Posts tagged friends
Friends... how many of us have them?

One of the hardest parts of growing up is realizing that everyone can’t come with you on our life journey, as it is only yours to trek. You start to understand that you can only carry yourself; you evolve and mature, thus outgrowing old things, people included.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have strong, tight-knit circles with years of foundation. A friendship that has weathered the tests of time is a rarity and should be cherished, especially in an era where everything comes fast and leaves even quicker. However you’ll find as you grow, so will your tastes in everything. Food tastes differently, your clothing style might change, and those people you once called your ‘besties’ aren’t really the best at anything in your life.

And it’s okay.  It’s literally in nature to part with what you can’t adapt to. It’s not your job to hold onto people who don’t fit your lifestyle, views and standards. No one gets rewarded for holding on to dead weight.

When I had my daughter, a lightbulb came on and it made me realize that so much of my life had to change. I had to get more serious, more focused, and put aside things that no longer served my highest good. In order to be the best mother, I had to be the best ME.

With that, I had to give up friendships that I had already been giving the side-eye to anyway. If you ever have to look around at your circle and see question marks instead of definitive periods, those may be some loose ends you want to cut. It’s almost like going natural from getting chemicals in your hair your whole life. You have to cut off the dead hair to fully see your natural hair’s potential.

This goes for people as well. How can you fly when you have dead weight holding onto your wings? There are a few signs to gauge what I consider dead weight.

One thing I appreciate about my friends is the ability to understand: understand that sometimes I’m not my happiest self and I may retreat for my own happiness, or that I may not be able to come out like I used to, or that we may go days and perhaps weeks or longer without speaking, but that the love is still there. Those that refuse to understand you as you are (if you’re not being harmful to others) may not be the friend for you.

Also, note who claps for you when you get good news and who rejoices in your trials. Some people are around you just to bask in your glow without bringing any light of their own to your life. I’ve had friends who accused me of trying to outdo them when I was merely being myself. Beware of those who claim you’re ‘too much’ when in truth, they feel that they aren’t enough.

With growth comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes change. As life takes its toll, just pay attention to who’s there to lift and support—much like a good brassiere. Don’t hang on to the leaves and branches that sway when a harsh wind blows. Pay attention to those who have put roots into you and the things you love. People who invest in your passions, those who don’t always ask of you but never give.

Protect your light and your magic, because the wrong people will strip you of both.

Amen? Amen.

Four ways to sustain your platonic friendships while dating
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Fox Searchlight Pictures

There has always been the debate that women and men cannot strictly be “just friends” without there being sexual desires. Platonic friendships come under even greater scrutiny when you’re in a committed relationship. Your significant other may feel jealous or insecure, or insinuate that there’s more to this situation than just camaraderie. It can be healthy to have a friend of the opposite sex to share perspective on how your actions may be affecting your mate or to get the point of view from the other gender.

The question is, how do you make sure your friendship remains strong as well as your relationship? Here are four ways to sustain both:

Communication

Inform your significant other that you have friends of the opposite sex so that it doesn’t come off as a surprise. Communication is key, and when you’re able to have conversations about the people in your life that matter, you don’t have to neglect your platonic friend that was there before your relationship. Keeping it in the dark can come off as sneaky and spark insecurities.

Introduce Them

It can be uneasy meeting any friend of a significant other, but it can also be a new friendship in the making. Introducing your platonic friend to your boyfriend or girlfriend can alleviate some of the doubts and questions that may have existed.

Throw a game night or plan a brunch where your friends and your significant other will be able to mingle. You can casually introduce them to each other in a welcoming environment full of laughter, conversations, and chill vibes. Setting the right atmosphere helps put everyone at ease.

Balance Your Time

Before your relationship, maybe you hung out with your platonic friend a lot, grabbing a bite to eat or hitting different events together. There has to be respect for your relationship. By no means should you abandon your friends, but recognize that your quality time has to be re-prioritized.

For example, your significant other may want to go to a basketball game together, but your platonic friend also invited you out the same night to go to a movie. A decision will be have to made, do you go out with your significant other or your platonic friend? The choice is yours, but going out with your platonic friend may leave your significant other feeling that you value that friendship more than your own relationship, or that there is something more going on. Sometimes you will have to tell your platonic friend no, and that is okay. Whether it be talking on the phone every once in a while, hosting a potluck or kickback, going to happy hour, volunteering, or any number of other activities, there are plenty of ways to maintain friendships without interfering with your relationship.

Set Boundaries

HBO

HBO

Boundaries! Yes, you must set boundaries when it comes to platonic friendships. Although you may have no attractiveness towards your friend of the opposite sex, that doesn’t mean that they feel the same way about you.

There may be activities that can be deemed inappropriate to do with your platonic friend. These should be determined by having a conversation with your significant other on do’s and don’ts, regarding your friends to make sure that lines are not being crossed when spending time with them. Some boundaries you may want to set with your platonic friend are: no flirting, no physical touching, no sexual innuendos, a general best practice of not doing anything in private that you would not be able to do in public or in front of your significant other. If this friend can't abide by these boundaries, then are they really a platonic friend? Think about it.

These methods should make it a little easier to sustain both your relationships and platonic friendships. Remember that the most important part to maintaining a healthy balance is using your best judgment. If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments below.