Subtle Threats to Your Relationship
You've probably heard the saying "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." But sometimes it can be hard to recognize the difference.
Sometimes that person who truly is your friend is also an enemy to your relationship. And sometimes you're the problem—you can be a threat to your love life too!
Strong friendships are important to your emotional health and your ability to be giving to your partner. Nurturing a strong relationship while also cultivating strong friendships can sometimes be a challenge, though.
If you're going to keep a great balance of both kinds of intimacy, you'll want to open your eyes to some of the situations that can become a threat to your romantic partnership. It also helps to know how you might be able to neutralize these temptations and threats.
Partnership Peril #1: Close Friends
Giving more of yourself emotionally to a friend than to your partner can be a risk factor in your relationship. If you're constantly complaining about your lover and getting emotionally closer to your pal, you might be unintentionally weakening your romantic relationship. Plus your friend will be less likely to support your bond with your honey when things get tough at home.
That doesn't mean it's okay for a jealous mate to feel threatened that you have a close friend. But if you're giving most of your positive energy to your friendship and lots of negative energy to your relationship, then you might be putting your romance in jeopardy. It's a matter of balance.
Partnership Peril #2: Boredom
When you start seeking out new friends because you're bored with your partner, that's a danger sign. Don't misunderstand—new friends are great! But be careful about your motivation and focus.
An equally important strategy to battle boredom is to work on building excitement back into your daily life with your mate by planning some excursions close to home. Then on some days you're boosting your own interests with new pals and on others you're enhancing your enthusiasm at home.
You might find that lighting your own inner spark with both kinds of new activities will heat up your whole romantic relationship with renewed energy.
Partnership Peril #3: Flirty Friends
There's nothing wrong with having friends of the opposite sex, and there can be lots of benefits. You and your friend might share refreshing ways of interacting that you don't find with your same-sex pals. A friendship like this can also help you understand differences between you and your partner. But listen to your mate if he or she expresses concern that your friend is interested in your physical benefits as well.
Sometimes you can get so excited about the mutual admiration of a new friendship that you're blind to the flirty undertones and the crush that's so clear on your friend's face. The stories of friends who turn into lovers are so common that they can't be ignored. Open your arms to friendship, but open your eyes to the risk factors.
Partnership Peril #4: Frequent Fantasies
If having fantasies about famous musicians or movie stars were against the law, we'd all probably be locked up. There's nothing wrong with admiring those talented artists and the sexy qualities they show on stage. But the key is to recognize that it's all an act and that these people have real flaws just like your sweetheart does.
By getting extremely attached to a dream, you might unwittingly be poking holes in your own reality. If this is a danger zone for you, try digging up some online dirt on your sexy star so you see beyond the flash and fantasy. Then think about all the ways that your lover exhibits the opposite traits—the down-to-earth, honest-to-goodness ones you want in your life. That little exercise might help you stop fantasizing about a dream date and refocus on your soul mate.
If you find yourself in one of these perilous positions, just try to see things clearly and be smart. Friends and fantasies are mostly fabulous. But don't let them put your love life in jeopardy. Stay on the safe side and put your sweetie first.
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