We all have that friend who magically disappears when a new love interest arrives on the scene. And whilst it’s an exciting and romantic time, cutting off your friends can be a risky move for your health and wellbeing.
Social connectedness is good for your health. People who feel more connected to others have been shown to have lower levels of anxiety and depression, as well as higher self-esteem and greater empathy for others. They are also more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them.
Unfortunately, the opposite is also true for those who lack social connectedness. Low levels of social connection are associated with anxiety, depression and declines in physical and mental health. Being disconnected can also lead to antisocial behavior resulting in further isolation.
So what does this mean on a “real life” level? Well, every person in your life fulfils a different need that you have. You know… that person who you can rely on for intellectual conversation; the one who is ready to hit the dancefloor at a moment’s notice; the shoulder to lean on; your super-cluey friend who offers career/business/life advice; the one who makes you laugh; and of course your pal for Saturday morning yoga or a run around the Tan.
You are unique, and made up of a million moving parts. You have your own interests, passions, career, relationships, family, friends and life. It is truly magical to find a partner to share your whole world with, but don’t expect them to be everything. Share yourself and your love around, and offer yourself generously to be something special to someone else. After all, social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical wellbeing, helping to be the best – and healthiest – version of yourself.