One of the biggest tell-tail signs that you’re in a bad relationship is when you start losing your friends, and particularly friends you value. Generally by the time this starts happening, you’ve been with the person for long enough that you have developed serious feelings for them, and sometimes these friends come second to your heart.
I have been in this situation. I’ve watched many close friendships fade over the years because of my stubborn choice in partner. And only for a month or two after the friendship ending for the relationship to break up … and it feels, like agony! It feels like losing two really big parts of yourself only to gain nothing. It’s even happened to my close girlfriends who are people I aspire to be like, who sit across from me in cafes and tell me they have lived through the pain of losing friends for a relationship that hasn’t worked out anyway.
But what if your partner isn’t bad for you at all? What if the things you were telling your friends was just to clear your mind from it, get their opinions in that moment and to help you strengthen your relationship with more ideas?
Everyone has their own methods and solutions for resolving this predicament.
“If they’re good friends, they would stand by no matter what.” “If you valued the friendship, you’d prioritise your friendships.” You kind of hear it all, people are very opinionated about where they stand … but it’s never fifty/fifty. It seems difficult in these situations that you can have it all. But you can!
So the question isn’t, ‘How do you juggle your friendships with a toxic relationship’ because the relationship may not be toxic – you may just be venting to your friends some pain stemming from the relationship, but for the most part it is good. It’s difficult from a friend’s point of view not to judge, particularly when they care for you. Let’s face it, that’s what good friends do!
So how do you keep your friends?
1. Talk about your relationship with balance
If you truly care for your partner, talk about them to your friends with love. Tell stories in the most factual but balanced way you can. Try to see both sides. Where something happens that you really can’t process, understand your friends may also struggle to process it and either speak about it with your partner or seek outside support.
2. Praise your relationship
If you’re ever going to practise gratitude in your life, my greatest suggestion (unless you’re in an abusive relationship, in which case, seek help and please don’t take on this advice) is to practise gratitude in your relationship. Often people pick apart the person they love and everything they do for them: it’s not Hollywood, just be happy! Same with your friendships. I try to make everyone of significance to me know how important they are to me as often as I can. You never know when something may happen to you and you may not be able to tell them how they’ve positively impacted you anymore.
3. Catch up with your friends
It’s easy to get caught up with your close friend, working a lot and your partner who you want to spend every moment with, but it’s important to remember the little guys! You know who I’m talking about, these are the friends who have been there unconditionally for you and supported you and are available to catch up and come to your birthday parties … but they’re not your BEST friend. You need to make time for these people and still demonstrate their importance in your life or you will lose them.
4. Act with love
Keep your head on your shoulders and always act with love: towards your friends and partner. Where a problem arises, act with compassion – always try to see things from the other person’s perspective and try to demonstrate understanding. You will still do what you do, but it’s ok to communicate that you hear people. If you value your friends AND your love, you need to act with the same love and compassion toward both.
5. NEVER choose
Even if a friend throws down their sword and demands you make a choice, I still think you’re safer remaining on the fence. If you make a choice, they’ll forever remember it. Whereas, it’s often these friends that demand a decision who turn around and apologise … if they never do, then let them go. It’s easier to accept someone back in your life and have them WANT to come back at times when you haven’t antagonized the situation.
6. Continue to focus on the positive
Remember, people like positive people, and they like people who focus on the positives. So no matter what’s going on between your partner and your friends, try to rise above it and continue to be positive and to choose to see things positively! When sharing something bad that’s come up in the relationship, or something that has hurt you, express that this doesn’t occur all the time and that you just want their opinion to help you decide your next steps. Make the distinction very clearly that you’re not looking for a solution, you’re looking for an opinion which will help you find the solution.
My partner and I are in the process of breaking up. Even though I know he’s not the one for me (I think I always knew that), I have never felt so sad in my entire life. It’s not that we’ve been together very long either. We don’t have kids and we’re not married – but I still can’t let go! When I’m finally ready to let go, he’ll do something that changes the way I feel, or if he breaks away, then I’m the one that will do anything to keep us together. At first I convinced myself that this was because we have this “special bond” – but it’s not! I’m ashamed to admit it but I think one of my biggest issues is dealing with the silence once he goes. The thing is he calls me at least 20 times a day – just to check in. When we first met, I wasn’t working and he would call about five times a day – which I found annoying, distracting and overbearing. Months down the track he now calls up to 20 times a day, just checking and I’ve adjusted. To be honest, I can’t go a day without it. I know this isn’t normal and I know other men won’t do this for me which is another reason I don’t want to let him go.
Thank you for contacting me for advice.
You are not alone in trying to overcome this terrifying feeling of abandonment that appears when a serious relationship is breaking up. It is scary when we know our routine won’t be the same because the person we love is breaking away from us. This is also a very important thing to accept: in breaking up with a partner, things are going to change … that’s a good thing!
I hope you like…
Please help. I recently met this guy on an internet dating site – and when we were just talking I didn’t think much of him but I started to like him very quickly after we met.
The other night I went to his place for a movie night with my girlfriend, while he went out. He came home early and met her. I was aware that they are both really alike and they both have a lot in common, but they hit it off a little too well. At first I thought maybe I should step back and just be happy for them, try to be selfless … but I really wanted to be in this relationship.
I felt as though they were almost flirting in front of me – then he would be one place and she would call and she was in the same place, or he’d talk about his dreams for the future, and hers were the same. It was really weird! Then they became friends on Facebook and now (after going through all her pictures), he’s talking about having a threesome… it’s really out of control – and far against what I’m looking for in a relationship but I want to give it a chance this time!
I’m so tired of being with the wrong person and having bad break ups – I just want this to be different. How can I make it so that meeting never happened?
