One of the most difficult challenges, particularly in a same-sex relationship, is establishing boundaries with friends and blending with each others’ friends. Plus, doing this while remaining secure and making each other feel like she is the most important person in the world!
Ordinarily in lesbian relationships, the majority of friends are the same-sex. Friends can be intrusive, meddlesome, opinionated, jealous, rude and inconsiderate; however, they can also be fun, supportive, considerate, helpful, and great sounding boards. There is no doubt, friends will either play havoc on a relationship or be accepting and considerate.
Let’s work from the premise that the relationship is the top priority and friends are not (but still very important). There are several key areas to focus on that can immediately bolster the relationship. These areas need to be mutually established and respected:
Boundaries – Agree on parameters that are manageable. Determine what the negotiable and non-negotiable items are. Examples: Agree to both be home by 8pm, unless otherwise discussed; no answering phones during dinnertime; cell phones are off-limits when you crawl into bed. If you go to happy hour, invite the other to join or at least communicate plans and be home on time. Remember, these boundaries must be agreed upon. If you end up policing and penalizing because of the boundaries, what you have in place is not working. The boundaries are to be and feel respectful of each other, not to hold you hostage.
Communication – Make each other feel special, loved, secure and safe. Talk to each other about everything. Find out about what is important to each other, feelings, favorite things, pet peeves, goals and dreams, fears and phobias, food, children, families, etc. Get to really know each other better than anyone else. Build trust and respect. Make each other feel valued and important.
Common Interests – Explore what you enjoy doing together such as projects, travel, entertaining friends, cooking, golf, fishing, hiking, etc. It is not necessary to do everything together, but it is healthy to do some (enough) things together. It is important to have fun together and feel connected. Orchestrate your relationship so that you are not always running parallel, but have enough intersecting times that keep you in sync with each other.
Host social occasions – One way to blend with each other’s friends is to jointly host social times at your home such as dinners and game nights. Another is to plan outings with joint friends such as happy hours, going to dinner and movies, so forth. The key is to become more comfortable with each other’s friends. Make efforts to blend friends and be more inclusive.
Spontaneity – Surprise each other in ways that you know are appreciated and liked. Break the routine and break away from all others and do for each other. Make each other feel exceptional.
Happy, long-term relationships are to be nurtured treated as top priority. Focus on enjoying your time together. Include friends when it’s appropriate and mutually agreed upon. There should be no feeling of competing for time, attention and love! Friends are to be fun additions.