The Orion

Love and friendships: A balancing act

Sophia Xepoleas

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Illustration by J.Q. Hammer

I was head over heels in love. It was finally here, the moment I had been waiting for and never believed would arrive. I was completely enamored with this boy I could now call my own, and nothing else mattered.

I spent every spare moment in his presence, and although we fought more than we got along, he was the only person I found myself wanting to be around. Seeing as I was so inexperienced with relationships, I was completely unaware of the toxicity of my situation.

I neglected my closest friends to the point where they had given up trying to spend time with me altogether. Instead of taking responsibility for my actions, I found myself justifying my recent absence with the fact that I was in love, and that this was how it was supposed to be.

Needless to say, when my relationship inevitably fell apart after yet another melodramatic, enraged argument, I had no one.

And by no one, I mean that I spent two full weeks curled up on my couch, hanging out with my mom when she could spare the time.

Relationships can take over your life. So much so that you can find yourself with little to no time for the other people that hold a special place in your heart.

Although it’s sometimes hard to balance, I cannot stress how important it is to make time for your friendships while in a relationship.

Dr. Joan Borysenko even stresses the importance of friendship at a scientific level. Borysenko suggests that “intimate friendships help banish stress and improve mood,” and evidence shows that “the positive effects of friendship are comparable to those of antidepressants or cognitive therapy.”

That being said, no matter how satisfied you may feel in your relationship, there will be a point where you feel the need for a break. Being well-rounded in regard to the company you keep will help maintain a healthy relationship in the long run.

Your significant other most likely fell for the person that you were on your own, so it is important to always be able to come back to that.

A good friend of mine once described each of her closest friends simply as soul mates, each showing her a new perspective and light to life that she had never seen before.

Every human being has a story to be told and lessons to be shared. I like to think that every connection I create is just another piece to my never-ending puzzle. The more connections I gain, the more knowledge and understanding I take in.

Neglecting those connections will only limit you as a person and leave little room for personal growth.

With time, my friends were able to accept me back into their lives, and I have remained there ever since.

Although I had once lost sight of who was truly valuable to me, I learned an invaluable lesson in the importance of maintaining friendships throughout life’s obstacles. Now, not only do I make time for the people that I care about, I always make sure to let them know how much I appreciate them.

People will come and go from your life, but the ones that truly matter will be there with you through it all.

Sophia Xepoleas can be reached at [email protected] or @soph_mxx on Twitter.

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Love and friendships: A balancing act