Friday, May 13, 2016

Mates over dates

All too often young love takes precedence over building and strengthening relationships with friends. There's no denying that falling and being in love is fun however I look at those who repeatedly preference their romantic relationships over their friends with worry and occasionally disdain.

Friends are forever if you choose them right. Romantic relationships can end in moments. Sometimes abruptly, sometimes slowly but usually painfully. Feeling heartbroken but also lonely (different from alone) is a dysphoric combination I wouldn't wish on anybody. Recovering from a breakup is dependant on a good mate telling you/reminding you it gets better, and without that support system recovering from and accepting the grief of a finished relationship is a difficult task.

Having fulfilling and close friendships is one of the best things in life and a potent source of happiness and good times. The easiest and best age for making these relationships is when you're young because you have the ample free time required to bond and experience those memories together that you'll always be able to reminisce about. 

The earlier years of your life are when your best and closest friendships are made. The ones that knew you in the most formative stages of your life and have seen you change for the better and for the worse. Don't give them up for anything.

It's in chance moments that you'll meet them and it's after a concerted effort that you'll really get to know each other. People that lose themselves into relationship complacency risk missing out on those chance moments and as a result on meeting those important people that later they couldn't imagine living without.

I learnt an important lesson when I dated somebody for over a year in my my teens. Despite how close you all seem at the time, your significant others friends are not and will never truly be your friends. In most circumstances they will vanish after your relationship ends. Your offer of coffee vaguely dismissed in an awkward lie that they are busy (and always will be). All those fun times you spent hanging out and drinking disappear into the invisible but clearly marked line of before and after. That's why preferencing a significant other over your own personal relationships isn't a good idea. No matter how strong your relationship is, you are separate beings and need your own life  and friendships too.

Romantic relationships are part of growing up and can be really beneficial, fun and healthy things to experience. However being able to balance both relationships and friendships is important.

That's why going on a date with a mate is a really great way to experience the fun of dating someone but without the unnecessary addition of actually dating somebody, or just a nice way to get to know your mates even better. Who said that going to the cinema or doing cute things should only be done with a romantic partner?

*not technically on a mate date but this photo still illustrates the beauty of friendship <3

Ideas for mate dates:

Get coffee in a new area that you've never been too (check Broadsheet Melbourne)
See a movie. Monday or Tuesday are usually cheaper
Queen Victoria Night Market that is held over the winter and summer
Make a meal together with wine
Have a picnic
Bake :^)
Go out for cocktails/beer/cider one on one
Go to the beach
Have a sleepover like you did when you were young 
Day trip to Mornington Hot Springs