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Love, Minimally

February 13, 2017
Love, Minimally | Tiny Ambitions

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day my friends! Whether you are in a relationship or not, I wanted to explore the idea of applying minimalism to our personal relationships (platonic or otherwise).

The purpose of minimalism is to edit your life down to what is essential and to what you can’t live without. This logic can also be applied to the relationships we have in our lives.

I am very much an introvert, so I’m predisposed to not having a lot of relationships. But those I do have, have been cultivated over time and are essential to my life.

You might be the complete opposite of me. Maybe you thrive on socializing and love meeting new people, and therefore have lots of relationships. If you are the kind of person who can maintain a lot of friendships – that’s awesome and I applaud you.

If, however, you are more like me and you occasionally feel like you’ve reached your bandwidth for relationships, take some time to ask yourself these questions:

  • Do your relationships make you happy?
  • Are any of your friendships one-sided?
    • i.e. are you giving too much of yourself away?
  • Are your relationships healthy? Are they draining or overwhelming?
  • Do you feel like you are always overcommitting yourself?

The ultimate purpose of relationships (platonic or otherwise) is to support each other’s growth as individual people. If that isn’t happening in your relationships, it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate.

Here are some steps you can take towards creating healthy, minimalist relationships:

  • Create sustainable boundaries.
    •  All relationships are two-way streets. There is no benefit to you being selfless and giving. Spoiler alert: women tend to be martyrs. But no one is asking us to be. Creating healthy boundaries can ensure you don’t end up giving more of yourself in your relationships than is necessary.
  • If it’s not a ‘heck yes’, say no.
    • Be selfish. No one in your life should be able to put unrealistic expectations on your time.
  • Only include people in your life that deserve to be there.
    • Some relationships just aren’t going to last long-term and that’s ok. When you realize that a relationship isn’t serving you or the other person anymore, acknowledge the role it has played in your life and let it go.
  • Aim for quality over quantity.
    • Your personal relationships should be one of the most fulfilling areas of your life. This means that, most likely, a smaller number of deep and meaningful relationships will be more rewarding in the long term than a larger number of superficial relationships. I can count my friendships on one hand, but I know I can rely on each one of them if I need to- and they can rely on me.

The number of relationships you can manage will be different than everyone else’s. The important thing to remember is that any relationships that deserve space in your life should be rewarding and be fulfilling on some level. Anything else isn’t worth your awesomeness.

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  • Kim February 13, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Just found your blog! And how fitting that the first post I comment on was posted exactly a year ago.
    I really enjoyed reading this! You are quite wise! Thank you. Can’t help but wonder how much less pains I might have had in life if I had given myself permission to minimalize relationships!

    • Britt February 14, 2018 at 7:14 am

      Thanks, Kim! Recognizing that not all of your relationships are created equal and are deserving of your time and attention is a game-changer.

  • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment February 13, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I love your take on creating meaningful relationships inspired by minimalism, Brittany. I’m very much an introvert, too, with a very small group of people I am close to, so I can really relate to what you are saying. In the past I have fallen into one-sided friendships that realistically brought no value to my (or the other person’s) life, and it’s only now in retrospect that I can see those friendships were not worth pursuing. Now I realise if I feel I am ‘chasing’ the other person when I want to catch up, and that they never seem to have any time for me, that it’s ok to move on without any hard feelings. You speak wise words, as always, Brittany – thanks for another great read! 🙂

    • tinyambitions February 13, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      One sided friendships are hard! But once you realize neither of you is getting value from it, it becomes so much easier to let it go! Thanks for reading!

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.