One of the things you might have to do when settling into a new relationship is figure out how your social lives are going to exist now, with you spending more(or most) of your free time, exclusively with someone you’re dating.
Some couples do that weird thing where they spend every waking moment together happily and basically disappear from the planet, to exist in their own bubble. That co-dependent shit is scary, to be honest. It’s even more scary when one person feels bad that the other has no friends, and ends up spending all his/her time with their partner out of guilt that they have a social life. That’s no bueno, people.
So what are the red flags? For me, it’s their number of friends. Do they actually have friends (people they see at Starbucks every morning don’t count) or do they really act like you’re their world? It feels good at first, a gigantic shot of mocha-esteem…but then that starts to feel constricting, right?
It’s one thing if the girl is far from home and is new to the city, or she works crazy hours. But even then, don’t you want your alone time too? Or time to spend with the boys on a night out and not feel terrible because your friend-less significant other is at home?
When you watch this video:
you laugh, but it’s kind of true. She has to know that her friends trust you. Wait, what do you do when she doesn’t have any friends to speak of?
Who’s watching the watchers, so to speak. I prefer dating a woman with a good collection of friends, and a rich social life of her own, one that doesn’t need me to be the entire social calendar. If she’s got friends, then she’s earned them. Friends are the people who have been with you for awhile, who chose to be with you in the good times and the bad. If your significant other doesn’t have any, don’t you think you should be a little worried?
So the friend/s of my girlfriend is/are a godsend, a safety blanket, and an important barometer of her independence.
They’re a godsend because they let her continue to have her own life, we don’t have to share everything. People who share facebook accounts horrify me. It’s time to put on your big boy pants, put the velcro shoes back in the closet and grow the fuck up. Get your own damn facebook account: everyone pities your lame co-dependent life.
So while she has her own facebook and her own friends, you’re not responsible for her social life: she can make her own plans once in a while. I know, you might be the one left at home! (gasp!)
They’re a safety blanket. They keep you sane. They leave her something all her own, that she doesn’t have to share with you. I feel like this current age of relationships is prone to over-sharing. We don’t need to know every damn thing about each other. We don’t need to wear the same clothes, eat the same food, watch the same shows, we’re two individuals who come together to make one wonderful relationship. Our differences make us better, not worse. I personally can’t stand myself, when I see my traits in a woman. God, I don’t want to date myself, one of me is more than enough for any relationship. And absence makes the heart grow fonder, don’t date a girl who wants to come home day after day and get into matching snuggies. Don’t be that guy. Have your own space, a place where you can be yourself, by yourself. Those friends are life preservers and keys to the outside world. To my married or basically married friends who haven’t seen me since their wedding day without their significant other attached to their hip, just light the signal flare. I’ll extract you from that mess with some Navy Seals and beer.*
And lastly, you want her to have some independence of her own. Right? Do you want her hanging on your stories because she has none of her own? You want her to bring something to table, her experiences. And friends are the easiest way to get them.
When she has no friends to speak of? Run. It’s a sign. It’s a sign she can’t adapt, a sign that other people might not like her, or the most galling-she’s socially lazy. I went back and realized, the last few women I was serious about? They had very, very few friends. There was a reason: she didn’t need them, she had me. Which horrified me. Suffocated me. Made me look out of the relationship like my cat looks out the window, knowing freedom is just an inch away, desperate to get out (she goes right for the lawn, so maybe the grass is greener.)
If she can’t make friends now, who is she going to be friends with? Lo and behold, look in the mirror, consider yourself her bestie, because if there’s no one else, you’re first…and last.
*Navy Seals not included.