After getting married, the word "should" begins to pop up in your vocabulary more than ever before. "We should hang out soon," becomes a common phrase said to friends and family, but usually that type of comment never leads to you and your friend following through and actually hanging out. In fact, any time there's a big change in your life, it can move you one step away from the life and friends you had before. If you've blinked and suddenly realized your social calendar is blank, you might wonder about ways to maintain your friendships post-marriage.
Whether the majority of your friends are single or in a relationship, after you get married, distance can easily grow without you even realizing it. Though it's completely normal for you to want to spend oodles of time with your new spouse (they don't call it the "honeymoon phase" for nothing), you'll still have to nurture your friendships if you don't want them to wither away.
Despite the way television and film portray women as always having a close group of friends no matter what, in real life, it takes a fair amount of planning and scheduling to hang out the same way you would have prior to marriage. So if you're curious about ways to maintain your friendships after getting married, check out these ideas.
1Save The Date
Just like you sent out an important reminder for your wedding, try picking and sticking to an agreed upon date for you and your friends to get together. Even if it's something as simple as having coffee on the third Friday of every month, it shows commitment and can be easily worked into your schedule.
According to Two Of Us, an information site from the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC), a helpful way to maintain friendships is to, "resist the urge to monopolize the conversation with spouse stories, especially if your friends aren't in the same life stage." This isn't to say you can't ever talk about marriage, but just make sure there's a good balance in conversation topics.
3Don't Feel Guilty
Especially if you're in the honeymoon stage of your marriage, any time spent apart from your spouse can seem like an eternity and you might even feel selfish for doing do. But that isn't always healthy. "If you feel guilty about taking time away from your spouse, remember that it will make you a better partner," Dr. Irene Levine, a professor of psychiatry, told The Nest. So have a good old fashioned girls' night out and don't feel bad about it.
4Splurge On Time
When a quick brunch here and there just isn't cutting it anymore, consider setting aside some real quality time with your nearest and dearest friends. Susan Quilliam, a psychologist and relationship expert, told Bride, you can take an entire weekend together to create new memories. You don't necessarily have to do this often, but it is important to still share experiences even though you're married.
If you have a solid mix of married and single friends, don't feel like you have to keep them in separate categories. I learned the hard way from a friend that she'd rather be invited to a get together and be the only single one there than never be invited at all. So try to keep a healthy balance with all your friends, regardless of their relationship status.
Married or single, the grass might start to seem greener on the other side after a while. That's why it's important to be open and talk about any envious feelings that may arise in your friendship. Levine told The Nest that, "jealousies may crop up in either direction if one friend is envious of the lifestyle of the other." Yet I've found that getting everything out in the open can keep the green-eyed monster at bay.
7Be The Bigger Person
This is a life lesson from my personal experiences and not one I can easily put into practice. Sometimes, when a missed text turns into a week without a phone call and then a month without seeing them, you realize you don't even know who this person is on your Facebook anymore. Embarrassing as it may be, you'd be surprised how many friendships you thought were lost can be regained when you take responsibility for ghosting out on them because you got married. Even if that doesn't patch things up, at least you'll know you tried.