Happy New Year and thank you for contacting me. I’m sorry to hear your experience, but it’s probably the perfect time of year to detox. First, I want to thank you for volunteering to by my first Q&A Detox Tuesday client. For those reading this, Q&A Detox Tuesday is where clients are invited to write in with a short question and I will answer it for you.
Unfortunately, Dianna, it’s not uncommon for men (and even some women) to have sexual fantasies involving more than one partner – and that can be particularly painful when it’s against your values. On top of that, you mentioned that you really like this man, which makes it even more painful for you to stand back and see him considering other women, particularly this early on in the relationship where you’re trying to build trust. Your feelings of concern and distress are perfectly valid for what you are experiencing.
These are the words people in toxic relationships WISH they could say every time they walk out the door after another soul crushing interaction with the person they are currently seeing.
People in toxic relationships often want to leave the relationship but “can’t” and they don’t know why. Meanwhile their friends watch as they get sucked in again and again, generally by a partner fearing abandonment. The toxic partner in this case will be (very subconsciously) hurting the person’s self esteem in a bid to keep them, because they know they often know their mate can do better than them.
Unfortunately their attempts to hurt them, often works. So by the time the person gets set to leave the toxic relationship they have self doubt which is over-riding what their rational mind is telling them. This is often confused for the heart ruling the mind, but in reality between the fantasy they have of who the person is and this massive self doubt combined with low self esteem … it’s easy to get stuck in a toxic relationship.
What is difficult is explaining to people what is really going on in order for them to understand the yoyoing relationship. When there are no feelings towards anyone it’s easy to stand back and with judgement and authority say “You should break up!” or “I can’t stand watching this, I’m not going to be your friend until you break up…” and the list of things “supportive” friends say in this scenario are endless.
I put supportive in inverted comas here, not because they’re not supportive but because they actually are. When the person in the toxic relationship (who wants to leave but can’t follow through) is confronted with this situation, it’s easy to dismiss the friend. “Fine! I don’t need a friend that’ll abandon me right now!” However, what is important to keep in mind is that this person is doing the best thing they know how by them, with their own experience, beliefs and knowledge on the topic and the relationship.
Many people mishandle toxic relationships – and with emotions running high, often because it’s very stressful and you feel as though the whole world is shouting at you what you should do and everyone knows better than you – but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Since I touched down in Sydney after a couple of life-changing months in America, I have been flat out working to bring you Self Love September which is well and truly live and happening on Relationship Free’s Facebook page. I absolutely loved America and I’m sure I’ll share my adventures with you at some point, but first, it’s down to business!
Each day we talk a little bit about a topic that will help you explore your self love more, offer an affirmation for you to repeat throughout the day and give you a challenge to complete and enhance your self love.
It turns out quite a few places celebrate Self Love September but we still don’t feel it does it quite like Relationship Free. We’re putting in the work to make a big difference. Our aim is to encourage active and regular demonstration of self love to enhance self esteem and develop awareness and appreciation of self worth.
Here’s what’s been posted so far:
There’s something new every day!
We also released our first eNewsletter this week, Integrity. We talk about Self Love September, Giveaways and the release of my upcoming eBook 100% Self Love: The Roadmap to the Love and Life you Desire. You can check out the first edition here, and subscribe to receive your copy at the bottom of the Relationship Free website!
Self Love September is a month dedicated to raising awareness of self love and how you can demonstrate acts of self love to help you achieve the love and life you desire. With September just around the corner, Relationship Free HQ has been a buzz – and we have been working hard to bring you what could be the most life changing month in the calendar year! This year (2015) marks the inaugural launch for this event and Relationship Free is proud to be the brains and heart behind this awareness month. It is also a month when Relationship Free is offering clients some GREAT value!! So stay tuned!
What can you expect in September?
Relationship Free is launching an eBook – 100% Self Love: The roadmap to the love and life you desire. It’s everything you need to start from today and get everything you want for a better tomorrow – simply by loving yourself. It’s the roadmap we were never given in our early years, but imagine how life would be if these lessons were delivered early on…
I can finally say I have the love and life I desire … and have desired up until now!
In recent weeks, I have been inundated by emails and comments from people reaching out telling me how I have impacted their lives with the information I have experienced, then researched and shared. I’m so grateful for everyone who spends a moment to say “Thanks Sarah, keep it up!” – that keeps me going!
It was when my life hit a rock bottom low that I promised myself I’d do everything in my power to
Have you ever dated someone and they seem to be all about themselves? What they want to do? When they want to see you? There’s no compromise?
These irritating little quirks often appear towards the end of the first month or near the beginning of the second month of dating.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if someone is truly into you. On one hand they call you all the time and seem to enjoy talking to you. On the other hand they may seem unable to regularly commit to catching up in person. Perhaps you’re dating someone who just doesn’t seem to be able to give up time with their friends.
This person is possibly still fitting you into their values spectrum – they’re not sure if it will work out or not – and they don’t know whether to prioritize you or not. It’s not something you need to worry too much about in these early stages of dating.
But it can be frustrating!
So what can you do? How can you play it cool?
I’m not protesting against Facebook having rights to my photos.
I don’t care that people can find me more easily.
I am taking a stand against judgement.
Think about it!
No couple is together ALL the time. Distance relationships may or may not be your thing. Reuniting can be awkward. It can be really hard – particularly when people are falling in love around you and you see them hanging out all the time.
DISTANCE DOESN’T MEAN IT’S OVER!
If the love is truly there, don’t give up!
So how can you keep the love you have alive with someone at a distance and still feel excited about being in a relationship with that person – even when they’re on the other side of the world? Celebrities do it all the time and Sarah Webb, the Director of Relationship Free offers these amazing tips from her own experience!