So for some reason this semester I feel like my friends and me have talked a lot about the meaning of romantic long-term relationships and marriage. Maybe it is because we are in the scary part of life where people our age are getting engaged, married, are starting to have kids, buying flats or houses. Granted most of them are like 2 or 3 years older than me or they are simply in a different stage of life (such as they are already in a proper job because a) they didn’t go to uni or b) they already graduated).
Talking to my friends I find it funny and sad to see that the largest number of us has in some way come to terms with the idea that romantic relationships might not last the forever after and that a lot of marriages end. We have accepted that in the times we live in now it seems to be more the norm than the exception to have divorced parents and maybe that is the reason many of us do not believe that we just have the one person that we spend the rest of our lives with. Or we are quite scared that we are too awkward or too weird to ever find one person that we are romantically interested in that will accept us the way we are.
Like don’t get us wrong we do all like the idea that that it is a possibility and I am a romantic and would absolutely want to meet the love of my life, get married, have four kids and three dogs and life in a small house on the outskirts of London while having a job that I like, but I think what our generation is good at is accepting that dreams like that do not necessarily work out.
So when we talk about long- term relationships we have all started to believe that maybe we should focus on the long- term relationships with our friends. You know the to an extent silly promises of when we are all 40 and still not married we will marry each other. And on New Years while drunk, my friends and I were talking about how that wouldn’t even be such a bad idea. We all agreed that there is practically no point in a romantic long-term relationship just so that you have someone to grow old with. I mean yeah that would be cute, but can you imagine waking up in you 70s retired and all you get to do is sit on the porch of your house with a cup of herbal tea and homemade scones that you and your friends you live with made yesterday and just gossiping about the good old days, reminiscing about the guys/girls that went in and out of your life, about the bands you crushed on while the dogs/cats you own are lying in the sun next to you. Like I could imagine worse things.
What I am trying to get to is that yes romantic relationships are important and great but I think we should never get to that point where that is the only thing we focus on and our partner is the only person we rely on for everything. I have seen it with friends who have been in all consuming relationships for years and pushed all friends away in the process and when they broke up they were all alone and struggled to get back into the friendship group. I have seen it with my mum who was since I was born a housewife and mother and is now that my parents are split up struggling to get her feet on the ground as she never really had a group of close friends around to pick her up.
I have also seen it with my host mum, who is one of the strongest, and most independent and impressive women I know, but she is lonely as she since the death of her husband has also never had a close group of friends around.
Friends are so important to be in your life because the right ones you can count on no matter what. You know that you can call them in the middle of the night and they will be there for you, they will try their best to cheer you up when you are down, they share your values and have things with you in common, when you are around them you can 100% be yourself and they would never judge you for it, with them you can have silly dance parties or pizza parties in the middle of the night or during the day, you can sit next to them and read or watch a film or just lie there and don’t say anything and it won’t be awkward because they know you and you know them inside out, so you are just 100% comfortable around them. You can have cuddle parties in the morning when you are hungover and are contemplating your life choices, you can laugh and cry together.
Basically keep your friends close and keep them around because at the end of the day you need each other and you are the best people in each others lives. Without them you wouldn’t be you and they wouldn’t be them and that would just really be a shame!
A big shoutout to my friends, my 40+ marriage and dog farm friends, the people I love most in the world. You are amazing and we are all going to have an incredible year together ❤
Lots of Love and a Happy New Year,