Friendship is just as important as romance

If you have a significant other, how would you rank them as a friend?

It’s no secret that having strong, positive relationships with others have numerous health benefits–both physical and mental.

For many, some of the strongest relationships that may come to mind include familial ties and friendships.

While these relationships are incredibly significant, there is something special you can gain from appreciating your connection with your partner–especially when that partner is also a friend.

An article titled “Love, Relationships, and Health: The Surprising Benefits of Being in Love” published by The Beacon-Luminis Health– a website to promote healthy living–notes that a benefit of being in a committed relationship is lower levels of stress, which in turn leads to better heart health.

According to the article, levels of the stress hormone cortisol tend to drop in stable long-term relationships, meaning blood pressure may lower as a result and therefore increase heart health.

And who doesn’t like less stress?

It makes sense that being with our partners can help lower our stress and boost our emotional well-being; you know that you are always loved and have a secure space you can enter when you are with them.

They may bring you a sense of peace and deep solace, and that connection is strengthened when you are friends with your partner.

With friends, we often relax and show off our more “authentic” selves.

Closeness with friends means you can both laugh and share sorrows without fear of repercussions.

Imagine the possibilities of considering your significant other as more than just a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend,” but also as a “friend.”

They will become the first person you think of when you have news to tell– good or bad, and you know they will celebrate or comfort you.

You will feel an ease in their presence you have never felt before because they understand you more than anyone.

You are free of their judgment and can speak with them about anything Friendship coupled with a romantic partner is an intimately beautiful thing,

Not to mention the fact that being friends with your significant other means they already know “you.”

It seems a common trope among our society to be afraid to reveal one’s true self to a romantic partner.

There is an anxiety that they will not accept you for who you are, will find your habits disagreeable, or will judge you on little things like your appearance.

This stress could lead to a denial of yourself in order to please and maintain the relationship.

Being friends with your partner means you have both come to an understanding of who each of you are– and you’ve accepted that.

This means you can focus your energy on cultivating the “stuff” of your relationship rather than stressing over whether your make-up or facial hair is “perfect” or not.

When I think of the couples I know, I
find something admirable about those
who are clearly friends.

They transcend above the stereotypical roles of “boyfriend” or “girlfriend;” beyond “husband” or “wife” into somethingmore meaningful to the both of them.

Their closeness and support of one another demonstrates an emotional connection that is deep and beautiful; I am fortunate to have such with my own partner.

This Valentine’s Day, celebrate your love, but beyond that, appreciate the possibilities of the friendship you can share with the person you love, and how close that can make you.

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