When you said, “I do,” that meant you were done looking for a new best friend, right? Your spouse would forever be your go-to person for advice about work and family. Your mate would share all of your interests, and be happy to listen to whatever is on your mind. If I’m describing your fantasy, I guess you’ve already figured out the truth: Our spouse cannot and should not satisfy all of our needs. That’s where friends come in.
Research shows that a rich life with love, health and happiness is dependent upon having a support network made up of more than our spouse. Life will be more interesting and your marriage will be even better, if you have these five types of friends to rely on too.
When you and your mate get into a boring daily routine, an inspiring friend can help you break free of the monotony. The adventurer goes to concerts, is the first one to know about a new restaurant in town and takes day-trips to museums in a nearby city. She encourages you to join her at a knitting convention or inspires you to take up tae kwon do. She doesn’t just talk about doing things, she actually does it. With her help, you will never lose sight of the fact that life is what you make it.
The Truthful Friend:
Never out to hurt you, but not here to shield you either, this friend tells it like it is. She is confident and comfortable with her own life, so she has no axe to grind. You can trust with your secrets, and she’ll be your personal family advisor without judging your situation. Having an honest friend who has your best interests in mind, helps you stay on the right track.
The Work Advisor:
This friend might be a co-worker, your old high school buddy or your neighbor. However you met him or her, you know that she has wisdom when it comes to making important life choices about where to work, when to ask for a raise and how to decide when it’s time to make a change. You might not share a love of fried chicken or movies, but when it comes to work, this friend knows more than anyone.
The Childhood Friend:
When you’re angry with your overbearing mother, you call your childhood friend to vent. You know that she will listen to all of your complaints, but she won’t join you in ridiculing your mom. Rather, she’ll offer a balanced perspective that comes from having known you and your mother for decades. A childhood friend doesn’t jump to conclusions, she looks to put a temporary situation in context. Having a friend who forgives your foibles and reminds you of your history, helps you make better decisions in the present.
The Unlikely Friend:
If you put all of your friends in one room, this one might not fit in. Perhaps this friend is much quieter and introverted than your other friends. Maybe she has unique interests like photography, skateboarding or writing. This difference is exactly why you like her. She brings out something special in you, that your other friends don’t see. When you are with her, you feel like a secret part of yourself is being expressed. The unlikely friend makes life richer and allows you to be all of who you are.