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This past weekend was a whirlwind for me, spattered with treasured meetings with several friends. Nothing too flashy, nothing expensive, nothing outrageous — just good, ol’ fashioned hanging out. But, oh, it felt so good!

One friend met me for Chinese food, Italian gelato and a long walk on a warm Virginia night. We talked about boys, dating and the “adventures” she experienced while meeting her boyfriend’s family for the first time.

Another friend joined me for an early morning, coffee-fueled stroll around D.C.’s Tidal Basin to see the much-hyped cherry blossoms. (They did not disappoint!) We chatted about marriage, faith and Congress (usually mutually exclusive topics).

Another pair of friends let me goo and gaa over their gorgeous newborn baby for a few hours. As I impressively fed her a bottle, we adults talked about spit-up, poop and breast feeding.

And yet another couple of friends invited me over to their house after church on Sunday for some grilled hot dogs. We talked about church, iTunes playlists, and whatever happened to the Indians that used to live on Theodore Roosevelt Island.

Phew! Now you know why I’m so exhausted!

FriendshipsBecause of the nature of this blog, I mostly write about dating, relationships, and the single life. It is a dating blog after all! But after weekends like this, I’m reminded of just how important those “other” relationships are. Too often as singles we lose sight of friendships because we’re too focused on finding love. That — I can say with full certainty — is a huge mistake.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. It’s a lonely world out there. And I’m not just talking about loneliness in a romantic sense. Having a significant other does not guarantee that you won’t feel lonely anymore. We live in a huge, busy, fast-paced world, and it’s easy to feel lost. Trying to go it alone is not only unwise, but unnecessary. True friends will be there for you, socially and emotionally. Heck, they’ll even give you that warm, fuzzy feeling.

2. You were made for community. “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12). You see, we weren’t created to live in a bubble, separated from the rest of the world. We were created to love one another, to grow with one another, and to learn from one another. Without friends, you will lose out on the great blessings that living in community has to offer.

3. There will come a day when you’ll need some help. One day you’ll be stuck with a flat tire on the side of the road in rush hour traffic. One day you’ll be desperate for last-minute moving help after your landlord jacks up your rent. One day you’ll be flat broke and in need of a short-term loan to get you through a rough patch between jobs. It’s in those times when you’ll realize the value of friendships, both on the giving and the receiving ends.

4. Even married people need friends. If you spend all your time and energy looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right, you may regret it… even after you finally say “I do.” Not too long after the excitement of wedding gowns and three-tiered cakes wears off, you’ll come face-to-face with the realization that marriage isn’t meant to be lived out in isolation. The honeymoon period lasts only so long. After it’s over, you want friends to be there to catch your fall back into reality.

C.S. Lewis said it best: “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”