainly made me think about balance failures of my own!

  • Lisa Orchard

    I struggle with this, too. It’s hard when you only have so many hours in the day and you have so much you want to accomplish. It’s important to set your priorities. You’ve offered some great advice. 🙂

  • krish

    Maintaining balance is the right way in keeping different relationships going….bit of jealousy or feeling if neglect does tends to creep.in at times specially during young age..setting boundaries will.help for sure
    Very nice article..

  • Ingrid

    It is a challenge to find that balance in your relationship among your husband, your friends, and your relatives. I agree that setting up and discussing boundaries would go along way to addressing this issue

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