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5 Things Singles Should Do When Their Friends Get Into Relationships

5 Things Singles Should Do When Their Friends Get Into Relationships

When our closest friends enters into new relationships, the relationships we have with our friends also change, no matter how much we try to resist it. There are things we can do to help us navigate our way through the evolution of our friendships. Here are five things single people can do when our friends are getting into new relationships.

1. Recognize that changes to your friendship may be inevitable

When our friends enter into new relationships, they may disappear for weeks on end while in the throes of new romance, making us wonder if they’ve been lost in the Bermuda Triangle of love. Or, when we do see them, they talk incessantly about their new loves, leaving little room to mutually share and discuss the other beautiful intricacies of life. The one-on-one time spent with friends all of a sudden becomes three’s company, where we feel like the third wheel or the odd man out.

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These situations may lead to exasperation, as we wonder when our newly coupled friends will return to their normal selves. Yet, in many ways, it is normal for those in new relationships to change as they navigate through confused feelings of love, vulnerability, and obsession. Therefore, we must remember to be kind, compassionate, and patient with our friends who are in new relationships, trusting that our friendships will bounce back in due time.

2. Know when to be Switzerland—don’t get stuck in the middle of your friends’ relationships

How many of us have been in this situation: We are hanging out with our friend and her significant other. Everything is seems to be going well until the couple begin to engage in a harmless disagreement that quickly turns into World War III. Both are in the wrong, yet look to you to be the therapist, arbiter, and judge. If you side with one over the other, you risk losing impartiality and potentially trust.

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There are other situations that can lead to you getting stuck in the middle of a friend’s relationship. How often has a friend asked for your opinion about a significant other, only to have that opinion negatively affect your friend’s relationship, resulting in you being in the center of rifts that occur within the relationship? There may be times when we are called to become involved in our friends’ relationships, but we should also recognize when being neutral preserves our friendships and sanity.

3. Expand your friendship circle, hobbies, and interests

When your closest friend adds a plus-one to her life, you may find yourself going to happy hours, movies, and other social gatherings alone. Or, you realize that once-spontaneous hangouts give way to planned lunches and coffee dates. In those moments, you miss the Butch to your Sundance Kid, the Thelma to your Louise, the Bert to your Ernie. Yet, these moments also reveal the significance of finding and cultivating new friendships with those who share your interests and values.

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Discovering new hobbies can help us to uncover new experiences and people who can broaden our horizons, lessening the impact of a friend’s new relationship on our lives. This is not to say that we should discard our coupled-up friends in exchange for single ones, just that we should strive to continuously expand our circle of friends, interests, and hobbies.

4. Honor your single status

As our friends find love in new relationships, we may suffer from the grass-is-greener syndrome, where we vie to find a relationship of our own and forget the benefits of being single. Single status means more than not having to share a bed, compromise with someone else’s desires, or be involved with just one person. It also offers us opportunities to reflect on and explore who we are, in very authentic ways.

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That is not to say that self-exploration does not happen within the context of a relationship. Being single allows that journey to occur on our own terms and conditions.Yes, being “the single one” amongst newly coupled friends can sometimes be lonely, but it is important to honor your single status to take advantage of opportunities that allow for your own personal growth.

5. Don’t be afraid to engage your friends in honest conversations

Having honest conversations with others is one of the most difficult things to do because we allow ourselves to become vulnerable. However, keeping our feelings bottled up can damage our ability to be authentic with ourselves and others. When a friend enters a new relationship, you may feel out of place for sharing anything but feelings of joy and happiness, even if you also feel a sense of loss or abandonment.

Unexpressed, this may cause you to shut down rather than speak your truth, harming the friendship. Don’t be afraid to have honest conversations with your friends, because what you risk losing is too great.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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