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Friendships and relationships: When overlapping becomes a problem

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Katie meets Calvin. Calvin and Katie hit it off, and begin dating. Katie tells all her friends about Calvin and how great he is. Katie eventually wants all her friends to meet Calvin and hang out with him, because anyone that is special in her life should meet the other special people as well. Does this sound familiar? Many of us want our loved ones to get a glimpse into the happiness we have found with our partners, but don't realize that there are also many downsides to combining those worlds.

It's very common that you might want your partner to get along with your friends. Things flow a little smoother when your beau and your friends aren't at each other's throats. However, it's important to maintain boundaries when introducing your partner to your friends.

Excessive hanging out. We all love to have nights where everyone can get together and have a good time. It's great that you can hang out with your friends while still spending time with your partner. However, it is still important to maintain enough private quality time with your guy so as not to neglect your relationship. Sometimes we get so caught up in entertaining others that we forget how to keep things alive when it's "just the two of us". Provide time for both your relationship as well as your friendships in order to keep enhancing them both, without short-changing one or the other.

Relationships should still maintain privacy. What good is a friend if you can't talk to them about all aspects of your life? It is good to have trustworthy friends that will lend a listening ear to your relationship woes, but sometimes this advantage can lead to extra cracks in the relationship's foundation. Try not to get so caught up in telling your friends about your troubles that you don't even care to discuss relationship issues with your partner. There should always be some level of privacy in relationships, and if your friends are mature, they will know and understand that. The other problem with revealing too many relationship details is that it can cause a problem between your partner and your friends if one doesn't like what is going on. Your friends may feel that you should leave him, which can make your partner not want you hanging with them anymore. Your partner could not like your friends, which has the potential to cause you to start to see things you didn't realize before that makes you begin to distance yourself to keep your man happy. There is never a reason to be dishonest with your friends, but everything you experience in your relationship does not have to be shared with others just because you are close. Your relationship is still between just you and your partner.

Making friends choose sides. When couples have mutual friends, it can be quite easy for things to turn into a battlefield when break ups occur. It is human nature for you to expect those friends that knew you first to take your side, no matter what the situation is, and it puts the mutual friends in an uncomfortable spot. It is difficult to know that a friend is siding with the person you are having issues with, and can lead to you questioning the loyalty of people who should have never even been involved in your situation to begin with. Don't put your friends in awkward situations. Settle your differences together, and allow your friends to decide what approach they will take.

Avoiding friends when things go downhill. Everyone has that one friend that is on the scene and shouting to the rooftops when everything is going great with their partner, but goes missing when things start to get rocky. Friendships shouldn't be based on if whether or not your relationship is blossoming. No one should only be entertaining their friends only when they are doing well or only if they are unhappy. Friendship should be unconditional. This can become a problem when women begin telling too much of their relationship details to their friends to the point where they become embarrassed when negative details start to surface, or unhealthy patterns. Neglecting your friendships for a relationship is never a good idea, because it is important to maintain your own life outside of your partner. If your relationship falls apart and he is no longer around, you will still need emotional support from friends that have been around since before him.

Friends alone with your partner. Another reason overlapping friendships with your relationships can be a problem is the topic of your friends spending time alone with your partner. Many women were taught by old fashioned women not to ever leave their man alone with any woman. This lesson holds a lot of value in these times where many scream loyalty but don't live it. Even if you trust your partner and your friends, the two being alone is a compromising situation that should be avoided if possible. This helps to reduce any "what really happened" or "he say she say" situations from occurring. No one can create a compromising situation for you if you avoid putting yourself in that kind of environment altogether. The same goes for you and his friends. You may have all the love in the world for your partner, but it doesn't mean that you should be hanging out with his best friend all the time when he's not around. It's not a good look, and causes issues in the relationship,whether from lack of trust or from what other people see and report back about the two of you.

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