How Much Time Do You Invest in Relationship Maintenance?

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When starting a new relationship, we usually adopt a subconscious idea as to how much maintenance this connection will need. Usually, if given some thought, we can throw a microscope over this concept while it is in its fledgling state.

However, time, no matter how you cut it, is a commodity and is as precious as a trillion dollars in your hot little hands. We attempt to save it, cut it, splice it among several tasks, take it for granted, and waste it. Although, most of us never consciously connect relationship maintenance with time.

In going back to a new relationship, it cannot be denied that in this most tender state, both parties look to each other for needs to be fulfilled. If enough maintenance is not given by one, the other will eventually pull back, unless an understanding is clearly stated from the outset.

For example, at this point in my life, with a young daughter, my time is squarely directed towards my family. This is especially true, considering I spend my mornings with her, and see her every night. In order for me to be able to give any other relationship the consideration it needs, I would have to scale back my time with my family, and at this point I am not willing to do this.

Being spread as thin as hot butter is a concept we can all relate to.

This is just my viewpoint on maintaining the integrity of my family relations. Moreover, it is not a reality for myself to hook up with my friends at the drop of a hat anymore, at least at this point in my life.

So how do we make this determination as to how much time we should designate to prospective relationships?

Well, it merely comes down to how solid a foundation you wish them to be on. For me personally, I want my family relationships to be on a rock-solid foundation. Sacrificing the maintenance of other relationships is how your value system should be designed.

Secondly, examining your friendships and their cost benefit ratio, not only for you, but for the friend, should definitely be indicated.

Are you going to be the type when life deals a bad hand to your friend, you abandon that particular person just because some gears inevitably switched for them? If you are that non-understanding of a person, you are not a true friend. Then comes in the question of loyalty to that friend, if you struggle with spending less time with him/her due to their newfound change. Having a heart to heart discussion with that person to obtain his/her mindset and system of values, would always be the best route to take.


From your viewpoint, do to your friend's life changes, you inevitably feel snubbed and hurt. It is hard for you to respect his/her wish to spend more time with a new friend, for example. This is true, even though you know that life keeps moving forward no matter what, change is always a huge part of life.

It is not about you all the time.

A more selfless mindset would guide you and you would be happier for your friend's newly found joy. Understanding that scaling back as life's changes come calling, gives you the expectation that this indeed will be an integral part of your relationship, rather than backing out completely.

An understanding among friends.

If you are an understanding friend, or wish your friends were more understanding, then laying this foundation down sooner than later in the relationship is best. When one party feels betrayed, this gives not only this relationship the respect it needs, but when your life change occurs, they won't feel slapped in the face.

If your friends won't be your friends because they don't have limitless access to you anymore, then you don't have to invest too much time into maintaining that relationship. This means they cannot appreciate your higher and lower values.

Invest into your family your time and love, and then have an understanding with your friends that being flexible rather than rigid, will strengthen your relationship with them. Remember, a relationship is a two-way street that needs maintenance and time, so giving too much to a friendship will inevitably take away from your family.

Making this proper assessment is logical and practical and results as a template to follow from which you can issue time to your perspective relations.

--by Brian
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