Every relationship we cultivate with other people is an investment of trust, commitment, loyalty, and time with the hope that it will last for a lifetime. Throughout our lives, we will meet different people from different places with diverse backgrounds.
But only a few will stay with us as friends, through thick and thin, riding the ups and downs of life with us. However, as time passes, an individual’s focus changes along the way, and our friendships change, especially after we get married.
Why does this happen? Why do friendships change after getting married?
The biggest reason why friendships change after getting married is because of changes in priorities.
When you are single, you can do whatever you want without worrying about upsetting your partner’s feelings.
But, your responsibilities, commitment, and priorities will change when you get married. Your spouse is now a part of your life. You also have to draw boundaries and drop some of the things you did when you were single.
If you’re planning to have kids or already have one after getting married, you have to shift all your focus to your new family. It may sound harsh, but that is the reality of life. However, all these changes in your friendships are mostly insignificant compared to the life changes you are about to embark on after getting married.
A few other aspects of your friendships could also change after you get married. Some of these changes aren’t as bad as you imagine. This often includes:
You will have to spend more time on the phone with your friends
Your focus will automatically change since you are now committed to your spouse and your new family. If finding a reason to stay out late was easy, being married will completely shift your paradigm, and your old habits may have to change.
Nevertheless, all of these changes are for the better. You will need to tweak some parts of your life, including friendships.
Finding free time to go out, have a few drinks, and laughs with your friends can be quite hard. So, the easiest way to stay in touch with them is through texting and phone calls.
Arranging double dates can become easier
One of the perks of being married is frequently going out on double dates. If you have married friends, you will have more opportunities to go on a double date. It will be more exciting for you and your partner to get to know other married couples.
You will also have the chance to know your spouse’s friends when they decide to invite your family to their house. What’s more interesting is that when the holiday season comes, you will receive more invitations for family gatherings, outdoor activities, or even a simple meet-up.
Having your friends over to your house can be easier
When you are single, it is much easier to go out and meet your friends any place you want. However, your house would be the most suitable place to meet after getting married, especially if you have kids. So, if your friends want to meet, you can invite them to your place.
It will be a bit tiring to prepare food and drinks. But on the bright side, you can save money by not going out. You can also talk for long hours without worrying about closing time or talking too loud while sitting next to strangers. Privacy is now your privilege.
Additionally, your and your spouse’s friends can get to know each other and who knows, the ones still single may finally meet the match they have been looking for.
You will have to juggle many things at once
Getting married doesn’t just come with its perks and benefits. There are also a lot of challenges that will require your grit and patience. If you and your spouse are career-oriented, you will have to rearrange your time with your family and kids.
At the same time, finding free time in your calendar that you can spare for your friends can be pretty challenging. You will also need to reschedule your plans with friends to focus on your family matters every once in a while. This is where your friendships will be tested.
You could multitask to keep everything on an even keel. But there is also a limit to your energy and attention. Burnout is the last thing you want to have when juggling too many things at once.
How to Maintain Your Friendships After Getting Married
After getting married, there is no reason why you should abandon all of your friends. They are the ones who have been there even before you met your spouse. Your relationship status will change, but that doesn’t mean you should change friends.
If they are married, they can truly understand your situation and can compromise as well. So, here are a few steps that you can take to maintain your friendships after getting married.
Communicate with your partner
After getting married, you will share almost everything in your life with your partner. You live under the same roof, sleep in the same bed, eat at the same table, and may even go to work in the same car. You also have to compromise more than you did when you were single.
So, the essential thing to maintain harmony in your marriage is through communicating effectively. If you’re naturally discreet, you will now have to learn to be more vocal about your feelings and thoughts.
Believe it or not, your spouse will want your attention more than anything. And you also have to maintain the relationships you have with your friends.
Maintain a healthy relationship with your closest true friends
In life, we can’t please everyone we know, including most of our friends. When you’re single, you will most likely have many friends you know from different places and situations.
Over time, only a few will stick around through ups and downs. You should keep these real friends for a lifetime, if possible.
These are the people you can count on in times of need. Do your best to maintain a healthy relationship with them even after marriage.
Manage your boundaries
Everything in life requires some sort of balance and limits. You will need to set some new boundaries after getting married, even the ones you thought were unnecessary before. There is only so much time we have in a day, and you need to maintain boundaries on both professional and personal levels.
There are times when you need to set personal matters aside and other times when any work-related activities should be put on hold. And this includes limiting the time you can spend with your friends. Your real friends will understand and respect your boundaries, as you do with theirs.
Set a realistic expectation
With all the new changes in your life, you must be realistic and not overpromise on the things you can deliver. When you were single, you had no reason to decline any invitations or requests from your friends.
However, now that you’re married, there is only so much you can tolerate. Having realistic expectations about your relationships with your friends can avoid disappointment due to your other commitments in life.
It will require a lot of effort from both parties, particularly you and your friends, to empathize and understand each other’s situation.
Arrange a monthly gathering at your house
You can arrange a monthly gathering at your house to stay in touch without meeting different people at different times. This is the time when all your friends can gather together and keep you posted about their updates in life. It doesn’t have to be a fancy dinner or a large party.
You can prepare a simple dish, dessert, or even drinks and serve it at your dinner table. The most important thing is the quality of time you spend with your friends, not the food you serve.
This will also make the time you spend with your friends more precious because you rarely get to meet each other. If having to prepare your own food is too much of a hassle, you can always order out as a treat.
Prioritize your personal space and time
No matter what you do or how much time you have spent with your family and friends, your personal space and time matter. Having too many things on your plate can be pretty overwhelming. So, don’t forget to take a breather from time to time and focus on your well-being.
You can ask your spouse or friends to help you during your sick days. But, you are the one who will face constant emotional and mental battles up front. Your mental health dictates your physical health. Talk to your partner if you need a day off from anything. You can go out for a walk alone or go shopping all by yourself.
Look at it as your self-care routine.
Above all, we should maintain our relationship with everyone, including our friends.
But, along the way, we should try our best to appreciate the present and accept this one simple fact of life; everything changes.
If your friendships are real and founded on a genuine bond, they can stand the test of time. No matter what happens, whichever places you go to, no matter how long it takes, your true friends will be there for as long as time allows it.