You can’t choose your family, but you can most certainly choose your friends. The bonds of friendship can grow to be stronger than those between family members as friends are the people who often know us inside out, they have been there through every high and low and they refuse to judge us, accepting all our weird quirks and ways. This is why I am surprised that friendships never get enough credit or attention compared to romantic relationships; from the day we are born, we are socialised to look for someone to love and complete us, and often friendships are overlooked. This is especially true when people get in romantic relationships, as they often neglect and lose friends as a result. But I would argue that the intensity of some friendships can match the love shared between two people in a romantic relationship. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to explain why you should treat your friendships like romantic relationships.
1. Friendships can potentially last forever, whereas relationships often don’t.
Romantic partners come and go throughout life. Fact. It is very rare to spend the rest of your life with the first person you meet and become intimately involved with. However, genuine friendships are for life; true friends can be the most loyal people you will ever meet and more often than not, they are always there to support you and help to pick up the pieces when your romantic relationships break down. Therefore, friendships should be treated like romantic relationships in terms of the amount of time and energy you invest in them every day. You should message and see them as much as you message and see your partner, to prove to them how valued they are in your life.
2. The break up of a friendship can be worse than that of a relationship.
Okay so I have only ever gone through one break up and hand on heart I can honestly say that losing friends down the years has been a more painful and heart-breaking experience. Because friends know so much about you and you have gone through so much together, when you lose a friend, it is as if you also lose a part of yourself as they help to shape the person you are in terms of your likes and dislikes, your morals and values. Yet a romantic partner should not change you, only complement you as a person, you shouldn’t need them to define you. So when a romantic relationship does end, you are still the same person as you were before and you have all of your amazing friendships to fall back on. Whereas if you lose a friend, you might not necessarily have a romantic partner to fall back on. So you should treat friendships the same as romantic relationships by fighting for them and ensuring you never lose them.
3. Friends are there for you through thick and thin.
Friends offer endless support. Too often people are wrong in thinking that only a partner in a romantic relationship can make them feel loved, wanted, and like someone always has their back. But this is not the case. Often partners might not know how to react in certain situations, or they might not know the right thing to say but friends can always be relied on to provide the best medicine. They can give you silly, they can give you serious, in a way that a lover never can. They hold your hand at your worst (or wipe your snotty nose after an hour’s worth of crying), and hold your hand at your best. But again, most partners are not for life, so friendships can be classed as more reliable and consistent. So this is why you should treat friendships like romantic relationships, in the sense that you couldn’t face life without them.
4. You can tell your friends anything without worrying about the consequences.
Friendships are mostly easy-going, there is no pressure to stay coupled up forever or break up, no label tying you exclusively together and this is often why we feel like we can trust our friends with anything. For example, we might not feel comfortable offloading to our partners about certain things in the way we would to our friends. We can tell our friends literally anything (I often overshare in every aspect of my life) and know they will not judge us, and that they will give us honest advice and deliver the truth however painful it is. Whereas, often partners tell us what they think we want to hear, or try to sugar coat the truth to protect us, or for fear of upsetting us.
5. Friends can bring you just as much joy as romantic relationships.
A balance between friends and your partner is healthy in life, you should not have to choose between the two. Friendships should be treated just the same as romantic relationships for the amount of joy they can give you. You can do everything with a friend (apart from the obvious intimate stuff), that you would do with a partner. You can be your silly self and totally relaxed around them, and let all your barriers down in a way you might not feel comfortable doing with a romantic partner. Therefore, overall you should treat friendships like romantic relationships because you can share experiences and make memories to last a lifetime with friends. Date nights with friends are just as important as romantic date nights.
So there you have it, a list of reasons why you should treat your friendships like romantic relationships. Can you think of any more reasons? If so, then answer in the comment section below.
Featured Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/friendship-58592/
My name is Nicole Brownfield and I am 20 years old. I am studying English Literature and going into my 3rd and final year of Queen Mary University, London in September. I am currently the Editor-In-chief of my University magazine 'CUB' and my dream is to pursue a career in journalism after I graduate. I love living in London and am obsessed with sourcing out food and drink places, as well as exploring the parts of London I have never been to before. My boyfriend and I have recently turned pescatarian and this symbolises my goal to constantly keep bettering myself and to stay healthy and disciplined. Every day I try and achieve something as I want to look back and be proud of the life I have lived, and to make my family proud too.