When you become a couple, whether through love marriage or arranged, you want to spend all the time together and even when you’re hanging out with friends, you want to do it together. So it’s only natural that over a course of time you accumulate a common set of friends, and usually it’s the wife that gets absorbed into her husband’s friend circle. While this keeps the couple close, it has its drawbacks. When couples have only one common set of friends, they limit their avenues to vent freely in case they want to talk about their spouse. Now we don’t mean that the only reason you need to have other people is to bitch about your spouse! Let’s look at some more!
Let’s say you have a fight with your spouse. All sorts of spiteful and venomous thoughts are swimming in your head; you want to lash back, cry, stomp your feet and rant non-stop. But you know you can’t do that with your partner or it may cause irreversible damage to your relationship. This is just anger that you want to diffuse so that you can approach the conflict issue with a calmer mind. So whom do you go to? Your own friends of course! No awkwardness because they aren’t the same circle as your partner and they will always be biased towards you!
By now, we all know that men and women are truly from different planets when it comes to shopping styles. Women like to take their time, browse, try and spend hours until they find just the right thing. Men are more to-the-point and basic when it comes to shopping. That’s why, the one pet-peeve the two sexes have with each other is that shopping is a bore with their partners. So if you have a like-minded friend circle of your own, you won’t have to endure obligatory shopping trips with your partner; you can have actual fun shopping dates with your friends!
Women find solutions to their problems by talking and sharing and dissecting the problems. Men do that by engaging in sports, gaming, having a boys’ night or simply by telling each other ‘shit happens, bro’. So if you have your own circle of friends of your gender, you’re more likely to figure things out in your comfort zone when things get tough.
The people you CHOOSE to be friends with indirectly define your personality and preferences. So, you may be polite and hang out with your spouse’s friends, might even have fun, but they won’t necessarily be a reflection of your individuality. Also, this ensures that marriage doesn’t ‘change’ you and you remain the person you were when your spouse first liked you.
This refers to staying in touch with your old circle of friends. Though you may create many wonderful moments with your spouse’s friends, the history you and your own friends share will be unmatched and will give you many reasons to cheer up when you’re feeling low.
When you two hang out with a separate set of friends too, you have new stuff to share with each other when you come back from your outings. There are that many more stories to talk about which keeps things from getting boring between you two.
Having individual sets of friends ensures that there are no awkward and ‘taking sides’ situations whenever there’s a difference of opinion. With your individual friends you can voice frank opinions, argue, tell it like it is, without the fear of offending your spouse by association.
So you see, having an independent social circle, besides the common one, is an absolute win-win situation that ensures that you don’t end up burdening your partner with the expectation to fulfil all the roles that make life interesting – a confidante, a coffee partner, a shopping buddy, the 3 am panic call, and even the naughty talk pal!
This article was first written by Prachi Vaish for Bonobology.com.