Balancing Act: How to Balance Friendships and a Relationship

The excitement of a new relationship is overwhelming and fun, and we want nothing more than to be with that person 24/7. It is so easy to get caught up in that excitement that we oftentimes lose track of the friends who have always been around. Being in a relationship should never make you lose sight of friendships, but that is easier said than done.

Why do we suddenly put our friends on the backburner and focus all of our time, attention, and effort on one person? As young girls we are made to believe that one of our main goal in life is to find a man, fall in love, get married, and have a family. However, dating does not mean that friends need to be dropped. It is just as important to maintain friendships as it is to maintain a relationship. No significant other should ever pull you away from your friends so much that they feel neglected or forgotten. Of course, you and your friends will have to understand that you won’t be spending all of your time together. It will be an adjustment for all parties involved, but if you try your hardest to maintain a healthy balance, it will be rewarding in the end.

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Keys to Success:

  1. Alternate weekends: If most of your free time lies on the weekend, and you see both your friends and your significant other during the week, don’t make plans with the same people every weekend. One weekend, go out to dinner with your significant other, and have a girls’ night the next.
  2. Put yourself in your friends shoes: Imagine feeling like you have lost your best friend to someone else. You would probably be crushed. Being empathetic towards your friends in this time will really help you keep in mind that you have a lot of important people already in your life and that one new person should not take all your time away from those people.
  3. Make your S.O. be friendly with your friends: This helps to ensure that you don’t always have to divide up your time. Trust me, life is so much easier when your friends love your significant other and he/she likes your friends back.
  4. Remember that friendships usually last longer than relationships: In the “honeymoon phase” of any relationship, you are going to think you’ll be together forever. But that is not true most of the time. If you spend all of your time with your significant other, who is going to be there for you if your relationship does end? Most friends won’t stick around if you start ignoring them every time you get into a new relationship. Nothing is better for heartbreak than your best friends!

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One of the most important pieces of advice I have gotten from my mom is how to have a healthy relationship. She always tells me that one of her biggest mistakes in high school was having her life revolve around her boyfriend. She lost a lot of friends during that time because she was at her boyfriend’s beck and call, and she would drop whatever she was doing to hang out with him. Although the relationship lasted a few years, it wasn’t forever. My mom would have liked to get her friends back, but most people will not be willing to come back into your life after you ignored them for someone else. I learned a lot from her mistake, and she is a constant reminder to try and keep balance between the people in my life.

There is a huge rush of excitement in a new relationship, and it can be quite overwhelming. It’s hard not to want to do everything you can to make that person happy and to get to know him or her as best as you can. But you must remember that friends need just as much love and attention. If all focus shifts to one person, you risk losing the friends that have been there for you through everything. It’s easy to get carried away with the relationship and devote all your time to it, but if you just put yourself in your friends shoes and imagine how you would feel if you were suddenly pushed aside and constantly canceled on, it should help you put equal effort into your friendships and relationship.