Some of us have friends and some of us have friends and a significant other. Some of us have friends and multiple significant others- but we're not going to talk about that.
There has been this ongoing debate in regards to the role of friends within your romantic relationships. Some people feel what happens in a relationship should stay between the involved parties and it concerns no one else. Others feel that relationships are more or less "communal," meaning if your dating someone, you have to expect other people in this person's life to be involved in one way or another.
As the friend in this scenario, I think there is a beautiful way to blend these two opposing sides without anyone overstepping boundaries or being negligent/inconsiderate.You see, relationships don't exist in a vacuum - you and your relationship aren't the only things in the world and sometimes one may need an outside perspective into their internal romance.
Relationships aren't perfect and sometimes you can get stuck. You might not be able to speak to your partner about what's going on because they might be the problem. It's the way of life. We fight and we argue. Sometimes we need others to talk us off the ledge and talk us through our problems before we combat them.If you have really strong friendships, then you come to them for help as you should. However, one must be careful when getting relationship advice from people who are not in their relationships.
You have to make sure the people you are seeking advice from actually care about you.
This is about making sure your friends are actually your friends and have your best interest at heart. When faced with a problem, we have to make decisions. If you are asking for someone else's input and they do not care about you, they can influence you to make the wrong decisions. Our friends aren't all-knowing beings, but if they care about you and care about your relationship, they'll help you make the best decision possible. Sometimes are friends say things that we don't like, but try to see whether that's coming from a place of love or malice.
There have to be boundaries.
Your relationship does not consist of you, your partner and your squad- whether your squad is your friends or family. These parts of your life can come in contact with one another and they should. But bare in mind these relationships can and should exist separately and one should not threaten the other. Your friends should not bash your partner, or be on every date. Your partner should not try to infiltrate your friendships nor should they bash your friends. Granted, sometimes you have shared friends and in that case, things might be different. Likewise, sometimes your partner or your friends are seriously trash and there isn't any nice thing to say about them.Nevertheless, understand these dynamics, make sure everyone in your life understands boundaries and make sure you are maintaining healthy relationships.
Advice Giving =/= Decision Making
You can ask for advice. Your friends can talk you through an issue, your partner can talk you through your problems with your friends. That in no way means they make the decisions for you. Your friends should not dictate your relationships with your boo and your boo should not dictate your relationships with your friends. You have to make sure you're in control of your relationships and don't let anyone's influence cloud your decisions. Notice the explicit and subliminal ways this control might manifest itself and nip it in the bud accordingly. Your relationships are for you, not anyone else.
There has to be mutual respect.
Your friends need to respect your boo. Your boo needs to respect your friends. Very simple. One should not have more worth than the other. Everyone in your life should respect one another. Point blank, period. You cannot allow anyone to get away with being straight disrespectful to the other. That's not cool.
Our friendships don't have to be a threat to our romantic relationships. We don't have to give up our boos to make our friends happy. We don't have to give up our friends to make our boos happy and we should never have to. There is a way to find that balance as long as everyone in your life is willing.