When it comes to relationships, we tend to immerse ourselves right off the bat when we get a significant other. We get into the honeymoon phase and they are all we can think about. We spend most of our free time with them, or spend that time finding ways to communicate with them as much as possible. It has become the norm for us to give our romantic relationships top priority over other relationships in our lives- including our friendships.
And honestly, it’s a shame.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been incredibly guilty of this. When I’ve entered a relationship, it’s like I’ve dropped completely off the radar for a little while. The girl’s nights would come few and far between. Going out didn’t seem as much fun as staying in with my boyfriend and spending time with him. Luckily for me, I have had some incredible and understanding friends who didn’t take this vanishing act personally.
Yet if there is one thing that I have learned within the last few years of my life, it’s this: Yes, one day I will find my forever person. Yes, when I do find them, they will have a high priority in my life, probably more so than others. Yet until I know for sure that I have found them, my friends will still have to be a major priority in my life-the same if not more than my relationship.
And that is perfectly okay.
Because more than once in my life, I thought I had found my forever in the arms of someone I loved. More than once, I allowed my friends to fall by the wayside to make as much room as possible for the person I adored and cherished with all my heart. Yet those loves didn’t last, and guess who was there to hold onto me when I had completely fallen apart? My best friends.
They were the ones who let me cry and vent and repeat until I was able to function again. They were there on my terrible days as well as there to celebrate on my happier ones. My friends have come through for me time and time again, because that’s what best friends do. And in the same way, they pushed me to get back out into the dating world. They didn’t allow me to let my past heartbreaks keep me locked away and unwilling to put my heart on the line again. And when I entered a new relationship, they have been the ones to cheer me on and meet the guy in person and make sure he is someone who genuinely cares about me in the way that they do.
After watching how incredible and loving my friends have been through all of these romantic relationships in my life I realize now more than ever just how lucky I am to have them, and how valuable they truly are to me.
So now, even though I’m currently in a relationship, my friends aren’t on the backburner. I still text my friends and do my best at keeping them up to date on what’s going on in my life. I still set aside time to grab coffee or brunch with my girls and listen to their latest stories. Even though my life has become a little different now that a relationship is in the mix, I am learning to rearrange my time to still make sure my friends are still by my side.
When it comes down to it, we don’t realize how lucky we are to have best friends in our lives. We all are caught up in searching for love and happily ever after, that it can be so easy to forget how wonderful and precious our friends truly are. I know that one day, I will find a person that I will want to spend the rest of my life with- and when I do, my best friends will be by my side cheering me on and will be just as excited as I am. They know when that day comes, then my relationship will take a bigger part of my life, and they will understand. But for now, I’ll be spending these years not letting my friends slip out of my grasp when I so easily can still make time for them. I’m going to hold onto them for as long as I can and make vivid and incredible memories that I won’t forget for years and years.
For now, my friends are still an important part of my life, and I refuse to let them be anything less.